With the worst drought seen in years, the price of maintaining milk cows had become so high that many dairy owners, with no way to feed or water the animals, sold them at the meat market. It has taken a number of years for the dairy community to bounce back but the damage was done to everyone’s pocket book, especially those who shop local. This instigated a change in supply and demand in the market of what we choose as our milk product. The previously expensive alternate forms of milk had become almost equal in cost of cow’s milk. Now that the price of cow’s milk is coming down, market trends indicate plant based milk are also going down.
With the added health benefits of alternate forms of milk, it looks as though cow’s milk has had its day. When referring to alternate forms of milk there are several and most are products of plants rather than animal. There is of course the old standby, goat’s milk, when one was not able to consume cow’s milk. However there are many more plant derivatives available. A few examples are soy, almond, coconut, oat, flax, quinoa, hazelnut, rice, cashew, sunflower, and hemp. All of these milks are lower in fat than cow’s milk and provide vitamins and minerals equal to or better than cow’s milk. In addition most of the plant based materials are lactose free.
- Plant based milks have less fatty acids
- Plant based milks have more omega fats available
- Health benefits may sway public demand towards plant based milks
Consumer Demands May Sway Away
Why buy local plant based milk? Besides the added health benefits of changing to plant based milks, there is also the political debate of using animals for the sole purpose of their milk. We all know that as mammals, in order to produce milk we have to use the reproductive system. There are those who feel that it is wrong to continually abuse an animals reproductive cycles for the use of a product not originally meant for human consumption, especially when there are healthier choices available. Throughout history staples have been known to change according to availability and consumer demand. With the current trend it looks as if cow’s milk has had its day.