How sustainable is plant-based milk?
You want to make your life more sustainable and also do something good for your body? Have you often thought about switching to plant-based milk? We explain in more detail what options are available and whether the alternatives are really more sustainable.
In recent years, the market for plant-based milk has grown by 20%. More people are switching to a sustainable option, the reasons vary. Some get stomach aches or acne from cow’s milk, while others want to do something good for the environment and avoid animal products more. But one thing is clear: the plant-based milk industry is growing.
Those who are still unsure about changing argue mostly with the calcium aspect. But would this mineral really be missing or are there not alternatives to compensate for the calcium? Healthy is a daily calcium intake of 1000 mg. Also, plant foods naturally contain a lot of calcium, such as legumes, dried fruits, seeds, and nuts.
But one of the biggest points to switch or reduce your own milk consumption should be factory farming, which is quite harmful to the environment. One liter of cow’s milk burns almost 2.4 kg of carbon dioxide. These are as many greenhouse gases as the combustion of one liter of gasoline.
But what does the eco-balance look like for plant-based options?
Producing soy milk requires 60% less land and produces 75% fewer greenhouse gases. However, the energy consumed in the production of soy milk in the industrial plants is almost as high as in the production of cow’s milk. Most of the time soy milk was produced in Europe.
Oat milk can be grown in a very climate-friendly way and requires 80% less land. During production, the oat milk requires 60% less energy than cow’s milk
Rice and almond milk, on the other hand, score lower than the other options. Even though greenhouse gases are lower, 17 times more water is needed for cultivation. The almonds come mostly from California.
In general, it can be said that all plant-based products have a better eco-balance than cow’s milk. Even if it is ecologically good, it is not necessarily better for the body. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention to the small print when buying the plant milk, what is really inside. Or maybe even make it yourself? That is not as difficult as you might think.
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