Life cycle assessment: Why almond milk is not a good alternative to cow's milk - and which ones you should drink instead

The production of one liter of cow's milk requires about the same amount of carbon dioxide as the combustion of one liter of gasoline.

Life cycle assessment: Why almond milk is not a good alternative to cow's milk - and which ones you should drink instead

The production of one liter of cow's milk requires about the same amount of carbon dioxide as the combustion of one liter of gasoline. Not a very good ecological balance. And one reason why more and more people are switching to plant milk. But is that really better?

Sales of cow's milk alternatives are growing year by year. One of the reasons for this is that people's lifestyles are changing. More and more people are eating vegan or vegetarian food, or are consciously conscious of consuming fewer animal products such as cow's milk.

Where there is demand, there should of course also be supply. The industry knows no scruples. It is therefore not surprising that the production of soy milk, for example, is quite problematic. The EU imports around 35 million tons of soy a year, half of which comes from Brazil. In order to deliver the quantity, space is required above all. That is why huge fields are being planted there at the expense of the rainforest. In addition, soybean cultivation is usually a matter of genetically modified monocultures, which are protected from pests by the use of pesticides.

However, soy is not usually used for soy milk, but as animal feed. Americans and Europeans in particular prefer to drink soy milk. On the positive side: the soy in the plant drinks usually does not come from Brazil. Market leader Alpro uses soy from Canada and Europe and, according to its own statements, tries to ensure that cultivation is as sustainable as possible and that as few pesticides as possible are used. Their organic offshoot Provamel obtains soya entirely from Europe. The soy milk from the French organic company Sojade (So Soya!) uses soy that comes exclusively from France.

It's a bit more problematic with almond milk. 80 percent of the processed almonds come from California. They are grown on enormous areas in monocultures, and the almond tree itself also requires a lot of water. Scientists have found that a liter of almond milk emits about a tenth fewer greenhouse gases than cow's milk, but uses 17 times more water. At least this applies to almond cultivation in California. No figures are available for European growing areas.

The most sustainable is the consumption of oat milk. There is no need to clear rainforests or irrigate the Californian desert. The Swedish company Oatly, for example, only uses oats from their own country. The Berief company also only purchases German oats. Compared to cow's milk, oat milk has 70 percent less impact on the environment and uses just under 40 percent of the energy to produce. If you avoid cow's milk for ecological reasons, it is best to use oat milk.

Watch the video: "The tastiest low-carb recipe: Kohlrabi spaghetti with soy Bolognese"

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