Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Saturday, 5 May 2007


This is what our doorstep looks like in the morning.

In Norwich one day a week my doorstep looks like this.

Five minutes after fetching the milk in from the doorstep this is what my glass of milk on the breakfast table looks like.

From the cow to my breakfast, maybe 24 hours? Now that's what I call cold fresh milk. (I suppose it would be even better if I could go and fetch it warm from the cow).

I was thinking of taking a photo of one of my neighbour's doorsteps, with the blue recycling box piled high with plastic milk bottles: bottles which have doubtless been fetched from the supermarket by car, and will now be carried empty to some distribution place and sent back to China or somewhere for turning into more plastic things we don't want, before being shipped back here again.

Now this seems to me to be just mad. We could all have our milk delivered daily in clean glass bottles, clean milk with no contamination from the chemicals they use in plastics which leech into the contents of the containers. Of course the known ones of these (phthalates, which have been shown to cause hormone disruption, and are implicated in breast cancer etc) are now controlled and not permitted in most food packaging, but do you know what else they're putting in the plastic? When did you last think about how milk from plastic bottles always tastes of plastic? I guess people get used to it, and cease to find it disgusting.

But it seems to me highly likely that these kinds of pollution may have quite a lot to do with the increasing incidence of intolerance to milk. And asthma, and eczema. Why is it that so many children today can't drink milk? When I was young every child drank a third of a pint of milk every day at break time, from a glass bottle with a paper straw (no phthalates, no plastic chemicals) and they were healthy and happy.

No one had a milk intolerance. Is that a co-incidence?

1 comment:

Annie said...

Well quite. The same can probably be said of chemicals in bread and gluten intolerances…