Alternative Milks

‘Plant-Milk Craze Has Created an Oat Bubble That’s About to Burst’

Jen Skerritt and Michael Hirtzer for Bloomberg:

While consumption is robust, that expansion in planting will probably outstrip annual growth in export and milling demand. The pending glut could cause prices to collapse, said Randy Strychar, president at Vancouver-based

“You’re going to drive prices down,” Strychar said. “Once the seed gets in the ground, I’d say April, May, you’ll begin to see some declines.”
For vegans, it means cheaper oat milk and oatmeal could be on the horizon. Oat futures for May delivery in Chicago have risen 16% from a low last year. Growers in Canada, the top exporter, will boost acres by 9% to the most since 2009, according to a February report from the nation’s agriculture ministry.

“The net profit is a lot easier to pencil on oats than it is for anything else,” said Henning Wubbe, a farmer in La Riviere, Manitoba, who is doubling oat acres on his farm to 650 acres. A U.S. buyer has already agreed to purchase 80% of that future harvest.

Go, oat, go.

‘Eclipse, the Impossible Burger of dairy, is a plant-based product that’s nearly identical to milk’

Alix Wall for Berkeleyside:

Eclipse Foods is a start-up that makes a plant-based dairy alternative. It was founded in Berkeley by Aylon Steinhart, a former business advisor at the Good Food Institute who focused on innovative plant-based foods and Thomas Bowman, an award-winning chef and food scientist who developed the plant-based JUST mayonnaise. […] And it has positioned itself as “The Impossible Burger of dairy.”

“With the technology behind Eclipse, we’ve created a milk that functions like cow’s milk,” said Steinhart, a Cal graduate. “In the same way you’d use dairy milk to make sour cream, cheese or ice cream, you can make those same products with the taste, texture and functionality of the animal counterpart.” […]

So far, the company has entered the market with ice cream only, with plans to roll out cheeses and other products next year. 

I may not be looking forward to seeing the “Impossible of X” branded on everything in the next few years, but I am excited about all the products.

‘Almonds are out. Dairy is a disaster. So what milk should we drink?’

From The Guardian, the intro from Annette McGivney says it all:

For environmentally minded consumers, the news is hard to swallow: almond milk is not healthy for the planet and the popular milk substitute is especially hard on bees. Our recent investigation into the connection between California’s industrialized almond industry and a record 50bn commercial bee deaths created quite a buzz. The widely read story prompted one primary response from readers: “What should we be drinking instead?”

This is a thorny question, and food sustainability experts are reluctant to single out any one plant milk as best because all have pros and cons.

But we’re going to try.

One thing is clear. All milk alternatives are far better for the planet than dairy. A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Oxford showed that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk and it consumes nine times more land than any of the milk alternatives. (Land is required to pasture the cows and grow their feed, which the animals belch out in the form of methane.)

This article has a great milk-by-milk breakdown of how the alternatives are made and what they are doing to our climate.