Leaving the milk out in the United States is completely unacceptable. It’s disgusting! Some people are even paranoid about milk not being in the deepest, coldest part of the refrigerator so it doesn’t go bad. I once put milk away in my cupboard with my protein powder instead of refrigerating it (I don’t always think so good when I get back from workouts), and when I finally found the milk again, the jug was all puffed out like a balloon, and disposing the milk (gotta recycle!) just completely stunk up my sink.
In a hostel in Italy, a couple other travelers (I think they were American) were telling us about how you’re not supposed to refrigerate European milk or orange juice. They said it was due to some “pasteurization process.” I put two and two together (they’re Americans so they get confused and don’t realize it, and they use vague scientific sounding phrases that they probably don’t understand) and just assumed that they were just confused. As it turns out, however, they were right! Europeans don’t refrigerate milk and orange juice, and it is due to their pasteurization process.
So on that note, isn’t it kind of ironic that pasteurization in Europe yields milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated while milk in the US still needs to be kept cold? Isn’t the whole idea of processing and preserving things for better shelf-life a very American concept? Isn’t that why foreigners find our cheese so offensively bland (all the bacteria’s dead!)