Every once in a while it’s good to remind ourselves that there’s another world out there across the ocean, a world where raw milk is not seen as a health hazard, and where it’s freely and legally available to people who want it. What a concept. We could do with some of that in North America.
“Europe’s embrace of raw milk vending machines isn’t new. Such daring dispensers of unpasteurized dairy can be found in France, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and, as one map shows, all over the place in Italy. In a recent post for TakePart, Rebecca McCray, a Fulbright fellow studying the criminal justice system in Slovenia, digs into the story behind one such machine outside Ljubljana.
There, local dairy farmer Marko Bitenc refills his machine with fresh milk once a day. Because he owns and operates the machine, there is no middle man between farmer and consumers — just a few buttons and a spout.
The mlekomats, as they are called in Slovenia, also allow for a few easy safety measures. If the milk rises above a certain temperature set by the Slovenian Administration for Food and Safety, sales stop and Bitenc’s phone buzzes with a text message alert. A UV light sterilizes the milk spout between purchases.
McCray loves the machines as a way to buy fresh, local moo-juice. A Euro buys her a full liter of raw milk, but she tends to go for milk in 20-cent increments so she can enjoy it all at once. “Unsurprisingly, the unskimmed milk from the mlekomat is utterly unrecognizable compared with the bluish, watery counterpart I bought in the U.S. — another reason I rarely waste a drop,” she writes….”