Vi-Co - A Milk By Any Other Name
Initially Vi-Co was an American brand name and was being imported, but a couple of years after its introduction onto the market, Co-op Dairies purchased the name and began selling Vi-Co in the grocery stores. I recall seeing it sold in round paper containers and glass pint returnable bottles. I was amazed to see a full quart bottle of it. It was about that time that Co-op dairies introduced the high shouldered glass milk bottle that was more square in shape then the familiar round glass milk bottle. It seems funny now even to recall it, but there was considerable buyer resistance to wax coated paper milk cartons. I remember George McClement, manager of the Co-op store shaking his head and wondering what the world was coming to with the disappearance of real milk bottles. People felt the milk tasted difference in the paper cartons and my dad was most put off when a large lump of wax landed on his corn flakes one morning.
The evolution of dairy products was not a smooth performance because it was quite a major change to pasteurised milk but homogenised milk was revolutionary. It tasted difference and there was no cream to skim off. The introduction of 2% then 1% is a very recent event and now you can not find whole milk as such, on the dairy shelf as it is now labelled as 3%. One of the most interesting dairy products was UHT (ultra high temperature) milk that was sold off a non-refrigerated shelf beginning in late 1979. This odd tasting milk was a real break through as it had an extended shelf life and was fully nutritional, however it is rare to see it in stores today.
I was amazed recently to see strawberry, banana and other less memorable flavoured milks in convenience stories and now the old and familiar Vi-Co competes with a whole range of other chocolate milks, some of which claim to be milk shakes and some carry candy bar name brands. Over the years a whole system of legends have grown up around chocolate milk, everything from affecting children's teeth to causing hyperactivity and worse. All of these are foolishness because milk is the main component and though we all assume milk is the perfect food it is a great source of calcium and vitamin D but a surprisingly large number of people do not have, or lose the enzyme necessary for the digestion of milk products. The trendy thing to describe this situation is "lactose intollerant". Among North American aboriginal people, as many as one in five have a difficult time getting the nutrition from cows milk.