Originally Posted by Andy M.
"Quaint" is a good choice of word. With the advent of supermarkets here in the US (and elsewhere) home delivery of milk became anachronistic.
Not if you want a cup of tea first thing in the morning and you used the last of the milk in last night's bedtime cocoa (keeping up the quaint theme there with bedtime cocoa :-D).
It really is a good service. My milkman also delivers cream, butter, cheese, yoghourt, fruit juice and even bread and potatoes to order - an absolute godsend to the housebound. Deliveries are made in the early hours of the morning when it's cool and in summer I leave an insulated container out for the delivery. I don't know anyone who has caught food poisoning, TB, bruscellosis or anything else from doorstep milk and all the (rare) milk contamination "scandals" have involved milk sold in supermarkets.
Some years ago my mother's milkman noticed that the previous day's milk was still on the back doorstep and alerted a neighbour (at 3am!) who discovered my mother on the floor with a broken hip.
We aren't actually in the dark ages here. We do have supermarkets and corner shops (another anachronism?) selling milk but the supermarkets are notorious for rooking the milk producers. They use milk as a "loss leader" to get customers into the store. A number of dairy farmers in this area have pulled out of contracts to supply one of the big 5 British supermarkets because the supermarket chain reduced their payment to less than the farmers' cost of production. They now sell through a small distributor 3 miles away which buys locally direct from the farms and supplies a number of milk delivery services in the area and although the farmers sell less milk than they did under the supermarket contract they are actually better off financially. My doorstep milk costs me a penny a pint more than I'd pay in the supermarket but it's worth it for the convenience and the quality and traceability of the milk.
A further advantage to the doorstep deliveries is that the milkman delivers in glass bottles and he collects the empties for re-use. Glass is the original totally recyclable packaging material and it doesn't make the milk taste odd like plastic containers do.
Anachronistic it may be to you but it would be a great loss to many households if it disappeared here.