As Brits become more conscious about the health, environmental and ethical consequences of their food consumption, a new study shows that a quarter of them are choosing plant-based milk over dairy. 23% of people in the UK used plant-based milk alternatives in the three months up to February 2019 — in 2018 it was just 19%. Women and young people are the most open to these alternatives.
As it is quite easy to find milk made from almond, oat, coconut, pea and many others on the shelves of basically all markets, it's no wonder that sales are growing exponentially. Oat milk sales have surged by a whopping 71% from 2017 to 2019, for example.
For health and environmental reasons...
There are some clear reasons for it. 37% of people between 16 and 24 years old said the reduction was due to health reasons. And they are totally right. As many scientific studies are coming to light, it's becoming harder to hide the truth: dairy products are not only unhealthy, but they're also linked to many serious diseases and even to elevated mortality rates (spoiler alert: it's not good at all for the bones!).
Environmental concerns are also playing a role, and 36% of people agreed that dairy farming has a negative impact on the environment. A University of Oxford study analyzed the environmental impact of dairy, rice, soy, oat, and almond milk, measuring emissions and land and water use. The results show that greenhouse gas emissions from dairy were three times higher than from the plant-based alternatives, and that soy and oat milk require drastically less water use. Any of the vegan milks would require at least 10 times less land use than cow' s milk.
Drinking one glass of milk a day over an entire year is the equivalent of driving a regular petrol car for 941 km and taking 703 showers lasting eight minutes. The same numbers for oat milk would be like riding the car for 270 km and taking 54 showers!
… But also because it tastes good!
But the surprising part is that people are not changing only because they're now aware of the damage the dairy industry provokes, but also because they truly believe plant-based milks add more flavour to drinks than cow’s milk! At least that's what 21% of the participants of the research said.
Three good alternatives to dairy milk
This milk alternative is one of the ones with the highest level of proteins (it contains all the main amino acids!), and also has the lowest carbon footprint! People also consume soy milk because it has isoflavones, which researchers suggest have anticancer effects. The good news is that it's usually cheap and very easy to find it in the supermarkets!
You will see that this creamy and mild-flavored milk is perfect both for hot beverages and to cook! It can be easily done at home, and therefore is a cheap alternative. Just blend together one portion of oat and 3 of water and then filter. It provides more B2 vitamins than cow's milk.
It's one of the most commonly used and has the special nut flavor mentioned by the participants of the survey. It has low calories and proteins, and less saturated fat and more unsaturated fats than cow's milk. And, you would never guess, but almond milk has more calcium than dairy and is rich in vitamin E!
Are you also concerned about your health, the environment and how animals are treated in animal farming as well? Thanks to lots of information and plant-based options, each day is easier to ditch meat, milk and eggs.