why is almond milk bad for the environment

Cashews also take less water to grow than almonds, and cashew milk generally has fewer calories than other alternative milks. Almonds require a huge amount of water to grow. ", Per the latest data from the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the American almond industry has been growing steadily. There are countless organizations that have sprung up over the years to help consumers understand which products have been made sustainably with bee colonies in mind, including "Bee Better," which also works to plants blooms among almond trees to promote successful seasons. Almonds are bad for the environment and using dairy farms and alfalpha to justify almond milk practices is a ridiculous comparison. Why trust us? Soy and oat milk produce slightly more CO2 but use substantially less water. Soy milk is one of the most common dairy-free alternatives. Many people are cutting back on dairy while a growing number of people are discovering that they're lactose intolerant.As the public's disdain of cow's milk grows, milk sales themselves are at a forty-year low.. Plant-based "milks" are happily stepping in to fill that vacuum and leading the charge is almond milk. When your immune system begins to identify certain substances as foreign and/or harmful it develops an allergic reaction to it. He is particularly interested in the role of probiotics in the gut-brain-skin axis and has written many articles on the topic. For smoothies and general sipping, use soy or almond milk. The Truth Behind the Decline in Bees. Hemp is naturally high in calcium, which means it does not require calcium fortification the way that other alternative milks do. Made from soaked almonds, almond milk is a rich source of vitamin E, which offers antioxidant properties and may help the brain, blood and skin. Over the last few years, almond milk has taken the Unites States by storm as a healthy and lower-calorie milk alternative. Some brands use whole soybeans, while others use soybean isolates, which are highly processed. According to Inhabitat, coconut milk, hemp milk, pea protein milk, and oat milk are generally low-impact, because they either require less water to grow or produce less emissions than other plant milks. Soy milk also contains all your essential amino acids.10 In terms of nutrition, soy milk is also the closest to cow’s milk. Almond milk is in fashion, but that doesn't mean it is good for you, or for the environment. But Sass says the popularity of almonds (everything from whole nuts to the varieties used in plant-based milks) has created even more stress, as almond farmers are "so reliant on the honeybee to pollinate their crops, exclusively. There have been a few viral articles getting a lot of attention that berate almond milk for being very unsustainable and as bad as cows milk for the environment. Itching sensation around the mouth and lips. While Kobe beef cows get massaged, American dairy cows are taking a real beating. Almond Milk. Commercial almond milks also tend to be fairly watered down, containing only 2 percent of almond. One of the big issues is water. Lactase helps break down lactose so that your body can absorb the milk sugars without gastrointestinal problems. Vegans choose to omit all animal products (including dairy) from their diets for a variety of reasons. No worse than squeezing oranges or apples etc. One final option for lactose intolerant individuals is to take digestive enzyme supplements containing lactase. The main environmental concern with almond milk seems to be the amount of water needed to grow almonds, coupled with the fact that most almond trees are grown in drought-hit California.“It takes 1.1 gallons (4.16 litres) of water to grow one almond.” (The Guardian quoted this article, which stated where they obtained their data from: Mekonnen, M. M and Hoekstra, A. Y 2011. But the biggest killer isn't the weather or a lack of food — it could be the pesticides used by all commercial farmers in their fields, even those outside of the almond industry. Food Almond Milk Is Not the Problem It’s fine if you don’t like it. Worth an estimated $2 billion last year, they now account for around 10 percent of the total milk market. For example, milk is best known for having a high calcium content combined with a healthy amount of protein. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374238, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/milk-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375101, http://www.eatingwell.com/article/290343/how-to-start-eating-dairy-free/, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/aug/07/milk-environmental-impact, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/water_use_on_dairy_farms, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dairy-health-food-or-health-risk-2019012515849, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807700/, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/393279, https://foodrevolution.org/blog/milk-substitutes/, https://nutrition.org/going-nuts-about-milk-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-plant-based-milk-alternatives/, https://www.businessinsider.com/amount-of-water-needed-to-grow-one-almond-orange-tomato-2015-4, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jesscollen/2015/07/23/is-2-almond-milk-more-confusing-than-2-cows-milk-blue-diamond-and-silk-probably-say-no/#6347f5444f56, https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46654042. Soy milk is one of the most common dairy-free alternatives. What's the best alternative milk to drink if you don't want cows' milk (or the calories) that won't completely destroy the planet? If you want more protein, soy milk is the way to go. And other almonds products, like almond … Protein-rich varieties usually come from added pea protein. We know alternative milks can last this long even if they are not maintained under the most ideal conditions,” says Paul Neumann, vice president of research and development for Califia Farms almond milk. Although rice milk is non-allergenic, it does not actually present much in terms of nutritional value. Oats are naturally high in soluble fiber. A cup of milk generally has about 250 to 350 mg of calcium. Cashew milk is another nut-based milk that is a good alternative for those who don’t like the taste of almond milk. Perhaps the best would be to avoid milk altogether, look for proper nutrition from other sources, and drink water, instead. Studies on the role of dairy products and lactose in weight gain still remain inconsistent, but sugars in liquid form are more easily absorbed in the body.7, Some proteins in milk, like IGF-1 (an insulin-like growth factor), have been shown to contribute to acne lesions.8, Whether you have an allergy or just want to live a more environmentally conscious, you can give up on dairy without giving up on milk. degree as well as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) But look past the spin and it’s easy to see that milk does a body bad. Zee Krstic