My whole life I was a 2% girl who would drink half a gallon of milk a week. Seriously! I was raised on cow’s milk and my family believed it was the best option for us. While drinking cow’s milk is an okay choice, maybe you’re looking for something new. Now, as a college student, I have tried every alternative milk on the market. There is a multitude of milks to pick from, but I will be focusing on a few of the most popular.
Why choose alternative milk?
Personally, I choose alternative milk because my body has trouble processing lactose. Dairy, while delicious, can be painful for me, so I decided to try something new. I also am a big environmentalist who believes the dairy industry needs better regulations. Cows can suffer under the current conditions due to the corporate mindset in dairy. In addition, regular milk uses a lot of water and energy to be produced, so switching to an alternative milk can be better for the environment overall.
- Almond Milk
I believe, right now, almond milk is the number one alternative milk on the market. It can be used similarly to regular milk, while giving different health benefits. Of course, it tastes like almonds, but consumers can purchase different flavors such as vanilla or chocolate if they so choose. Almond milk is one of the lower-calorie milks if you are looking for a change in your diet. One note to make about almond milk is that it has taken a toll on the environment. It takes immense amounts of water to produce a single carton to go on the supermarket shelves. With such a demand increase, California (the main producer of almonds) has experienced major water shortages because of the product.
- Coconut Milk
Coconut milk comes from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts, which are the fruit of the coconut tree. A much thicker, creamier consistency, coconut milk is a great additive to coffee or for baking. I would not recommend drinking coconut milk on its own, because of how thick the actual milk is. It can be an odd texture for some individuals. Coconut milk is high in calories, so it is important to understand how that can change your diet. As a middle of the road milk, in terms of environmental impact, it is a fine choice for an alternative.
- Oat Milk
Out of all the alternative milks I have tried, oat milk is by far my favorite. Oat milk is water and oats blended together to create a similar consistency to regular milk. I would say the taste of oats is light in flavor and can be used just like almond milk, so it is easy to put in cereal, drink on its own or bake with. Oat milk is the best for the environment out of any alternativesl because it uses the least amount of water. Oats are also easy to grow and use less farming space compared to many nut alternative milks.