This tip has saved me an unknown amount of money over the years and we are still using it. If you wrap your milk in an opaque plastic bag when you get it home from the store, it will not go sour for a much longer time.
Today's "sour milk" is not the same as soured milk was when we were getting whole milk from our home dairy. We were able to use it to make the best sour-cream butter years ago, then what was left was perfectly delicious buttermilk and was used to make the best hot biscuits you could ask for.
Whatever the milk companies do to milk these days turns the milk into something totally unusable for anything if it goes the least bit sour. The idea behind keeping the containers in opaque plastic or even cloth bags is to avoid the least amount of light possible to reach the milk, and IT WORKS.
There are a few companies who have gotten the message and are using white plastic instead of clear now and that is probably working just fine. If you can't find those brands, then just keep your milk as "dark" as possible, and it'll remain sweet and good for a much longer period.
Always pour a little of the milk into a small cup to taste it and don't rely on the smell of the neck of the bottle, which sometimes takes on an early "sour" smell.
Source: Our son was an assistant store manager for the old Pantry Pride Grocery Stores, and a man who had previously worked for the Florida Milk Commission told him this tip. That was over 20 years ago, and I can't tell you how many other people we've shared that information with, and it always works. Being stored in the dark and good refrigeration is the key.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
Great to know. Here in NC, my store has either solid white or yellow jugs now. I also turn my jug over and over a couple times before each use. I love all your tried and true tips. Keep em coming! Thanks for sharing.
I've got to ask hubby if our milk jugs are clear or opaque. However, our whole milk usually doesn't last long enough to sour the least bit, lol! The 2% pints are opaque and eminently freezable. And thanks for the tips about making sure the milk isn't as sour as we might think, thumbs up!
This is a really good thing to know. I often have to toss 1/3 gallon of milk just because it went sour. There is nothing I can do with it since it's not like the milk we used to get which was good for making biscuits when it went "blinky". We just added a pinch of baking soda, and used it, or left it go to "clabber", then made the best buttermilk.
I will definitely be putting milk jugs in a bag from now on. Who would have thought?
Thank you for the advice.
Wow, thanks. That's great to know. Some of our milk here in the UK is now in solid white bottles, and I have noticed it keeps better.
Thank you for another good suggestion. I wish we could still get 'real' milk like you talk about, the unhomogenized, unpasteurized, real thing.
I really appreciate this tip as I have to shop for a week at the time most weeks. I've had a whole gallon of milk go sour before we can use it, and if only I'd known to put those containers in a bag so that light couldn't get to the milk. My kids just won't drink the dry powdered milk, and we've had to go without milk because it was sour.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
To add to this tip, don't take the front bottles reach behind and grab one. You don't know how long those front bottles have been sitting there. The ones in back are still in the 'dark' so to speak.
Isn't it dark in the frig. except when you open it to get something out?
Thanks for the info it was a big help because sometimes I do throw a lot of milk away and I do not like that at all. I will be doing that from now on because I do love my milk so much.
That's great info to know, I'll have to let my daughter know about it. I've heard that you should get milk in the solid containers instead of opaque anyway, because it keeps it from losing the vitamins & minerals so fast (I guess just the light from the storage wi destroy it). I don't have the problem of it going bad, because we drink skim milk & it seems to last forever without going sour.
I'm going to use this technique!
Thank you to everyone who has left feedback. I'm so glad you can use the info.
Prism192, I think maybe darkness is part of good refrigeration, so I'm hoping you're right about the light not staying on in any refrigerator except maybe the big walk-in coolers that have the diffused lighting.
We're getting our milk in white plastic now, but before the dairy started using those containers, I very often had to throw out milk that shouldn't have gone sour. Now, our milk stays fresh much longer than the expiration date. It makes a person wonder why all the dairies aren't using the white (and I've seen yellow too) plastic gallon containers. Maybe we'll change things as only consumers can do. Tell everyone we know. Demand better quality in packaging.
Thank you for another excellent tip.
What a simple thing to do to save so much money & milk from going to waste! I had heard that the light can destroy the vitamins in the milk, & since then I always try to buy milk in opaque containers. I never knew that light makes milk spoil faster too. I just thought there was something wrong with my fridge. Now, on the rare occasions I have to buy milk in translucent bottles, I'll know to wrap a bag around it. Thanks for the tip!
I would never have thought of this as being the cause of our milk going sour. What a good thing to learn.
Thanks for the good tip we all need to know about this you can save a lot of money and you can even save your milk as well. I know I will be doing this as well.
I've heard that adding a pinch of salt to milk keeps it fresh longer. Milk has started to bother be a great deal so I've started drinking "Silk" brand almond milk that's unsweetened. In cereal I can hardly tell the difference and I like the taste.
"Whatever the milk companies do to milk these days".
What the dairies do to milk is 'pasteurize' it. This process makes it safer to drink. Whole, raw milk will keep longer than pasteurized milk. It will do so because of the amount and type of bacteria it contains. When it does sour, there is no problem. The soured milk can be used in place of buttermilk to make the most delicious Southern style biscuits you ever tasted. If allowed to sour more, the milk will clabber. I have used this clabber to make butter. A simple process using an electric mixer.
When milk is pasteurized, the whole bacterial chemistry is changed. The 'good bacteria' which acted as a preservative has been killed. Now, the milk is more susceptible to contamination from outside sources.
The proliferation of natural bacteria in raw milk caused it to 'sour'. No big deal, just use it for biscuits. The proliferation of introduced bacteria in pasteurized milk causes it to literally 'rot'. It smells worse than a dead rat and should be poured down the drain. I wouldn't feed it to a hog!
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If you are like me, it is sometimes difficult to keep a gallon of milk, something other than nonfat, fresh until I use it all.
Try putting a pinch of salt into a gallon of milk, it will keep it fresh longer.
By Barbara from Bremerton, WA