is a health editor for GoodHousekeeping.com, where he covers the latest in health and nutrition news, decodes diet and fitness trends, and reviews the best products in the wellness aisle. While it does have a high concentration of calcium, almond milk is relatively low in protein, offering less than one gram of protein per cup. He graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before graduating from Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana and becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Almond milk sales in the United States have soared recently, exceeding $1 billion in 2018 a number that is expected to continue climbing 14.3 percent before the end of 2025. Flax milk is unfortunately low in protein. There currently is no cure for lactose intolerance since the body cannot be made to create more lactase enzyme.1 One option for lactose-intolerant individuals is avoidance of lactose-containing foods. is an osteopathic physician whose research interests include gastroenterology, immunology, and dermatology. Almond milk is also estimated to have more than 50 percent more calcium per cup than cow’s milk. Milk allergies are most common with cow’s milk, but they can apply to any milk from any mammal. **These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. In a world where many majestic animals are increasingly endangered due to climate change, the plight to save the honeybee may not seem as dire as it truly is. One of the biggest concerns with almond milk is its potential negative impact on the environment. Drinking almond or coconut milk is really, really bad for the planet ... any plant-based alternative to milk is better for the environment than dairy. Rice is naturally fairly high on the glycemic index, meaning that it can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar. According to Datawrapper, a single … Many brands have ice creams made from alternative milks, usually almond or coconut milk. CLICK HERE! The amount of land used in producing 200 mL of almond milk is about 1/9 the amount used in an equivalent amount of cow's milk. Jennifer Sass, Ph.D., a senior health scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says that the almond industry isn't totally responsible for the decrease of honeybees in particular. Get into the habit of checking the labels for any packaged foods that you buy. With so many benefits attached to its name, you surely feel tempted to make this drink a part of your daily diet. It’s preservative … Hemp milk is high in iron, zinc, and magnesium, and hemp itself is a highly sustainable plant. Almond milk is the most popular nondairy alternative, accounting for 64 percent of that market. Almond milk is bad for the environment, which is bad for your health. Almond milk is one of the most sought after alternative milk products. Milk allergies are distinct from lactose intolerance. "There could be a couple of unseasonably warm days in a row, and the bees in a single colony could all come out of hibernation in early spring, but they'll die because they could be missing a food source as the flowers haven't bloomed just yet.". It is low in cholesterol and if made without added sugar, it can help one reduce weight. Each plant requires around five liters of water to grow. However, some manufacturers may add artificial thickeners and flavoring agents to their hemp milk, so be aware and check the label. But what about their environmental footprint? Milk contains the natural sugar lactose. Rice milk is high in calories, most of which come from carbohydrates. Both physicians with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) The biggest obstacle tends to be the taste. However, for all its health benefits, its impact on the environment has been hefty. Almond milk has become more popular than soy milk in the U.S. (even though some store-bought almond milk may contain only about 2% almonds). Since the demand has been so high, almond growers have started to farm their fields earlier than ever. The problem with almond milk is that most of it is produced in California, where drought potential is high. If they decide to go completely organic, or use other measures to keep all chemicals and pesticides out of their fields and trees, it makes a big difference for all bees," Sass says. If they're in an area that doesn't have enough blooms, it's a disadvantage," Sass says — to worry about. Another option is to consume dairy products that do not contain lactose such as Lactaid® milk. “The 7-10-day recommended shelf life is based on optimal conditions. Dr. Bryan Do, D.O. If you want more protein, soy milk is the way to go. Are almonds bad for the environment? "People should buy organic where they can, whenever they can… Almonds are a great place to go organic, even if you eat less almonds overall, because that's how we'll solve the problem in the long run. Almond Milk’s Impact on the Environment For the U.S. and the world, California is crucial to maintaining the almond supply. One of the biggest concerns with almond milk is its potential negative impact on the environment. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Lactase is the chemical responsible for breaking down lactose, the main sugar found in dairy. ... Almond milk is the most expensive of the three, at around HK$35 for a 950ml carton. Rice milk is also generally watery and thin in consistency, making it difficult for use in cooking. And even if the farmers don't pull bees out of their hibernation period early, global warming and rising temperatures may do it for them, Sass says. The main issues associated with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, which may produce long lasting effects on the environment in drought-stricken California, where more than 80% of the world’s almonds are grown. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Is Almond Milk Bad for the Environment? Flaxseed is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Many brands fortify their soy milk with vitamins D and B12. What may be surprising, though, is that almond milk takes a toll on the environment in other ways. Calcium is naturally found in kale, broccoli, and other leafy vegetables. While sales of cow’s milk have fallen by one-third in the U.S. since the 1970s, sales of plant-based alternatives have grown 6 percent since 2012. Each American, on average, consumes more than two pounds of almonds each year, found in products like almond milk, cereal mixes, and packaged snacks (everything from sweet treats to granola bars). The two main proteins responsible for milk allergies are casein and whey. Normally when you drink milk, your body understands that it is a food and treats it as such. While lactose intolerance, also known as lactose malabsorption, is relatively harmless, its symptoms can be uncomfortable and disrupt your everyday activities. I switched to unsweetened almond milk a few years ago because I wanted to cut calories, and because dairy tends to make me feel a bit nauseous. 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