Why use a milk vending machine?
Milk vending machines are popping up across the UK and booming in popularity. This initiative provides customers with fresh, non-homogenised (and sometimes even raw) milk direct from the farm. Liz is a huge fan of this initiative. Not only does it support local dairy farmers, but it also brings a wealth of other benefits, as we explain here.
The benefits of milk vending machines
For rural folk, heading to a local farm instead of the supermarket is not only a more wholesome way of life, but it’s better for the planet too. You’ll avoid the stresses of supermarket queues, while reducing plastic waste. Milk vending machines invite you to bring your own refillable glass bottle (or buy from their bottle bank). Use this again and again, each time you visit. Milk is something most of us use every day, so it’s not difficult to see why these machines offer a much more environmentally friendly and sustainable option.
Milk vending machines also support the local economy and smaller, family run farms. Buying this way also helps decrease food miles and the carbon footprint of our milk. it also cuts out the middle-man, the milk processors who homogenise and pack milk in its plastic cartons (and take a huge chunk of the profit too). Milk vending machines are usually found on or very near the farm where the milk was produced. This means no long trips to transport it across the country – it’s the freshest milk you’ll ever have, unless you milk the cow it yourself!
Farms selling milk in this way tend to be family run with herds of a smaller size. These cows are likely to spend more time grazing outdoors on grass, compared to larger, more industrialised operations where cows are more often housed in sheds. Pasture-fed milk has been shown to contain higher levels of beneficial essential carry acids, including CLA, an essential fat for brain development as well as helping us to stay slim.
Milk vending machines are a positive, growing trend across the UK – download a PDF of the full list of dairies involved in the scheme here. Milk sold in this way is usually pasteurised on the farm but not homogenised, meaning the delicious cream rises to the top. Some farms also sell unpasteurised, raw milk in this way too. The Raw Milk Map UK is a great resource to find out more. Plus, if you’re looking to buy raw milk direct from the farmer in the Republic of Ireland please head to Raw Milk Ireland.
How to use a milk vending machine
Liz is a devotee of using milk vending machines to source the freshest milk and her original Instagram post (here) sparked so much interest we have featured it here. Watch Liz take her glass reusable bottles to a local dairy farm near her home in the West Country.
Information for farmers and consumers: For more information on setting up your own local milk vending machine, or to find out more information on where to find them across the UK head to themilkstationcompany.co.uk