By: Emily Oberg
Did you know that it takes over 1,600 gallons of water to produce just one liter of almond milk? This, plus the fact that 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California— which has been in a drought for nearly the past decade, should be enough to make you never want to drink almond milk ever again.
Not only is almond milk using up an absurd amount of water, it’s also destroying the world’s bee population. Each year California brings in over 1 million bee hives to pollinate its almond trees. An astonishing 25% of these hives are either damaged or destroyed due to our overuse of pesticides. This is an alarming fact considering our entire food chain is solely reliant on bees and bees alone.
While it’s great that people are finally moving away from consuming cow’s milk, almond milk shouldn’t be your first choice. Other alternatives that aren’t as damaging to the planet include hemp, cashew, macadamia nut, goat and oat milk (just be sure it’s organic or it will be contaminated by Glyphosate- the cancer-causing herbicide used on most non-organic crops). Another popular alternative is soy milk but I would avoid it altogether as all soy is genetically modified.
My personal favorite is coconut milk because of its creamy consistency and good taste. To me, it tastes better than any other milk alternative and the environmental impact is minimal. It’s not the most nutritious but I’m also not drinking milk for its nutritional value and I really only use milk for smoothies.
Sometimes, I find that we are so focused on eating clean, we forget that we must also eat sustainably. Just because something is good for us, doesn’t mean it’s also good for the environment.