If you’re drinking non-dairy milk, you are already ahead of the game. Let that be clear. Dairy milk from cows produce greenhouse gas emissions from their manure. This manure seep into water sources and can lend itself to be undrinkable and extremely damaging.
Below is a graph the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, depicting the greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere.
So rest assured, if you’re choosing non-dairy milk products, you’re ahead of the curve – see below graph.
However, entering the vast supermarket non-dairy milk section can be overwhelming. We’re talking cashew milk, pea milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, and probably some newly introduced product the Swede’s have crafted. And while you are doing your part by choosing alternatives, there is still work to be done within this field. Below, along with my own comments on taste and coffee compatibility, I will go over the most popular m*lk products in layman terms.
- Produces an immense amount carbon emissions when the rice field are intentionally flooded; subsequently, a high amount of water use to produce this product.
- Taste scale: 1/5. I am absolutely, NOT a fan of rice milk. It is watery, with a consistency I haven’t found helpful to cook with or drink.
- A nut product, meaning, by proxy, cashew crops require a large amount of water to come to fruition. Although, on the scale of nut milks, cashew is a more sustainable option in comparison to almond milk.
- Taste scale: 4/5. Cashew milk is creamy, billowy, but gets lost in a cup of coffee.
- Soy crops contribute heavily to deforestation. However, soy milk does not use as much water to produce in relation to it’s alternative choices.
- Taste: 5/5 in coffee; 2/5 in anything else. Soy lattes are a slice of heaven, if you live in Vancouver, get yourself to Coco et Olive on Main Street for an absolute EXPIERENCE.
- Oat milk uses 80% less land to grow than it’s dairy milk comparative. This is huge in terms of environmental friendliness. It’s greenhouse gas emissions is slightly more than almond, but is still responsible in terms of a 200ml glass emits 0.18kg of CO2e.
- Taste: 5/5. All around. This milk, is the best. Got it?
- Oh almond milk, my first true love in the milk alternative field. The water use here folk is far too much. As many almonds are produced in California, they require much more water to counteract with the lack of rain the sunny state yields; meaning, while the carbon emissions of almond milk is not substation, the water use should be a serious concern for non-dairy milk purchasers.
- Taste: 3/5. Great in cereal, terrible in coffee.
- Quite environmentally friendly! Peas don’t require much nitrogen fertilizer, being a nitrogen-fixing plant! A newer alternative to the party, pea milk doesn’t seem to contribute a whole lot to greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere at this current time.
- Taste: 1/5. NOT, a fan.