Updated: Apr 19
There are so many different types of milk on the market, picking the right one can seem like tricky business. Thankfully for our own health and for the well-being of cows, many people are turning away from cow’s milk and discovering a number of fantastic alternatives.
Why are people choosing milk alternatives?
There are probably as many reasons as there are alternatives; here are a few of them;
· Plant based milks are often healthier, as they are without the antibiotics often used in the dairy industry (which are used to keep farm animals alive as disease is spread very easily in crowded and dirty conditions). Cow’s milk is also said to leech calcium from the bones and it has also been linked to prostate cancer.
· Most people are lactose intolerant (over 70% of the world’s population).
· Cow’s milk contains high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat.
· Cow’s milk is meant for baby cows and as it is not intended for humans, there are various health consequences for drinking cow’s milk.
· Cows endure tragic conditions, and will be taken from their mum very soon after birth, typically within a matter of hours or days. This is extremely difficult for the mother and baby and they will call each other for weeks. The cows are made to be almost constantly pregnant, approximately 300 days per year, inseminated on the ‘rape rack’ as it’s called in the industry. The female calves will suffer the same fate as their mothers. The male calves will often be sold for veal and endure their own tragic fates. Cows will normally be killed after 5 years, (veal after a few months) once their exhausted bodies are of no further use to the industry.
On your next trip to the supermarket you’ll find a range of alternatives to cow’s milk, such as:
Soy milk: probably the most common and my personal favourite. It tastes almost the same as cow’s milk, (but not as feet-y or cheesy) and it’s great in tea and coffee, and has an impressive nutrient profile.
Almond milk: Of course, it has a nutty taste. This goes very well with cereal or on its own, but for me not so well in tea or coffee. I feel it changes the taste of whatever you’re using it with, so if you’re a fan of a traditional tea, it might not be for you.
Oat milk: I love this one, especially the Barista Style brand.
You will also find Hemp, Coconut, Rice and Pea Alternatives to cow’s milk. I’m often trying out new brands and experimenting with different types. The Alpro brand is one I enjoy the most and I recommend this one to my clients who are looking to move away from cow’s milk.
As we move away from what we have been used to, and delve into the varied and growing world of plant based alternatives, we will discover some beautiful new flavours, and dining experiences.. if you let yourself venture very slightly outside your comfort zone.