Category Archives: Milk

Which milk alternative should we be drinking?

BBC Future – Feb 10, 2020 – Kelly Oakes

Plant based milk

Milk drinkers are turning their backs on dairy in favour of plant-based milks billed as kinder to the planet. Are they all more sustainable than cow’s milk?

You don’t need to go far today to find some kind of plant-based milk. Soy and rice milk are no longer confined to the dusty shelves of health food stores, and other substitutes like oat, coconut, and even hemp milk are now widespread in coffee shops and supermarket aisles.

While in the past those who opted for almond rather than dairy milk might have done so to take a stand for animal rights or because they’re lactose intolerant, many people are now switching to plant-based milks in response to the growing climate crisis. So which one is actually best for the environment? And how do they stack up against dairy in terms of nutrition?

The good news is that most – perhaps all – non-dairy milks come out better than cow’s milk when you look at their carbon emissions, how much land they take up and how much water they use.

Joseph Poore, a researcher at the University of Oxford, published a study in 2018 which looked at the environmental footprint of some food and drink. Later he extended the analysis to include plant-based milks, looking at the impact of soy, oat, rice, and almond milk on the environment. He found that all of those plant milks fared better than cow’s milk.

In terms of carbon emissions, almond, oat, soy, and rice milk are all responsible for around a third or less of the emissions dairy milk puts out, with almonds the lowest of the bunch at 0.7kg per litre, followed by oat (0.9kg), soy (1kg), then rice (1.2kg). Dairy milk is responsible for 3.2kg of emissions per litre of milk.

Land use shows an even more dramatic split, with nine square metres of land needed to produce just a litre of dairy milk, compared with less than a one square metre for plant-based milks, ranging from 0.3 sq m for rice milk to 0.8 sq m for oat milk.

Even almond milk, a notorious water-hogger, takes less water to produce than dairy – needing on average 371 litres of water per litre of milk produced, compared to dairy milk’s 628 litres. Rice milk follows shortly behind, needing 270 litres of water per litre of milk. Soy and oat, on the other hand, need just 28 and 48 respectively.

In fact, for some plant milks, the environmental impact of the crop itself is almost negligible in comparison to dairy. “The environmental impact of the milk itself, the soy milk and the oat milk for example, is so small that it is actually the packaging and the transport that becomes the dominant component,” says Poore.


Tim Hortons and Coca Cola received Federal licence allowing for sole source U.S. milk

Press Release: Council of Canadians, Cobourg and Peterborough, Ontario – Sept 16, 2019

An investigation carried out over the summer by the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians (CofC) backed by the CofC’s Peterborough-Kawarthas Chapter, has uncovered a corporate end-run around Canada’s Supply Management system for dairy. The epicentre of this national-level scheme is the city of Peterborough along with the ridings of Peterborough-Kawartha and Northumberland-Peterborough South.

This corporate maneuver involves Tim Hortons (TH is Brazilian owned) as well as Coca Cola and fairlife (both U.S. owned), which in 2018 surprisingly received a federal distribution licence allowing for sole-sourced U.S. milk to be used in Tim Hortons’ bottled ice coffee products sold in corner stores, supermarkets and gas bars across Canada [not to be confused with the use of 100% Canadian milk in TH’s coffee shops].

This corporate end-run is currently preventing Canadian dairy farmers from having greater market access for their milk. A Coca Cola/fairlife milk processing plant under construction in Peterborough could provide that access for local farmers once it is in operation in 2020, but there have been no firm commitments from these companies. 

The average Canadian consumer might assume that milk in TH bottled ice coffees currently distributed by Coca Cola/fairlife would have the same level of purity as milk under Canada’s regulated dairy system, but they would be mistaken. Via TH’s bottled ice coffees Canadians are (unknowingly?) consuming a milk product from the U.S. where the laws governing the use of antibiotics and growth hormones on cows are lax.

The Canadian government made major concessions on dairy in the NAFTA 2:0 negotiations, and this end-run represents an early beach-head example presaging more difficult times ahead for Canada’s farmers should the ‘new’ NAFTA be ratified.

A dissatisfied U.S. Congress has now opened up NAFTA 2:0 for further negotiation and Canada should do the same to reverse the damaging concessions made on dairy.

In a detailed letter two local Chapters of the Council of Canadians ask both MPs to:

>Get a guarantee from the three corporations to sole-source milk for the Peterborough plant from local dairy farmers;

>Requisition a copy of the 2018 federal distribution licence, and make it public;

>Show leadership in re-opening NAFTA 2:0 and ‘walking-back’ dairy concessions.


Note: For a version of the detailed letter delivered to Forthe MPs –

Is milk pasteurization OBSOLETE? New low-temperature treatment promises 60 days of fresh milk in your fridge without “cooking” it

Natural News –  May 04, 2019 by: Isabelle Z.

When it comes to milk, you generally have two choices: You can get fresh milk and consume it quickly before it goes bad, or you could get UHT milk that can stay on the shelf unopened for months on end and accept the compromise in flavor and potential digestion problems this option brings.

Soon, however, consumers may not have to make this choice as an Australian company has announced a new technique that can extend the shelf life of fresh milk to more than 60 days.

The company, Naturo, doesn’t rely on the high heat used in pasteurization, and the resulting milk is said to retain its natural color and taste just like it came right from a cow.

Although the company hasn’t released a lot of details, likely due to confidentiality reasons, they have said they based their process on existing technologies and it does not involve the addition of additives or preservatives. The company’s CEO told ABC Australia that they don’t use the aggressive pasteurization process of heating to 162 degrees Fahrenheit followed by homogenization.

The treatment has already gotten the stamp of approval from Australia’s Dairy Food Safety Victoria, and it meets the standards for killing any pathogenic microorganisms that could be present in the milk. In fact, they say it kills off even more pathogens than pasteurization does, including Bacillus cereus, which isn’t always removed in pasteurization. Best of all, it does this while retaining vitamins and enzymes.

The same company also came up with an air pressure process that can preserve avocados and prevent browning, and it is possible the milk procedure works on a similar principle. Naturo CEO Jeff Hastings said: “It is safer, better for you and lasts longer. The primary difference between our milk and pasteurized milk is the fact that we don’t ‘cook’ the milk to make it safe for human consumption. Our milk is much closer to milk in its original state and is independently proven to be nutritionally superior.”