They just do this to confuse me.

I went to buy milk Saturday morning. Just milk. A gallon of milk. 2%. Not a hard task, right?


But I wasn’t going to the grocery store where we usually go. I wasn’t going to Lord Waldemart. I was actually going into a convenience store (and whoever started this thing of calling them “c-stores” must be slapped silly, and soon, and often) because I also needed to make another stop nearby. At first glance, it looked as though they had no 2% milk. I only saw purple tops and red tops in the case, and everyone knows that a red top means whole milk and a purple top means skimmed milk, right? At least that’s the way it used to be.

Not so. Wiith this particular brand, the purple top was whole milk, and the red top was 2%.

America, this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

When I was growing up, we almost always drank Barber’s milk. Ever since Hector was a pup, Barber’s whole milk had a red label and a red top:

Barber’s 2% milk (which they used to call “Pro-Teen” had a light blue label and a light blue top:

The 1% milk (when you could find it) had a dark blue label and top:

Skimmed milk (please, not “skim milk”: really!) had a purple label and top:

And of course chocolate milk had a brown label and top:

This was also true if we bought the store brand milk. Same color scheme: red, light blue, dark blue, purple, brown. It was this way when I moved to Mississippi too, and the most common brand of milk was Dairy Fresh. Their web site doesn’t have pictures of the different varieties, but it was red, blue, purple, and brown (I don’t remember if they had 1% milk, so I don’t know if they did the light blue/dark blue thing). Similarly, the store brands used the same color scheme. It was easy to go into the store and grab what you needed.

Borden, too, uses the same scheme, although they use light blue for 1% and dark blue for 2%, but still, close enough. PET, another major dairy, does the very same thing, as well they should.

Alas, many refuse to conform. Many prefer to confuse me.

At one store, 2% milk has a green top (green?), while skimmed milk has a pink top. Pink? Do we really want to drink milk with a pink top? Yak’s milk is pink. I don’t want to be thinking about yak’s milk while I’m eating my Corn Bursts or Tootie Fruities in the morning.

I propose a constitutional amendment that requires all dairies to return to the red, light blue, dark blue, purple, and brown color scheme at once, upon pain of death.

Otherwise, I might end up pouring buttermilk on my Marshmallow Mateys, and that would just be sad.


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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15 Responses to They just do this to confuse me.

  1. TimmyRalph says:

    In the UK, blue is whole (“full fat” is what they call it), green is 2%, and red is the milky water – not sure if it is skim or 1%. I think the skim/1% should be red to warn you to stay away from it. It is unnatural.

  2. Laurel says:

    Marshmallow Mateys? Tootie Frooties? How am I ever supposed to take you seriously?

    Does anyone remember “rich” milk? Its fat content was between that of whole milk and what a friend of mine calls 50%, more commonly known as half-and-half. It was voluptuous.

    Real good on Alpha-Bits…

  3. RevJATB says:

    Hey, Laurel, with preschoolers in the house, I eat what they eat. Marshmallow Mateys aren’t exactly my favorite, but I will eat them. I’m really more of a Frosted Mini-Wheats person.

    Ooh, don’t remember rich milk, but I do have a friend who always kept half & half in the fridge specifically for pouring over cereal.

    Tim, if anyone can find rich milk, it would be you, since you are living in the land of double cream, Devonshire cream, pouring cream, etc., etc., etc.

  4. PaulB says:

    Ahh, Barber’s milk. I bagged and stocked many a gallon at the old Western Supermarket in East Lake on 2nd Avenue.

    Now we drink Publix milk and thanks to the cholesterol levels I now can claim, I’m drinking skim, err, skimmed.

  5. MoDrig3 says:

    I’m with you on the label colors. I think it’s voluntary, but the store brands we shop here follow the same protocol. It just makes sense (and keeps the customer happy).


  6. PaulB says:

    Don’t you love the Barber’s “Chug” sized bottle? Great name. Good marketing.

  7. cancerman says:

    Here in the big city I think green is organic. Otherwise the color coding is the same. Why mess with a good thing?

    BTW do corn burst really give you the fiber someone your age needs?

  8. cancerman says:

    I just went to the c-store (that’s professional lingo. We called them that when I worked for Phillips 66.) YooHoo’s have yellow lids. What does that mean?

  9. RevJATB says:

    It means they don’t exist in nature.

  10. Sara says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed, to be honest. We buy different brands of milk depending on bank balance and time we run out (bodega on the corner doesn’t have organic). organic 2% is dark blue, if I remember correctly. regular 2% is, um, green? I think the organic whole at work (for coffee) is red.

    You know, now that you mention it, milk from a green carton has always seemed weird, and I could never quite place why.

  11. RevJATB says:

    Paul, somehow your Chug comment didn’t show up until later. But yes, I love the Milk Chug. The first time the children saw it, we were having lunch at the Sneaky Pete’s in the Galleria. One of them got chocolate milk, and it was in a Barber’s Milk Chug. I know, hot dogs and chocolate milk–EWW! That’s what I said too. But then again they said EWW when I got a bag of Golden Flake Vinegar and Salt chips to go with my hot dog.

    I noticed milk at McDonald’s is in a chug. They must use Dean Foods for their dairy products, which is the parent company of Barber’s now.

  12. wtb says:

    I am sad because I have suddenly become allergic to breakfast cereal. I love Honey Bunches of Oats with strawberries or peaches. Alas–now I must eat eggs or my new favorite, croissants with cream chees and jelly. BTW–John should that be “creamed” cheese?

  13. wtb says:

    Oh Master of the EnglishLanguage and Spelling, please forgive my mispelling of cheese. I repent in ashes.

  14. wtb says:

    There I go again. No space between English and Language. Will I never learn?

  15. MISTY says:

    Finally! I’m not the only confused one out there! My son just turned one and I bought D milk. The one with RED label. I’m pretty sure it said D. However, my husband called today and said his mother (who keeps our son during the day) said the gallon of milk I bought was 2%. It has a red label! I guess I just assumed it was D because of the red label. Apparently I was wrong?

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