Veganism or plant-based lifestyle; many have embraced as a ‘cool-new trend’, some due to ethical and sustainability reasons and a lot many due to health purposes. With time, the popularity and the confusion around the concept have grown immensely. There is a constant tug-of-war between people who lead a plant-based life and those who don’t. There have been numerous points of contention between the two lifestyles but now there are questions regarding the sustainability and ethics of various plant-based products too.
A while ago an article published by The Guardian on how the commercial farming of Californian Almonds is responsible for the deaths of almost 50 billion bees created quite a buzz. 80% of the world’s supply of almonds comes from California. Over the years the demand for the nutritious nut has been increasing too, thanks to the rise of Veganism. Out of all the dairy-free alternatives, almond milk is particularly popular due to its high calcium content. But, did you know that almost 100 almonds are used to make one liter of milk? After this article came out, people were again left confused as to “What milk should they drink instead?” So people at Guardian again got to work, did some digging and found this….
Coconut milk: however exotic and healthy, is native to tropical countries, where the poor growers don’t get paid enough (less than $1/day!).
Almond milk: Commercial farming of almond renders it deadly for the bees.
Rice milk: Its nutritional value is questionable and in a water-deficit world, this one is quite a thirsty crop.
Hazelnut milk: This nutritious nut variety is a rising star in the plant-based milk arena.
Hemp and Flaxseed milk: These belong to what is hailed as the ‘niche’ category of milk alternatives and are high in protein and healthy fats.
Soy milk: The OG plant-based milk. Some questions arose about the relatively high concentration of certain hormones that are similar to human hormones which caused a dip in its popularity but the truth is that one would have to consume an impossibly large amount of soy milk and tofu for that to ever be a problem. So soy milk is back in the game.
Oat milk: Its popularity is on the rise and this one performs very well on the sustainability metrics…