In the consumer shift to plant-based milk that has crept upon supermarkets across America, almond milk quickly rose to the top of the competition, beating out pricier (oat milk) or thinner (coconut milk) alternatives with all of its nutty, creamy, delicious appeal. We thought, What’s not to love? But according to the internet, as of late, there is a decent amount not to love about almond milk, an amount high enough to compel dairy-free shoppers to opt for the multitude of other plant-based options instead of their previously beloved almond milk. This article will summarize what the recent beef is with almond milk and how serious (or not serious) the issues are.
Almonds are grown for almond milk primarily in California, an area currently plagued by a terrible drought. Unfortunately, the more than 1,600 gallons of water it takes to produce one liter of almond milk is not helping that issue.
Almond production requires a significantly higher amount of bees for pollination than other crops do. The crops where these bees are sent to pollinate, though, are a harsh environment. The bees experience high competition, a disruption of their natural cycle in favor of the almond season, and toxic pesticides. The resulting high mortality rates of bees in almond production contribute to a larger crisis wherein bees are dying off at alarming rates across the globe. The loss of these bees will have devastating ecological consequences. Thus, avoiding almond milk is now seen as a step towards saving the bees.
There’s always more to the story than meets the eye. Not everyone is in consensus about the new dastardly image of almond milk. However, many argue that it’s still a much better option than cow’s milk, which is more heavily associated with accusations of animal abuse, excessive resource use, and pollution.
The Almond Board of California disputes the claims of crimes against bees, arguing that the bees benefit overall from the pollination opportunities and that the board commits to ensuring the health of honey bees.
Numerous non-dairy milk options aren’t almond milk. Oat milk, soy milk, and coconut milk are some of the most popular ones. These tend to have a lower carbon footprint and less of a reputation for widespread bee-killing. Oat milk seems to be soaring in popularity currently, while soy milk’s low prices compare well to almond milk.
If you can’t bear to part with almond milk, but the recent accusations have you sweating, try doing some research for yourself before deciding on your grocery proceedings. If you’re ready to jump ship, try something new, go for it! It can’t hurt to find out whether or not coconut milk is your new latte staple. Either way, just make sure your decisions are well informed, which we at the Polar Press are always aiming to help you do.