Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bad (Rice) Dreams

Dear Hain Celestial Group, makers of Rice Dream:

I really like your product because it's safe for my dairy-allergic children and contains all the calcium and vitamin D that they need. And they like it too.

But I really wish that you had a bit better quality control over your product, at least in this 2-litre carton size. To explain a little better, here's a photo of the tea that I made this afternoon.

When I opened the carton, the milk was separated, and the liquid on top was clear. I shook it up to try to turn it back into a suspension, but totally failed, as you can see from what it did in my cup of tea.

There's no way I can serve this to my kids. They're picky eaters as it is, and to have their milk be lumpy and, dare I say, textured, might turn them off milk altogether. Really, milk should pour and splatter, but it shouldn't plop down in chunks.

I could go for the soy alternatives, but I'm not fond of putting too much soy into their diets, as this story will explain. They're little boys; I don't need to be putting too much estrogen into their systems and possibly screwing up their reproductive organs.

And they do drink calcium-enriched orange juice, but there is such a thing as too much juice. As well, I dream of a day when they can drink regular milk, and eat cheese for the calcium, so I do want them to keep drinking something that looks like milk.

I'm blogging this petty incident because this isn't the first carton of milk to do this to me. There was a run of bad milk for about a month last summer. Then last week, we returned three cartons to the grocery store. Tomorrow, I'll be taking two more back to the store. (To answer additional questions -- the expiry date is August 24, as you can see in the photo -- and I know that my husband bought the milk and brought it home right away, because he also bought ice cream in the same trip, and it didn't melt.)

As you all know, taking a 6- and a 3-year old to the grocery store isn't a simple chore. The 6-year-old is better now, but they both get bored, they both get annoying, and they both beg for every single candy and treat on the shelves. Taking them to the store and lining up to return *milk* is a form of parental torture.

So this is my plea -- whatever is broken over the summer months, please fix it so that I don't dread opening up your next carton of milk because I don't know that it will be drinkable. I don't like the taste of your competitors' product, but I also don't like feeling like a hostage to your poor quality control.


ChupieandJ'smama said...

ACK! I hate when that happens. And it happens with soy milk too. I think all of the manufactures have gotten on the lazy side ;)

Shawna said...

It's not the milk.
If you pour rice or soy milk into a hot beverage it will often curdle.
You need to pour your milk into a cup and then slowly add your brewed tea.
Have you tried NATURA rice milk. They have the best flavor by far.

andrea said...

Oh no! It's really difficult to feel trapped to using a certain product simply because you think there's no other better option. My son has allergies too and it's true that it can be limiting. It's such a hassle to bring them to their pediatric ENT so finding a good product is a must!

S Malik said...

I think Shawna's idea is a good one. But at the end of the day you have to remember it is not regular milk and its bound to show up sometimes.

Libby said...

Have you contacted the manufacturer? I haven't had any problems with rice milk, but when I got multiple containers of moldy soy yogurt (yuck!) a few years ago, I contacted Silk via their website, and they promptly sent me coupons for replacements.