Dairy Milk Consumption is at a Historic Low
Would you consider using milk alternatives?
What's the story?
- A Food & Drug Administration (FDA) proposal will allow products made out of dairy alternatives to continue using the word "milk" to describe their products, despite backlash from the dairy industry.
- The proposal seeks to resolve a long-running dispute between powerful dairy lobbyists and newer plant-based purveyors. The dairy industry has stated that using the word "milk" to describe soy, coconut, oats, almonds, and macadamia products could confuse consumers.
- Madeline Cohen, with the Good Food Institute, said:
"We know that consumers are going out and purposely buying these products. No one is purchasing them by accident.”
- Some say the FDA's decision could further erode the popularity of regular milk, which has been seeing declining sales over the past few decades. Dairy milk consumption hit a historic low in 2021 at 16 gallons per person per year, whereas consumption sat at 29 gallons per person in 1975, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Consumers have cited various reasons for their choices, such as health consciousness, lactose intolerance, and a growing interest in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
Concessions to the dairy industry
- The FDA did make a concession to appease the dairy industry, recommending that plant-based milk alternatives feature clear details of nutritional differences between their products and dairy milk.
- The FDA recommends that alternative milk manufacturers inform consumers about their products' lower Vitamin D and Calcium quantities.
- Dr. Robert M. Califf, the FDA commissioner, said:
“Today’s draft guidance was developed to help address the significant increase in plant-based milk alternative products that we have seen become available in the marketplace over the past decade. The draft recommendations issued today should lead to providing consumers with clear labeling to give them the information they need to make informed nutrition and purchasing decisions on the products they buy for themselves and their families.”
Would you consider using milk alternatives?
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I don't drink a lot of milk, and I do like almond milk, etc. However, almonds take too much drought water for me to support that industry.
I do use milk alternatives being lactose intolerant, and vegan.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with our dairy products, especially milk. I completely understand some folks are lactose intolerant. But today you go into a grocery store to just get milk. It is hard to find hidden behind all the fake stuff they call milk. We have gone from a natural way of life to processed food junkies.
I like drinking milk, but really don't very often. I enjoy oat milk and almond milk, but rarely buy them because you use milk in recipes and can't really use the alternatives that way.
I do think it's confusing to call these alternatives "milk", but clearly the FDA disagrees.
It doesn't matter what you call them; I'll likely use them just as often.
I've tried milk alternatives. They're okay. And I support, to some extent, any practice that's good for the environment. Cattle ranching is a two-fold issue when it comes to climate change - the cows produce a ton of greenhouse gasses that are then exacerbated by deforestation due to expansion of grazing areas.
On the other hand, rampant almond growing is at least partly to blame for the water shortages California has been experiencing over the last decade. Even with all of this winter's rain, the groundwater aquifers aren't being replenished enough to overcome the rate at which they get pumped.
But I also like milk. Dipping an Oreo into soy milk is not a satisfying endeavor. And, as the FDA points out, the nutritional values are not the same. So would I use less dairy milk in favor of other alternatives? Sure. Would I give it up entirely? Probably not.
FDA Draft Guidance is open to public comment until 4-23-23. Currently the guidance says if properly labeled with nutritional information for informed consumer decisions it's allowed. However if you disagree the link for public comments is below (1st link). 2nd link is the draft guidance to refer to text changes desired.
"The guidance also includes our recommendations on the use of voluntary nutrient statements. Industry’s use of these voluntary nutrient statements would provide consumers with additional nutrition information to help them understand certain nutritional differences between these products and milk and make informed dietary choices."
The Milk Industry is pushing its products.
There are many healthy drinks. The main consideration is avoiding sugar and sugar substitutes.
The best and easiest is to drink pure water and get you calories from a healthy diet.
I think the lower levels of Calcium in Fake Milk is concerning.
But then it seems most of us aren't consuming enough calcium unless we make a conscious effort.
I use powered milk in cooking. I don't drink any sort of milk at all.
CAUSES ASKS, "Would you consider using milk alternatives?" ME: Meh...dairy milk is dariy milk and, say, coconut milk is coconut milk. They are not co-equivalent in taste, nutritional value, or in any other way than that they are liquids, each useful in one context or another.
I've tasted fake milk, and they're just completely unappealing to me. I don't drink a lot of milk, but I use cow milk when I do.
The word milk has been synonymous with dairy products since the beginning of time. These other products should be and have been referred to as a DRINK. I would like to see a producer try to milk an almond or any other non animal.
Milk is produced by mammals to feed their young. Soy, almonds, oats do not produce milk, but rather by-products. While I can use plant alternatives to milk, I also realize plant by-products do not necessarily provide the nutritional requirements needed for growing healthy children.
the word milk after almond or soy, won't confuse people. Coconut Milk has been a term used for years, well before the alternatives became popular. The dairy industry is just trying to make money, or keep their 'cash cow'.
Perhaps dairy cows should be treated more humanely.
We have a fake potus why not fake milk?
Suprised to see that people are actually angry about milk alternatives being called milk. Wow! Scientifically, milk is food for baby cows. Mother's nurse their babies until they can take other nutrition. It was never meant to be a lifelong habit. There is now very strong evidence that people who eat plant based live longer and healthier. There is also very strong evidence that the Earth would also do better without so many cows. As far as not being able to call the alternatives milk, the dairy industry obviously thinks the labeling harms them. I think Americans are smart enough to know that almond, soy milk, etc. are not truly milk though they are used in the same way.
I use Almond milk myself.
Factory-farmed milked cows that are pinned in rows of cages are simply inhumane.
I have already cut milk out of most of my diet. It's a good idea.
I can understand health and dietary issues but for me I want WHOLE cows milk and REAL butter. I use the real half and half and heavy whipping cream in my cooking and baking. I'm thinking this is just another excuse to raise the prices on these items. I even make my own ice cream because I don't trust the ingredients used by manufacturers. I've been told that my home made ice cream is better than anything bought in the stores. I've even been asked for my recipe. Why do people have to interfere with the natural order of things just to make a profit? Sucks! But what can you expect from a government that refuses to take control of the matter.
No, I will not consider using an alterntaive. I simply do not like the taste of them.
Also, the reason milk consumption is at an all time low is because it's at 5.00 per gallon.
I already do
I drink real milk, and once in a great while, I'll pickup a carton of almond to use in a smoothie. These alternatives are not milk. They use a ton of water to produce them. When water is a precious resource, you don't want to waste it. At some point, it will come back to bite you in the ass.
When nuts grow tits and are milked then you can call their product milk, until then NO WAY.
I gave up all dairy products after the removal of my gall bladder. I feel healthier, more energetic and agile. I have also lost 23 lbs. Between the high saturated fat in dairy products and red meat and the methane released from cows, it is time to look for healthier alternatives.
Similarly, we need to switch our reliance on products that contribute to the Climate Catastrophe and pollution. Hemp can be the answer. Hemp Crete is a better building material. Hemp can replace plastic, wood, textiles and paper. It is easy to grow without fertilizers or pesticides and it requires less water. Recycling hasn't put a dent in the environmental disaster that we are facing. Hemp is the logical solution but it would cut into the profits of corporations that have built their wealth on the destruction of our planet.
I do use a milk alternative-Almond milk because it doesn't spoil as uickly as regular (cow's milk), thus in the long run I'm saving money.