By Sammy Caiola
Native Foods Cafe
The age of dairy is coming to an end. Or so it seems, according to a recent TIME Magazine article about the steady decline of cow’s milk sales over the past 30 years. In its place, plant-based drinks like soy milk, almond milk and rice milk are beginning to reign supreme- a trend that we at Native are feeling pretty “glass half full” about.
It’s not that milk alternatives are anything new- they’ve always occupied a small bit of shelf space among the rows and rows of the plastic gallon jugs containing America’s former favorite beverage. But over time, consumers have grown wary of cow milk’s lofty calorie count, causing them to look for leaner, nutrient-rich alternatives.
Recent statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture show that American milk consumption decreased 25% between 1975 and 2012, while soy, almond and rice milk show an average growth rate of 11% since 1999.
Additionally, the California-based Milk Processor Education Program announced last month that it would abandon its signature “Got Milk?” campaign in favor of a new, more protein-focused campaign called “Milk Life.” The days of milk-mustached celebrities touting the importance of Vitamin D for bone health are no more.
(We love you Taylor, but you’re drinking the wrong kind of milk)
Native Foods Cafes uses this image courtesy of writinghealthy.com
It’s no surprise that the wholesome slogan has washed out. As much as I hate to say it, milk just isn’t cool anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone drinking milk with a meal.
Milk alternatives, however, are just starting to make it big. Whether you’re making an awesome dessert milkshake or a post-workout smoothie, you can always count on plant-based milks like almond, soy, rice or coconut to add a nutritional boost. They’re super tasty, and their production did not require the harming of thousands of cows in factory farms.
The non-dairy milks all have their own pros and cons, so you may have to taste around to find out which is right for you. Here’s our personal top 5:
- Almond milk
Pros: low in calories, high in vitamins A and E, zero cholesterol
Cons: low in protein
Native Foods Café uses this photo courtesy of myveganjournal.com.
- Soy milk
Pros: high in protein, high in Vitamin B
Cons: low in calcium
- Coconut milk
Pros: high in calcium, iron
Cons: low in protein, higher in fat (plus, rumor has it that 150 people worldwide die from falling coconuts each year).
- Rice milk
Pros: Great for lactose intolerance and people with allergies
Cons: Not a proper nutritional supplement, high in carbohydrates
- Hemp Milk
Pros: high in omega-3s, Vitamin D
Cons: low in protein, higher in fat
Native Foods Café uses this photo courtesy of thatfoodiegirl.com