Leave the utter alone: switch to plant milk and stop drinking cow milk

Leave the utter alone: switch to plant milk and stop drinking cow milk

Photo credit: Lauren Veitengruber

By Lauren Veitengruber, Intern

Ever since I was young I can only recall having a gallon of 1% cow’s milk in my house. We consumed cow’s milk everyday in our cereal bowls as well as glasses of the milk on its own. It was all I was familiar with, and was the norm in my household as well as many other households in my community. I remember going to Kroger as a child and being excited to open the larger freezer door to grab the heavy gallon of milk. Now that I am older, I view that same gallon of milk as harmful to the human body. 

I watched a documentary on Netflix titled “What the Health” which enlightened my views on cow’s milk. This health documentary conveyed how cow’s milk is not meant for humans, and just for baby calves, to grow and thrive after birth. So, why do humans consume cow’s milk? I often ponder over this question as it makes no sense to me. Other animals do not drink human milk, why do we drink the milk from other animals? After watching this it made me take into account the harmful impacts that cow’s milk has on the environment and our bodies. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, cow’s milk contains on average three times the amount of protein compared to human milk, this creates metabolic disturbances in humans as well as bone health consequences. A simple solution to the health problems that occur when consumers drink cow’s milk is switching to plant milk. 

Some plant milks that are commonly sold in stores are: almond milk, soy milk, oat milk and coconut milk. My favorite plant milk is almond milk because it is smooth and light, and it tastes great in oatmeal. I also enjoy oat milk because it is creamy and a great addition to coffee. Plant milks offer many health benefits compared to cow’s milk, such as reduced saturated fats, less calorically dense, and are richer in vitamins A and C. According to SPINS, a market research company, oat milk sales increased by 182% since 2019. These increased sales are a direct reflection of the recent popularization of plant milks throughout American homes. 

Not only do plant based milks have health benefits, these milks are also much more environmentally friendly than the work that goes into the production of cow’s milk. Plant milks are derived from trees or plants, these trees in plants create food sources as well as convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, improving the air in the atmosphere. These trees also use less water than a cow needs in order to survive. 

There are so many options to try other than cow’s milk that taste way better. A large quantity of plant milks have a unique taste and adventurous flavors. I highly suggest you go to your local store and give some type of plant milk a test! 

What kind of milk do you prefer?


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