Nick knows our nation’s history — and this time it relates to Scarface himself, Chicago mob boss and #1 gangster Al Capone. Rumor has it that Capone is the responsible force behind the expiration dates on milk cartons. Prompted by kids getting sick from drinking sour milk, Capone supposedly did a good deed for Americans.
We needed to substantiate this fable, and found out it is true – indirectly. In comparing booze profits to those of milk, Capone is quoted to have said, “Honest to God, we’ve been in the wrong racket right along!” Hours of research into Chicago and mafia history finally dug up the truth about Grade A Milk and its expiration dates.
Capone indeed diversified his criminal pursuits with legitimate business ventures. He began the union-free Meadowmoor Dairies at 1334 South Peoria Street in Chicago back in 1932 and put heavy pressure on the milk wagon drivers. After many Chicago-area dairies closed their doors rather than battle Capone’s organization, Capone took on freshness. His men pressured the Chicago City Council to force milk distributors to date their products, and more than 75 years later all fish, meat and dairy products are required by law to fresh date their products.
Thanks, Al. You did a good thing for food freshness and flavor. (But we won’t comment on the rest of your dastardly deeds. . . .)