I have an arbitrary aesthetic preference for the heavier, larger milk containers and now I am wondering if there is an efficiency argument for them as well. A few times lately I've bought the smaller containers and — it seems to me — they turn out to be stale and sour pretty often. That's hardly rigorous data, but I have been pondering theory. Why might the larger containers be fresher? I can think of a few reasons:
1. If you buy three small containers instead of one large container, you might end up consuming the oldest container last, leading to a stale result. We are all sloppy in checking expiration dates.
2. The large containers are expected to sit around your fridge longer. So when they are put out on the shelf by the grocery store, there is a greater margin of error built in, vis-a-vis their freshness.
3. When shoppers choose the larger cartons, they find it harder to paw through the selection and take home the freshest, thus leaving the stalest for other buyers and increasing the variance of freshness/staleness in the overall supply. You are less likely to end up with "the leftovers."
4. Whether you buy large or small containers, there is "container overlap" in your refrigerator. With the large containers, you can (and should!) sample the quality of your next container before finishing your previous container. In doing so, you learn about the viability of your milk supply for days to come and you can react accordingly if the container-to-come is stale. You won't and shouldn't open three smaller containers to get a comparable preview of the milk-to-come across such a long time period.
Have I missed any arguments?
How many of these arguments, if any, imply that married people are happier than single people with serial relationships?