Found at: Coop
My first week living on my own, I went out and did a massive food shop. The grocery store was not nearby, I didn’t have a car, and I didn’t know the bus routes, so I stumbled home under the weight of all my groceries, sweating and swearing and vowing never to make the same mistake.
Having never shopped for myself alone, I had instead shopped the way I had been raised to shop: buying the standard portions for a family of four. I bought all the standards of our grocery list – a dozen eggs, a brick of cheese, two loaves of bread, and a gallon of milk – never once considering that I was now free to buy what Iliked.
And as it turns out, what I didn’t like was milk.
So, that gallon of milk that I’d dragged for a mile spoiled in the fridge – and I was baffled. I had always assumed that I drank milk. We had always bought milk, after all, and at the end of the week the milk had always been gone. Milk was just something you drank in the same way that air was just something your breathed. So why was it that there could be milk in the fridge to spoil?
And it was this confusion as I poured out a gallon of sour dairy into the sink that led me to an “ah ha” moment in my life. I realized that I was no longer part of a collective. For the first time ever, I was an individual whose choices were shaped by my own thoughts and feelings and not by the needs of others. I did not have to buy milk because Idid not like it. I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t allergic to it, I just did not drink it and that reason was enough.
So, I never bought milk again. In the intervening years I’ve experimented with all sorts of non-dairy milk substitutes. I’ve tried almond milk and Soy Joy and cashew milk, more out of curiosity than as a replacement for the milk I don’t drink. They’ve liked them all, but never enough to want to keep one handy in the fridge – but Oatly might be an exception.
I was surprised when Emil recommended that we get some Oatly. He’s been sniffy about its place as the next new health food because it’s “old hat” in Sweden: “We’ve had it for years and NOW all the hipsters have found it so its suddenly a big deal.” As for myself, I am too stubborn to buy it on my own, avoiding it for the same reason I avoid Chia seeds, silver hair, and Tevas. I refuse to follow even the smartest trends precisely because they are trends. If everyone else was fleeing a tsunami, I’d probably go to the beach and get swept away just to prove a point. I’m working on it.
But Emil wanted it and I relented. And I’m so glad that I did. It is SO good. It’s just about the creamiest milk substitute I’ve ever tasted. Its smooth and very faintly sweet and I can just sit back and have a cup on its own. I’d even put this in my coffee that I’ve always taken black. For the first time, I’ve found a milk-like-substance that I enjoy on its own and not just as an ingredient in something else.
And once again I’ve had an “ah ha” moment. Maybe being a stubborn individualist is not always in my best interest. After all, I don’t like milk, I don’t need milk, but I do like this. Maybe those hipsters are onto something.