When the SHTF, certain aspects of modern life, which are most vulnerable to disruption, will fall first. Food, especially perishables, are likely to be the first to go. It’s fairly easy for the agricultural system to ramp up production of wheat or beans or whatever other crop might be in demand. Plant more acreage. If the crop is in demand, the price is higher and so more farmers will plant more acres. But increasing the supply of milk, eggs, cheese, and similar perishable foods would take much more time. And if you are rushing to the grocery store because some disaster will soon make food harder to get, you’re going to prioritize dairy along with meat and other perishables.
Most preppers know that non-fat instant dry milk is a great way to store a source of protein. But if you’ve ever used the stuff, you know it is a far cry from real milk. It does not work well in coffee, and the kids are not going to drink it instead of regular milk. Probably, it is best used in cooking and as a way to add protein and flavor to instant oatmeal.
Shelf-stable milk is a good option. I have some of the Parmalat brand, but there are others. First of all, it doesn’t need to be fat-free. I got the 1% and 2% versions. Second, the taste is pretty close to refrigerator milk, although it does have a bit of a cooked milk flavor. Add chocolate syrup for the kids. Use it in your coffee or in cooking. It’s significantly better than non-fat instant dry milk.
The main limitation of shelf-stable milk is that it keeps, without refrigeration, for months but not years. Check the “Use By” date on the package. But in any case, you will have to rotate the product on a continuous basis. And that means using this type of milk on a regular basis.
Shelf-stable milk is a more expensive than refrigerator milk, but there are not many other options. I think it is worth having a few gallons of the stuff in storage. The cost is fairly limited, and the benefit is that you have a perishable food, after it disappears from supermarket shelves.