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Yes, it’s National Milk Day. A holiday that was set in place, according to the National Milk Producer’s Federation, in order to commemorate the day in 1878 when milk was first delivered in sterilized glass bottles to homes throughout the United States. So, in honor of the history of milk’s impact on this country, grab a big, tall glass of the non-dairy milk of your choosing — because haven’t you heard? Dairy milk has been going out of style for quite some time now. According to Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet, “U.S. milk consumption has been steadily declining by 25 percent per capita since the mid-1970s. Americans, on average, drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA.” The consumption of non-dairy milk is now at an all-time high, with almond milk leading the way. In just five years, the almond milk industry grew 250 percent to more than $894.6 million.

People are replacing dairy with their favorite non-dairy beverage so quickly that the dairy industry is fighting back. Recently, 32 members of Congress issued a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration arguing the case that the only milk out there that can legally be called “milk” comes from a cow. Desperate, much? Unilever already attempted a maneuver like when they attempted to sue plant-based food company Hampton Creek on the grounds that their vegan mayonnaise, Just Mayo, was in direct violation of the legal definition of “mayonnaise” because “real mayonnaise” must contain eggs. The whole ordeal was a beautiful, poetic fail. The lawsuit was quickly dropped and not too long after that, Unilever released their own brand of vegan mayonnaise — sorry, we mean Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread.

But the dairy industry doesn’t seem as ready or willing to concede their stronghold on the term “milk”  and “join ’em” in the non-dairy trend. We’ve seen the industry attempt to bolster sales through its Milk Life campaign, where celebrity athletes tout the benefits of a big glass of cow’s milk. Guess they haven’t heard of pea milk yet, which has eight times the protein of almond milk50 percent more calcium than dairy milk, and a third of the saturated fat.  Considering that maintaining a dairy farm requires 3.4 million gallons of water EVERY DAY and the average farm is the source of tons of air and water pollution, we also just can’t ignore the massive environmental impact of the dairy industry. Considering a glass of Ripple pea milk, for example, uses 99 percent less water than dairy milk and has a carbon footprint that is 93 percent smaller, while maintaining a superior nutritional profile to cow’s milk … we’d say the winner in this argument is clear. Non-dairy, plant-based milks are the future.

This might explain Several Californian dairy farms have already converted their farms to almond groves in order to produce almond milk instead. In fact, the amount of almond groves in the Sunshine State has nearly doubled in the past decade. It is, of course, important to note that almonds are a water intensive crop, but when compared to dairy – they waste far less water and do not come with the additional waste and pollution that an intensive dairy farm does. 

Perhaps another decade down the line, cows will no longer be the icon of “milk.” With alternatives made from soy, coconut, almond, flax, pea protein, hemp, and others popping up in grocery stores all over the country while milk stays the same, we can’t help but think that dairy has seen its day. So go ahead and grab a big glass of the milk of your choosing in celebration of National Milk Day – we’re guessing that glass was already filled with a non-dairy product anyway!

Lead image source: S_Photo/Shutterstock

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0 comments on “Why You Should Grab a Glass of Almond, Soy or Other Non-Dairy MILK Today (and Every Day)”

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Christine Stewart
7 Months Ago

I do wish there were more almonds in almond milk- then their would be more protein and it would likely be thicker, so they wouldn\'t have to add thickeners to it. but the point is, people, dairy milk involves a horrible life for any male calves that are born- discarded like trash or shoved into a veal crate- and a horrible life for mama cow- babies torn away from her at birth, abnormally large and painful udders, lameness from concrete flooring, and then the final slap-in-the-face of being turned into hamburger once she doesn\'t produce a profitable amount of milk.


Reply
Stephanie
7 Months Ago

The guy is right unless it comes from a lactating mammal it is not milk. When they come with a replacement that is nothing but a bunch of chemicals then you will have something to promote.


Reply
rebeca miles
11 Jan 2017

Congratulations, you are easy to manipulate and therfore successfuly brainwashed by the conventional belief. FYI, no mamal should need milk beyond his/hers nursing years. So you are not ok with chemicals, but you are ok with supporting cruelty. Glad you set the record straight.

Kate
7 Months Ago

Even many mainstream doctors are saying that milk does not live unto its reputation. It is a hype by the dairy industry to make you think it is good for you. Even if it is not so bad for you do you milk lovers really care so little about the animals who suffer for what is not really your milk but is produced for calves who are removed from their mothers moments after birth? I don\'t care about the health of your bodies but I do care for that animals and that is the only reason write this. In reality though they have found that those who drink too much milk are not healthier but the opposite and milk does not get absorbed into your bones easily. It\'s your body but others suffer for what you consume. Sorry if I sound preachy but it really is the animals I care about but you will do what you want to do anyway.


Reply
Marshall
7 Months Ago

California is NOT "The Sunshine State." That\'s Florida. California is "The Golden State". As for the article, I\'ll stick to real milk!


Reply
Lefty
7 Months Ago

Just read an internet article last week that stated that real milk is far superior in nutrition than any man-made milk. ? What to believe?


Reply
Roberg
11 Jan 2017

Who funded the article you read? In what way is it \'far superior\' in \'nutrition\' than \'man-made\' milk? Please enlighten me! My mother produced \'man-made\' milk for me when I was an infant but maybe I should have been sucking on a cow\'s udder instead..

Barbara
7 Months Ago

I think it\'s high time we promote drinking clean water instead. Water is life!
I don\'t drink any kind of milk, whether it\'s animal, nut or seed.


Reply
moonlit
11 Jan 2017

YES! I use almond milk when cooking or baking, but I always have my water bottle with me!

Roberg
11 Jan 2017

Maybe we should promote the absolute devouring of as many fruits and vegetables as possible since the water in these foods are structured and much more effectively absorbed by the body. If you eat enough proper fruit and vegetables you don\'t even need to drink any additional water! Get a grapefruit down your oesophagus!



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