20 Apr

I penned this while living in Mexico six years ago.  When you visit or take up residence in a new country, there are things big and small that capture your attention.  When I would go to the supermarket in Mexico to pick up milk, I did not grab it from the freezer section… it was boxed at room temperature and was the most common way to buy milk. While supermarkets in the US have soy and almond milk in the aisles, I bet having regular milk in the aisles would baffle many Americans.



“Tossing. Turning. Sweating. A desire to sleep.

From time to time we all suffer from a shade of insomnia. Whether it is a stressful situation at work, drowning worries about the future, or a bubbling excitement that robs you of the joy of counting sheep, these sleepless attacks manifest in the lives of every individual. So, perhaps this is common knowledge. But, the very particular reasons of insomnia that hit me most likely remain a mystery for you. Unless you keep reading…

Then, you will find yourself enlightened…

My biggest reason for being an insomniac, as I have confessed in my IA meetings, is an overwhelming hunger for knowledge. Yes, it’s true, I am somewhat addicted to learning. We all have questions pop into our heads and cause us to wonder, but my questions burn into my brain and call out to be answered. If you were in my position, you would also be forced to answer that call.

How many pathogens are present in the table salsas I eat when I go to a restaurant here in my lovely town of Guadalajara? If you ever come visit, don’t let the statistic of about forty percent scare you too much…

How healthy are those mangoes I eat every week? (Okay, not the greatest, but they are pretty much amazing)

And, my most recent question: How in the world can I drink regular milk that comes in a box and is not refrigerated? It has been a mystery to me for years, and it recently rose to the level of questioning of “plaguing my thoughts” this past week. Hence, my new discovery that I want to share with the world. Box milk is amazing! It is heated with ultra high pasteurization, which completely sterilizes the milk (sterile = completely free of microorganisms) and packaged in a sterile environment. Milk in the US is pasteurized, but that doesn’t kill all the bacteria (oh yes, there are still microbes in your dear, refrigerated, pasteurized milk!). In taking all that into consideration, it is a shame to think that Americans, for psychological problems, could never switch to box milk (if I am wrong, please sign a petition or comment or something). The biggest plus for box milk? Less waste. Less extravagance. But, wait – we don’t know how to be anything but extravagant, do we?

Start questioning. Join the insomniac club with me. If you do, maybe you’d find that twenty percent of the salsas in Texas also carry pathogens…


Adachi, Javier A. et al. “Enteric Pathogens in Mexican Sauces of Popular Restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas.” Annals of Internal Medicine. Vol 132. No 12. 18 June 2002. 884-887.”


2 Responses to “Milk-in-a-box”

  1. JIBlakley 20 April 2013 at 13:24 #

    Isn’t this strange? I seriously didn’t drink milk for WEEKS when I got to Chiapas–because I would search around the yogurt and cream for milk which couldn’t be found…

    • Rachel 20 April 2013 at 14:17 #

      That is too funny. When I moved back to the US I missed being able to have several gallons of milk on hand at all times. I have recently been wondering why there isn’t milk in a box in the US. I bet it is a marketing thing. I’d buy it!

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