Canadians And Their Curious Milk-Dispensing Ways

February 2nd, 2010 | 16 comments | Posted by Jen

I spent five years of my early childhood in Canada, and when we eventually moved back to Texas, one of the things that really tripped me up was how no one in the States drank milk out of a bag. The first lunch at my American elementary school was totally traumatic because I didn’t know how to open a milk carton. I observed the other kids opening theirs and tried faking it, but I wound up trying to open it from the wrong end, only to make a papery mess of things. I’m pretty sure the other kids thought I was retarded.

(The other lunchtime item I had never encountered during my time in the Great White North? Tater tots. A travesty!)

Years later, someone is finally exposing this great cultural divide. Phew.

[via BuzzFeed]

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16 Responses to “Canadians And Their Curious Milk-Dispensing Ways”

  1. clawd says:

    Oh man, I got such a kick out of this. I definitely remember drinking milk out of a bag as a child and watching this video was strangely comforting. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    P.S. Had the same challenge initially too. In your (my) defense, the direction in which to open a milk carton was never clearly marked. Those red arrows were sooo small.

  2. chuchumeister says:

    I grew up in Louisiana and we always had little milk bags with school lunch. The only exception was skim, which came in cartons for whatever inexplicable reason.

    My boyfriend grew up in Texas, though, and he was baffled to hear of milk in a bag.

  3. isaacakira says:

    Here in Brazil, I had milk in a bag when I was a kid too. Still we can find 1 liter milk bag, but nowadays it’s a little rare.

  4. Friggles says:

    I too spent time in Ontario. About a week. Playing mini golf w/my buddy Freddy and two babes from Ohio. I was once bitten on the finger at said golf course while feeding peanuts to a raccoon and was told I spazzed out, collapsed and somehow brought down Freddy’s Bermuda shorts w/me. (I calmed down considerably when told I didn’t have rabies.) Anyhoos, I was always baffled at why orange juice was served in those rubber hospital gloves,and when filled resembled something out of ‘Yellow Submarine’. Canadians just have a different way of dispensing things. It’s like harking back to the days of Gov’ issue products that is still a novelty to Canadian hipsters maybe?

    Please Discuss-

  5. cindixd says:

    Wow those bags are big. I was thinking it was small like what @chuchumeister said. I grew up in Philly and all the schools in Philly served milk out of little plastic bags but then when I moved up to the suburbs, no one even heard of bagged milk. I guess I got the best of both worlds? heh

  6. dhuang says:

    Bags!? Bags?! WTF? Is there no end to the lunacy?!!? Canada is going milk bags up, as the English say.

  7. prometheus says:

    wow, yeah, that’s new to me. I was over in Ontario before and I’ve never seen that… and I’m still up in Canada and I haven’t seen that either!

    (grew up with cartons)

  8. dalianmoon says:

    I’m surprised we don’t drink milk from a bag here. I live about 1/2 hour from Windsor, and we have a lot of Canadian culture find it’s way here. Growing up, our TV was always on CBC. We watched the Canadian Sesame Street (like the regular one, but with some French in it.) I listen to a lot of Canadian music artists, and I adore the Kids in the Hall! My favorite coffee is from Tim Hortons. But somehow, milk in a bag never caught on in Michigan.

  9. Calvin says:

    *ahem* It seems needlessly complicated. >_>

  10. johnminh says:

    dalianmoon: I love Tim Hortons’ coffee. I want me some double double! Unfortunately, we don’t have that here in Texas. =(

  11. Cindy says:

    I’ve never had milk in from a bag. Thank you for this tidbit of enlightenment. However, I couldn’t quite get past the demonstration of how to combat the problems with the bag and making a precise cut of the opening. Wouldn’t be easier to empty the contents of the bag into the pitcher and then avoid all the nuances of pouring angles etc? Just saying.

  12. cabear says:

    Wow that seems like a lot of work for milk. luckily i’m lactose intolerant so i won’t be messing with all that.

  13. dalianmoon says:

    johnminh,
    My favorite is a small double double with a shot of hazelnut. Being pregnant, though, I have to settle for decaf, which isn’t the same. :-(

  14. sarahsome says:

    i lived in southern mexico from ages 5 to 8 (my parents are missionaries) and we had milk in bags down there too. i remember the small neighborhood grocery stores sold soft drinks in bags too, with a straw. i never heard of any other place that had that. i’ve always thought it was just more cost efficient or something like that.

  15. tamioka says:

    I’m Canadian too (from Ontario no less) and it’s pretty much standard to buy milk in bags if you want/consume more than 2L of milk within like 3 weeks. Also, it’s definitely more cost efficient since you’re pretty much buying milk in bulk and the materials are cheaper.

    hah but everything she mentioned is true!! The corner cut is crucial to the amount of milk that pours out. Also, it’s just easier to leave the milk in the bag and I guess keeps it fresher. Oh and I don’t think we’ve ever had those missing children photos on our milk cartons…or was that just a short-term American thing? Yeah, we Canadians just love to do everything differently!

  16. Tristan says:

    Wait a second … paper cartons are better if we’re talking about carbon footprints.

    But yeah, lactose intolerant here. Is it the same for soy milk??

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