Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ohne Abkühlung=Without Refrigeration?

Englisch bitte! Okay fine.....

This had been bugging me for a while so I thought finally I would do a little research behind it. When I'm at the German grocer, I notice that there is milk on the shelves. Just, hanging out.....GASP! Not in the cooler/refrigerated section?! What is up with that!? Upon further inspection I noticed eggs, as well, were not refrigerated. Some milk is still kept in the refrigerated section, but a lot of it is sitting on shelves.

Being American, this seemed very strange and dangerous. I thought to myself that maybe the milk was evaporated milk, or maybe soy or almond milk (By the way, is there a German grocery where I can by Almond Milk?). When it came to the eggs, I thought maybe they are hard boiled? I was stumped. But, every time I would get home I'd forget to look it up. Finally, this Sunday it occurred to me to get my tush to the computer and do it! So I revved up the Google search engine and found out these interesting things:

The non-refrigerated milk on the shelves is ultra pasteurized and then sealed in Tetra-packs (same company that does many of the milk cartons in the US), making it fine to store in the market at room temp and at home at room temp. If taken home and refrigerated, it is recommended to stay kept in refrigeration. I don't know the science behind it, but there it is.

If eggs are just brushed off after they've been collected (not washed off) they can stay out in room temp or on a kitchen counter for about 14 days. Many Europeans recommend leaving them out on the counter for better flavor.

Apparently people who buy their eggs at a farmers market or have hens at home do this all the time. I don't know the science behind it. From what I gather from popular opinion on the internet, it's perfectly fine to do here in Europe & some farmers stateside who sell their eggs at farmers markets recommend to leave them on the counter to have the best tasting hard boiled eggs. That being said, many folks say because of the US practice of mass producing eggs/keeping chickens in close quarters /not corn fed/chemically treated can cause more risk of salmonella and things like this. I found no proof of this, just a theory by many. By the way, if there are any foreigners reading this, not ALL American eggs are produced this way. Get over yourselves! There are many producers that use the good old fashioned methods. I think in Sacramento, laws just passed for folks to legally keep chickens in their backyard. I used to go to the farmers market every week to get my eggs. I'd get close to 30 eggs for $3.99. Cheaper than the grocery store. Plus, Joshua preferred the brown ones... I have no idea why. I did too when I was a kid.

The non-refrigerated milk thing freaked me out a bit. Especially because if milk is not pasteurized correctly/stored correctly people can get REALLY sick and die. But, at the same time, I thought back to not so long ago when people got their milk from the milk man everyday. What happened if the milk man delivered the milk and no one was home? Did the milk go bad sitting out all day? Obviously if people were getting sick all the time, the milk man would have been out of a job. I read something too that people used to put silver coins in their milk jugs to prevent the growth of bacteria? Is this true? Are US regulations on milk and eggs just outdated? Is it truly healthier to refrigerate our dairy and eggs? The Europeans have been drinking non-refrigerated milk for about a decade now and are still going strong.

In the US it's gaining a little momentum (ever go to Costco and buy the organic chocolate milk packs by Horizon?).

Needless to say, this question has led to many more questions. Any thoughts? If the benefits outnumber the risks, what a fabulous energy conservation idea (which, maybe isn't such a "new" idea).

Again, I don't know the science around it all... so I don't recommend folks just start leaving their things out, but it's still a good thing to look into I think.


  1. Very interesting Nicole!!! Hmmmm....

  2. I have always wondered about the eggs. My friends who raised chickens always had them out. Now I know. Thanks for going to germany to figure it out for me!