Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/179

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similar agencies of our commonwealths are striving for against heavy odds.

Two great obstacles stand in the path:

1. The difficulty, even under repeated inspection of premises on which milk is produced (inspection in some instances emanating from four or five separate sources) to induce the producer to adopt cleanly methods of production.

2. The increased cost to the consumer of milk so produced, a cost which the poor man can not and the well-to-do are disinclined to meet. For in many of our states it is doubtful if such milk as we would all like to use could be delivered at our doors, under the conditions of increased cost which prevails to-day, at 15 cents a quart and allow the farmer and the retailer each a reasonable profit thereon; for in farming, as in other lines of business, cost of production must include interest on investment, taxes, depreciation, labor, raw material (hay, grain and the like) insurance, and similar charges.

But what remedy may we hope to apply to extricate ourselves from the present dilemma? Rather than fritter away the money and energies of the various states in trying to maintain standards for fat and solids not fat which are not only impossible of attainment, but a constant menace to the farmer and a prolific source of irritation and discontent to all concerned in the milk industry. Let us now concentrate our efforts upon an endeavor to insure a pure milk supply for the children. This can best be done by taking the machinery of the state boards of health and kindred agencies now employed in cattle and milk inspections and direct their activities along the lines of a certified milk supply which has been applied with measurable success in connection with certain cities—the plan being to enlarge the scope of the work, as at present conducted, so as to include all the dairies supplying the commonwealth with milk whether situated within or without the state.

Certified milk means that a dairy has been properly inspected by trained and competent officials who give to the owner thereof a certificate allowing him to place upon the containers of milk leaving his farm (for a certain period until a subsequent inspection is made) a label indicating that the milk is absolutely clean and produced under sanitary conditions by a healthy herd.

This plan minimizes the technicalities and red tape ordinarily attending work of this nature and promises to vouchsafe to us and our children a milk supply in character consonant with the demands of the civilization in which we live, but it can not be secured unless a majority of us demand it and are willing to pay for the additional, expense which it entails.