What if buying fresh milk from local cows were as easy as getting a Sprite? It is in Europe, of course (an entire continent seemingly dedicated to inspiring jealousy).

Modern Farmer reports that raw milk vending machines are commonplace in countries like France, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Expat Rebecca McCray raves that not only do local farmers own all of Slovenia’s raw milk vending machines, or mlekomats, but the unpasteurized stuff simply tastes better:

[T]he unskimmed milk from the mlekomat is utterly unrecognizable compared with the bluish, watery counterpart I bought in the U.S.

True that. Skim milk is nobody’s idea of a good time.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Of course, there are some problems with quality control. Mlekomats automatically stop selling milk if it hits an unsafe temperature — even texting the vending machine owner a real-time alert! — but as Rutgers professor Don Schaffner told Modern Farmer, some pathogens can thrive even if the milk is refrigerated. (Exhibit A: Italy’s problems with raw milk pathogens.)

Sure, drinking raw milk could kill you. But cigarettes can too, and they’re still in vending machines across America.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.