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Which vegetable milk is best for the planet? You will be surprised

Coconut milk: The romantic tree desert island with a dark side

Coconut sounds like a vacation for a drink: It looks like something a caver (or woman) would like. Hearty, romantic, with a beautiful tree to call home! But the story is no less than the conditions of a sweatshirt, in countries with poor populations, where pickers are paid less than a dollar a day.

There is now so much pressure to meet global demand for coconuts, farmers are using shortcuts and even forcing monkeys to engage in brutal labor practices, according to a PETA report showing how animals are chained and forced to scale trees to shake the coconuts (a story of violence against animals that has attracted international attention). ̵

1; The coconut [trade] It’s an absolute tragedy and it makes me very sad, “said Isaac Emery, a food sustainability consultant. Cooking with coconut oil may be a luxury, but people have endured difficult conditions to bring it to store shelves.

Meanwhile, in order to grow coconut trees, rainforests are being cut down in favor of those rows and rows of trees that offer little for the planet’s biodiversity. According to an investigation by New York Times, between 2007 and 2014, Indonesia’s rainforests were cut down at three acres per minute to give way to coconut palms. To avoid unsustainable practices, choose coconut products that are certified for fair trade.

Rice milk: Small small water mushrooms, in a bad way

It is known that rice milk is a cheap alternative to its cousins ​​with nut milk. But this comes with a trade-off, as rice offers little in terms of nutrition or environmental benefits compared to other vegan milk. Rice absorbs water and also produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other plant milk, the Oxford study found. In addition, marshmallows also emit methane into the air and allow bacteria to grow and then be released into the atmosphere. Rice is one of the worst pollutants in terms of water.

Hazelnut Milk: A rising star from the northwest

The harmless hazelnut, the dream of chocolate lovers, comes strong. Like all nuts, hazelnuts grow on trees, and all trees — in fact, all plants — use the energy of sunlight. They take carbon dioxide from the air and water from the ground and release oxygen back into the atmosphere (photosynthesis!). So, hazelnuts outperform almonds because they are pollinated by wind, not bees. Hazelnuts come from humid environments, such as the Pacific Northwest, where the water is more abundant than dry California.

Hemp milk and flaxseed milk: Let’s hear it about the little boys.

Hemp and flax did not enjoy the stellar turn of oats and almonds, but they deserve more credit than they need to need a little water, creating a milk with a lot of protein and a lot of fiber. They are considered “niche crops” because they are grown in relatively small numbers. In general, seeds grow less than nuts and supply healthy fats, minerals and nutrients ounces per ounce.

Soy milk: After avoiding it for years, it enjoys a comeback

Soybeans benefit from resilience as well as protein content. And after being misunderstood as a plant phytoestrogen that women avoid because they worry it may increase their risk of breast cancer, recent studies show the opposite: it’s true that soy has some protective value when eaten in moderation. Recent studies have instead found that moderate amounts of soy are healthy and can actually keep hormones under control.

The main environmental disadvantage of soy milk is that soy is grown in huge quantities around the world to feed livestock for meat and dairy production. Large tracts of rainforest in the Amazon have been burned to make way for soybean farms. The workaround for this is simply to do a little research and read the cardboard box to find soy milk that is made from organic soy grown in the United States or Canada.

Oatmeal: The powerful grain crushes it and is now a favorite of all

When the last Swedish invasion came to the States a few years ago, in the form of Oatley, no one could have foreseen the love affair that was about to take place. Oat milk is not only high in protein, but also tastes like real milk. And growing oats is – at least for now – relatively low impact on the environment. Oats are healthy for you and environment. And known as a low-yield crop, which, when grown in rotation, oats creates crop diversity and reduces soil erosion and helps reduce the risk of plant diseases. The mighty oatmeal is actually a heroic grain.

Of course, as oat milk sales in the United States rose by more than $ 4.4 million in 2017 to $ 29 million in 2019, putting it ahead of almond milk as the fastest growing milk. , oats may one day become more of a commodity. But for now, there is enough oats to keep us at Oatley for years to come.

Review warning: Oats are usually grown in mass-produced industrial agro-operations, where farmers spray them with a Monstanto glyphosate roundup herbicide before harvest. Roundup, as you probably know, has been linked to cancer in some high-profile cases where jurors have awarded huge sums to plaintiffs. Still, farmers are aware of the known cases, each of which has been tried in public, but they continue to use the chemical for its effectiveness. Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, disputes that the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate – does not cause cancer in humans.

So how much of this glyphosate is really in this bowl of oatmeal or your oat milk latte? A recent study by the Working Party on the Environment tested for glyphosate and found that it was present in all tested foods containing conventionally grown oats – and even in one third of products made with organic oats. However, the popular oat milk company Oatly claims that its oats are certified without glyphosate.

So what do you order in your coffee?

Whether it’s hemp, almonds, soy or oats, you should drink the vegetable milk you like best. For Beets own taste test, take a look at our product reviews and add your own rating to the beet meter for the milk you like the most. As for the environment, as long as you stay away from cow’s milk, you are ahead of the game.

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