Our Cow Molly and the case of the 35 year old milk bottles

 When we were contacted recently by Eddie from Our Cow Molly - A Sheffield based family run diary that is known for its award winning ice cream - to say that people in Sheffield could reduce their cabon footprint whilst sat eating their breakfast cereal, we naturally wanted to know more....

I asked Eddie about his claim that his milk was still being put into 35 year old milk bottles. He replied " Yes, absolutely they are. We can age the bottles by the telephone numbers printed on the bottle. We have bottles that are pre the 0114 2xxxxxx numbers that are still in use, that system changed 16 years ago. We can also tell by, the even older, more hourglass shape of the old bottles. We even have some that have 4 digit telephone numbers on them too, though these aren't still in use. My Grandad was delivering our milk in all weathers on a tractor 60 plus years ago. Then, as now, the cows were milked on the same day as the bottles appeared on people's doorsteps (or poured into customers jugs years ago). We still deliver milk in glass bottles to around 1000 families in the north west of the city. We know our bottles so well as we fill them with our milk, deliver it, collect the empties, wash them, refill them, cap them and start all over again. Everything is done right here on our farm and has been so for 70 years. That in my opinion is a true local produce ! "

Does all your milk come in glass bottles? "No, we had to respond to customers preference for tall square containers that would fit in their fridges. People buying our milk from a shop will get it in plastic containers. aAs there is very little chance of the plastic bottle being brought back to the shop, it makes sense to use plastic in this case. Thankfully these days its easier to recycle these plastic bottles. Where to buy Our Cow Molly "

When talking about all things dairy, Eddie is filled with an infectious enthusiasm and fervour about his subject, never more so than when he gets onto the subject of the decline of dairy farms in the UK and the strange fact that we import 1 million litres everyday from Holland, Frrance and Belgium. "10 dairy farms a day are closing, yet our milk imports grow every year, thats a lot of food miles, a big carbon footprint, and a kick in the teeth for UK farmers. Some even comes from as far away as Poland. As milk ages, its nutritional value declines, our milk is from cow to doorstep in 1 day, supermarket milk may be 4 or 5 days old. Buyers should beware that there is no obligation to put the country of origin on milk, so Polish milk could be brought over here, and pasteurised in the UK. It is then classed as having undergone a substantial change, allowing it to labelled UK produced. The bottom line is that price, not nutrition, freshness, welfare (all our cows are outside when the weather is fine, fed on our silage in the winter) or supporting local production is what takes precedent. I would like to see our local schools, hospitals, universities all taking locally sourced milk." Eddie's arguements are persuasive, and if his passion is an indicator for how successful he will be in achieving this goal, then many, many people will be drinking locally produced milk, cream and eating ice cream.

The Our Cow Molly brand is associated with their award winning ice-cream, so much so that many people only know them for that product. Eddie says "Many people that visit our farm ask us "Where do you get your milk from for the ice creams?" I point to those big black and wide four legged things in the fields and say "from them".  


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