The first food, the healthiest liquid, packed with enough nutrition to support the life of any living mammal, milk.
The purest liquid, free from impurities is not just a nutritional liquid to support an infant but it’s also the right of every child to have access to healthy, aesthetically pleasant and free from impurities, MILK.
Tetrapack Milk in Pakistan
When my second one turned 1.5 years, I introduced whole milk to him. My first choice was regular tetra pack Olpers milk. We had been using that for a while, and at times also switched between Milk Pack and Olpers.
To be honest I find both the brands same and their prices also lie in the same range.
So when I talk about tetra pack milk, it’s going to be only about these two brands, as I have never used any other brand like Omung milk, Good Milk, Nurpur etc.
As a Microbiology student from Karachi university, I learned that many food products that we consume, contain harmful pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms). And these pathogens are sometimes the reason of fatal incidences.
The industrialization era, had a big contribution towards the modern food packaging industry.
Packaged food promises everything! Longer shelf life, low microbial growth, increased taste and most importantly the promise of uncompromised nutritional value.
All of the above are correct except the last one which is uncompromising nutritional value.
Nothing can ever beat FRESH FOOD!
You see nature is pretty amazing, it’s pure, its fresh, its real and most importantly its very healthy.
The same implies to milk.
Fresh, Dairy Milk
Like mother’s own milk is one of the healthiest liquid, free from any kind of impurities and loaded with immunity increasing components. Formula milk cannot be a 100% replacement of it.
And since all human beings need milk not just to support an infant’s life but also young kids need milk to support a healthy brain and bone development, milk is a necessity.
But what if the milk we are drinking is nothing but white liquid, mixed with soy milk, and moreover its Ultra heated or UHT.
The problem with UHT?
Good that you asked.
Heat alters the basic consistency of milk. It alters the milk amino acids, it destroys the milk vitamins. A high percentage of vitamin C and vitamin B 12 is lost during the heating process which is needed for healthy blood and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Also, some very essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur and other trace minerals are lost during the heating process.
There is some evidence that suggests heating milk alter the lactose which is the main protein in milk thus making it more easily absorbable which adds more stress on our pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. And as we all know that when things go wrong with the pancreas diabetes is the first risk factor.
Not only this but heating destroys all the natural enzymes in milk. These enzymes play the most important role of collecting the body building factors like calcium. Therefore low absorption of calcium in the body can result in osteoporosis.
But a personal problem that I would like to share here is that my 3 year old suffered from severe constipation and I tried everything but to no avail, that’s when I decided to go for regular dairy milk.
This was one of the best decision I made, towards healthy eating for me and my family.
Trust me, I’m, saving more money and at a cost of a healthier lifestyle for my family.
These are scientifically proven results which occur when milk is heated. Be it boiling, pasteurization or UHT.
Then what do we do?
Raw Milk? Kacha Doodh
What is Raw milk?
Milk that is free from any kind of treatment is basically raw milk. No boiling, no pasteurization no UHT.
Raw Milk Debate
Why is Raw Milk or Kacha Doodh a Big No? And what to do about it?
The biggest problem with raw milk is not with the milk itself. It is more related to the milking process.
Dirt unhygienic milking methods contaminate the milk. This contamination may contain TB-causing bacteria, pus, infant diarrhea-causing microorganisms etc.
Now, what to do?
Tetra pack milk lacks the essential nutrients of milk and raw milk or dairy milk is not hygienic.
What is the best option?
Ever wondered why so many new brands of milk are promising milk from hormone-free and antibiotics free cows?
Well, hormone injected and antibiotic injected cows can have lethal affects on human health. Lined to cancer and heart disease. Also, affect the normal growth of children brain.
Since there is no other replacement for dairy milk. And milk is among the basic requirements of food. I began the hunt for the best dairy milk in Karachi.
My quest for healthy dairy milk led me to the discovery of 2 new milk brands.
Day fresh and Khalis Dairy Milk
Day fresh has been in the market for quite some time but Khalis Dairy milk is particularly new.
Because I totally wanted to quit UHT milk, my second choice was Pasteurized milk.
Although pasteurized milk is also heat treated, the temperature used in this process is broadly lower than UHT temperature.
For pasteurization milk is heated to 72 C or 161 F for 15 seconds and for UHT milk is heated to 141 C or 282 F for 4 seconds.
Pasteurization is basically done for the process of removing/killing pathogenic bacteria found in milk. But yes this also destroys the enzymes and other essential nutrients in milk. But still one thing it does not have any added nutrients or stabilizers like soy milk etc.
So Day fresh supplies pasteurized milk in plastic bottles like the ones you get abroad.
Milk Supply in Karachi
We get 3 different types of milk in Karachi
- Buffalo milk: The most widely distributed milk is buffalos milk. Usually, every doodh dahi ki Dukan in every corner of Karachi supplies buffalos milk.
- Mix Milk: this is cows milk and Buffalos milk mixed.
- Cows milk: This is solely cows milk. My pediatrician has recommended me to give only Cows milk to my kids since it’s easily digested and its richer in minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
Cows milk has more cholesterol but less fat as compared to buffalos milk which has less cholesterol and more fat. And it also helps to relieve constipation.
So now my decision was final, that I will bring only cows milk. But which brand.
I first got Day fresh pasteurized cows milk. Tasted really good, no hassle of boiling and preserving. We consumed one-liter cow milk bottle in 48 hours.
The price of one Day fresh Pasteurized Cow milk is Rs.135 to 140, which is similar to the regular tetra pack milk.
It was after I was coming back home from dropping my kids to school I noticed a Khalis Dairy Milk shop. I stopped by to check it out.
The difference between Khalis Dairy Milk and Day fresh Milk is that Khalis Dairy milk, only supply Raw Cows Milk.
One liter Khalis Dairy Milk cost Rs.85 which is much lower as compared to tetrapack milk.
The shop attendee told us that this milk comes from Australian Cow which is hormone and antibiotics free. And their milking is done only with machines.
(He also told us we can visit the milking farm whenever we want-Now that’s a big promise)
He further said Raw milk is safe if consumed withing 24 hours but for a longer shelf life we must boil it.
Owing to the cleanliness and aesthetically pleasant atmosphere of the shop I did buy one-liter milk from there.
Now, this milk comes in plastic pouches and not in bottles.
I was tempted to drink raw milk, owing to the numerous benefits. My entire family did, and nothing happened!
But for a longer shelf life, I tried to pasteurize it at home.
It’s a pretty easy procedure. All you need to do is maintain the temperature to 161 F. But since there are certain equipments, you need for this like a food thermometer, and proper pan and also need the expertise to control the heat I just opted for boiling.
I boiled the milk not for more than 2 minutes poured into a clean glass bottle and refrigerated immediately.
With crossed fingers for the next few days, I just had to trust my instinct. Everything was fine but the biggest change that I observed in my little one was that his appetite improved and so did his digestive process. He wasn’t suffering from constipation anymore.:)
Tetrapack Milk is a Big NO for me
Chai, coffee, desserts, pancakes ( fluffiest pancakes) everything is prepared in regular dairy milk.
I learned in University that Pakistan is among the top 10 producers of milk, but it’s just the lack of proper management and distribution nationally that we are not provided with the best quality milk at our doorstep.
All we need to do is look around do some research and become smart consumers, who make healthier choices!