Thursday, April 2: The Taste of Now

I have never been able to understand the older generation’s obsession with milk. I don’t have any health or social issues against milk; I just think it’s kind of pointless when it’s not being used to create cheese or yogurt. But my mom’s generation can’t get enough of the stuff. The good news is (if you’re lucky to live near Cortland) you can suddenly now get milk delivered to your home by actual farmers who drive trucks and deliver your milk subscription to you. They call these people… milkmen.

“We’re pretty old-fashioned,” Branden Brown said. “So I love that old-fashioned simple mentality of home delivery. People are buying local now. We’ve always wanted to do it, but when was the right time? This is helping people right now. People are very forgiving if you don’t get it quite right. What better time to try it?” So, as of last week, the milkman returned to Cortland for the first time in years, offering home delivery for Trinity Valley’s milk and a host of other products.

It isn’t just milk that people want:

Local farms and slaughterhouses have experienced a surge of customers — M&M Meats in Batavia was even too busy to spend a few minutes on the phone to talk to The Daily News on a recent weekday. Owner Michelle Solpietro of the Warsaw Meat Packing Company, said she’s seen demand spike a lot for things she has in her freezers and coolers, as well as what she can order in.

For me, listening to people preaching about “localism” (in a vague sort of “I read it in a think piece” way) was always kind of like drinking a glass of milk: sort of bland, tasteless and white. Now that there may or may not be anything on the shelves at Wegmans — we’re all too scared to go see — having milk deliveries seems like a capital idea. Up with localism! Hooray for farm-to-doorstep delivery! It’s time for all of us to admit we were wrong, not just Cuomo. There’s something about the nothing on one’s grocery shelves that changes one’s opinions on food and supply chains pretty quick.

(Speaking of Wegmans, can it be possible that everyone’s favorite grocery chain is not putting its employees first? Rochester’s Rachel Barnhart, now a Monroe County legislator, has asked Wegs to allow its workers to wear PPE. Late on Wednesday, Wegmans finally agreed.)

We thought that farm co-ops would be mostly providing fresh fruit and vegetables for people in the “Old Future” (the 21st century that people imagined as recently as last month). Deliveries of milk and meat, maybe even flours and grains, weren’t touted as much. Those types of things were bound mainly for fancy farm-to-table restaurants in the Old Future, not for people’s home use. But these days, with everyone wondering if the coronavirus will come back around for seconds, is it possible that we actually saw Peak Restaurant in the year 2019? (Was the sheer amount of restaurants and heaping amounts of food being served in public even really… normal?)