Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Arethusa Farm: The Dairy Built in Stiletto Shoes

"Much Like in the Fashion World, There's a Great Deal of Jealousy and Rivalry in Dairy Farming"

George Malkemus, the CEO of Monolo Blahnik, gave that quote to The Wall Street Journal, which just published an expose of one the greatest secrets of the fashion world: Malkemus and the other top-ranking executive at Monolo Blahnik, vice-president Tony Yurgaitis, run a diary farm. Called Arethusa, it produces milk that's allegedly finer and certainly costlier than most. Its 23 retail accounts include Whole Foods, where you can buy a half-gallon for $4.49 - or more than twice the national retail average. 

What you're paying for, as with Manolo Blahnik shoe, is quality. This isn't fast milk produced without thought or imagination by ripping off another dairy farmer's design - this milk comes from well-bred, very well-cared cows that are treated like ladies.

Arethusa cultivates an aura of haute-living heifers. A sign above abode reads: "Every cow in this barn is a lady, please treat her as such."

They munch on the finest, protein-enriched hay and rest upon soft wood shavings from Canada. Workers vacuum their bodies on a daily basis in a spa-like room. ("There's not a single fly" on any cow, boasts Mr. Malkemus.)

To plump up their coats and tails, cows are treated with some of the same beauty products used by ladies who lunch. Brands like Artec shampoo are slathered on dark-haired cows, while Pantene is a preferred for the blonder bovines.

One dairy farmer sneers that, while his barns may not be like the Ritz, Arethusa's milk isn't even organic since the cows get antibiotics when they're sick. So he passes Arethusa's milk off as "conventional". Fine. We all know there's nothing conventional about a cow that pays more attention to its choice of shampoo in relation to its hair color that the average human. 

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