How Much Milk Is Too Much Milk?

Is this too much milk? Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Gather ye lactose-tolerant friends; it’s time for some milk news! During a recent CNN segment on inflation, a couple with a household of 11 (themselves, eight kids, and one foster kid) talked about the rising price of groceries and how that impacts their regular trips to the supermarket. “A gallon of milk was $1.99. Now it’s $2.79,” said one of the parents. “When you buy 12 gallons a week times four weeks, that’s a lot of money.” That’s also a lot of milk!

Twelve gallons of milk — it’s a powerful visual. It conjures images of old-timey maidens squeezing cows’ udders for eternity or that one meme. Just writing the words repeatedly — 12! Gallons! Of milk!!! — is giving me bubble gut. It is not, however, an outright unreasonable amount of milk to buy weekly for a family of nearly a dozen. If they each were to abide by the USDA’s current recommendation of three cups of dairy per day, every person could easily drink more than a gallon of milk a week. Though perhaps a bit unsettling to those of us who have not had cow’s milk in years, 12 gallons of milk, in this context, is not that much milk.

While I have some questions — where do they keep all the milk? Do they have a separate milk fridge? How bad are those farts, though? — none are of their choice in beverage. Milk all you want! Enjoy that dairy! There is much more disturbing milk news to worry about. Besides, we all have that one thing — be it food, drink, or sheet masks at Target — that we regularly buy so much of, it would be a little embarrassing to say the exact amount on national television.

What is your 12 gallons of milk? Mine is sparkling water. My husband’s is Quaker’s Oatmeal Squares cereal. I will not tell you how much of either we buy as is our legal right. With that in mind, best of luck to this family and their milk endeavors!

How Much Milk Is Too Much Milk?