Cow Milk or Plant Milk?

August 23, 2022
Cow Milk or Plant Milk?


  1. World Plant Milk Day
  2. What are Plant-Based Milks?
  3. Environmental Factors
  4. Health Factors 
  5. Milk Alternatives
  6. Final Thoughts

World Plant Milk Day

August 22nd is known as World Plant Milk Day, where we celebrate all the good and sustainable alternatives to cow’s milk. Plant milk contains key nutrients and minerals making it healthy but without depriving yourself of milk entirely. There are several reasons to switch from regular cow’s milk to plant-based milk.

What are Plant-Based Milks?

Plant-based milks are plant beverages that resemble cow’s milk. They are non-dairy beverages made from water-based plant extract and aroma. Some are more nutritious than cow’s milk, without all the negative aspects that dairy can cause. The process usually starts by soaking the main ingredient which can be a variety of nuts or grains. The nuts or grains are blended in a puree where the milk is separated from the plant matter. The milk then adds flavors, and the mixture is boiled to sterilize the final product. This is the standard process that most plant-based milks go through.

Environmental Factors

When thinking about making the switch, there are several environmental factors to take into consideration. The use of dairy farming can be harmful to the environment. The greenhouse gases that can be emitted can be from fertilizer and manure can cause changes to our climate. Plant-based milk has been a huge change in the past few years for animal rights activists. By producing plant-based milk they are not hurting animals in the process of producing the milk. Plant-based milks make a smaller environmental footprint since they don’t require as many natural resources. While they do still require some space, they don’t need nearly as much land, water, or any animals to make their products.

Health Factors

There are also many health attributes to switching to plant-based milk. Milk and dairy products, in general, are the top source of saturated fat in America. These products are directly related to developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Dairy milk has also been linked to a higher chance of developing breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Lastly, over fifty percent of the population is lactose intolerant, so consuming cow’s milk can result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Plant-based milks are a lot healthier. They do not contain as much fat and almost no cholesterol. The only downside is that these plant milks may be missing a few vitamins that cow’s milk may have. However, these few vitamins that it may not contain, can be easily accessible through other leafy green vegetables. The main concern people have with switching over is that they are not getting enough calcium. Many plant-based milks contain calcium already but you can take it a step further by consuming more vegetables, while still maintaining a small carbon footprint, not hurting animals, and living a healthier lifestyle.

Milk Alternatives

There are several benefits of plant-based milk in comparison to cow’s milk. Plant-based milks are rich in vitamins and minerals. Unlike cow’s milk, plant milk is low in fat and does not contain cholesterol. They are the best choice for people who are lactose intolerant or have a slow digestive system. There are also several varieties of plant-based milk that you can choose from. Many of these milks vary from the proteins they contain to consistency and even taste. Here are just a few examples of plant-based alternatives and some of the reasons to switch over:
• Oat Milk: contains vitamin B12, high levels of calcium, and vitamins A and D
• Almond Milk: reduces the risk of heart diseases and contains more vitamin E and calcium compared to cow’s milk
• Soy Milk: nutrient-dense, closest to low-fat cow’s milk, with a good balance of carbohydrates and fats
• Hemp Milk: is high in nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, and B12, and a good source of calcium
• Cashew Milk: texture like cow’s milk, has many nutrients, protects against bone demineralization, protects eyes and vision
• Coconut Milk: has anti-inflammatory properties and helps strengthen the immune system

Final Thoughts

Many people still love cow’s milk without really knowing what alternatives exist. What do you think about plant-based milk? Would you be willing to make the change?

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