Drinking One Type Of Milk Can Help Protect The Planet?

Milk made from plants, such as almond and oat milk, have been clinically proven to be more nutritious for adults and better for the environment.

By Alexander Scoggins | Published

We may need to rethink what we know about milk and change some of our daily habits for both our children and us, reports CNN Health. Milk has been an important part of our diets since childhood. This is doubly so for foreign countries that lack our agricultural prowess, but what milk should we drink, though?

Well, there are several factors that we may want to take into consideration. Starting with what milks are out there. The most common form of milk in the world is cow’s milk. There is a cow in Wisconsin that has produced 9,094 gallons of milk within 365 days. That is a massive amount of milk. I am sure you have heard of almond, oat, soy, and rice milk.

The environmental impact that this cow’s milk has caused on our planet is massive. Cow’s milk not only takes ten times as much land and twenty times as much water then these alternatives produce the same amount of milk. The cows also produce massive amounts of methane. Methane gas is 80 times more powerful than the carbon dioxide our cars make, causing global warming, according to the UN Environment Programme.

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This brings us to the next important factor. If cow’s milk is so bad for the environment, what about our health? Well, the campaign Got milk has laid a foundation for this. Milk has been displayed as the one food that should be a staple in all our diets. This may not be the case, according to research.

A leading nutrition researcher Dr. Walter Willett informs us that “Milk is pretty amazing nutritionally because a young mammal can live on nothing but milk for many months and grow,” however he also tells us, “But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an optimal food for our whole lives.”

The Got Milk campaign tells us that we need to drink three cups of milk every day as children and two and a half as an adult. Another hallmark is that it will help you grow strong and tall. However, this is a flipped coin. Studies show that taller people have a higher chance of cancer and atrial fibrillation.

The US Nutritional recommendation supporting this Got Milk’s recommendation of 3 cups a day seems questionable. Recent research completed in meta-analysis reviews shows no definitive benefits from even 4 cups a day.

To make matters worse, cows are almost always pregnant to increase herd size and production to meet the heavy consumer demands. This increases the Estrogen levels in the milk and IGF-1. IGF-1 is linked to cancer and insulin resistance.

There have been several studies over the last decade. One such study completed by Dr. Willet and his colleagues found that there was a 9% higher chance for weaker bones and fracture chances for men when they drink milk as adolescents.

So, with all this research and data staring us in the face, what can we do to stay healthy? Well, we can start looking at plant-based milk. Many of these kinds of milk have both a Vanilla version for those with a sweet tooth and a natural version that is all natural with no added sugars. Keep an eye out for the nutrition values and balance for a healthy and fulfilled life.