When it comes to daily life, there is always some impact on the environment, including what we might be putting into our morning coffee every day.
Recently, I came across an article describing how bad Almond Milk is for the environment, and I had to wonder, what about Cow Milk? First, however, Almond Milk seems to be one of the more popular go-to substitutes for Cow Milk, in addition to Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, and Hemp Milk, all with different tastes and nutritional benefits. All of these Cow Milk substitutes are similar in that they are non-animal lactose-free and cholesterol-free creamy milk-ish liquids. If you recall the Diamond Nuts slogan, “The Best Nuts Come from California,” then it should come as no surprise that Almond Milk in the United States also comes from California, which produces about a million tons of almonds per year.
According to Capitalism is Freedom, it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond, or about which would translate to about 460 gallons of water per pound of almonds. In turn, it takes about two pounds of almonds to make one gallon of Almond Milk, or 920 gallons of water. Considering that California is in the midst of the worst drought in the last century, one might consider this water usage a danger to the environment. Indeed, California’s annual almond crop requires some 966 billion gallons of water, which the State doesn’t have. Then, you can add the pesticides that contaminate the soil and water, and one can see that Almond Milk’s cost to the environment is high, but what about Cow Milk?
Since Cow Milk provides some nutrients that are hard to find in other foods, it remains a major part of many people’s diets, not only in the form of liquid milk, but cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and butter, to name a few. Cows, like all animals, eat and drink, but very little of what they eat goes into the actual production of Cow Milk. According to Natural News, it takes some 2,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of Cow Milk, roughly twice as much as that required to produce a gallon of Almond Milk. Add in other risks to the environment that cows represent, such as pesticides and greenhouse gas emissions, it comes down to a choice that we have to make, perhaps out of three options.
Recall that, no matter what you choose to eat, there will be a cost. If you have to drink milk, Almond Milk seems to be the lesser of the two evils to the environment, but both Almond Milk and Cow Milk, as well as any other milks, have their cost. Perhaps the best would be to avoid milk altogether, look for proper nutrition from other sources, and drink water, instead.