Vegans have helped us all understand how important milk alternatives are to our diet and to the planet. Cow or bovine-based milk in America is pumped with hormones, the calves are cruelly separated from their mothers, the lactose in it is highly allergenic and animal product consumption creates devastating greenhouse gases.
For some time now we know that when a Starbucks barista offers you 5 different milk alternatives, or when you go to Trader Joes and see 5000 brands on the shelves, it is not because customers are fussy. It is because people need a choice and each one whether it is almonds or oats offers some alternative that the old fallback of soya cannot promise. Some of the choices made today are about the bees and the almond industry in America, or the alt-milk being organic – look out for the problems with non-organic oat milk.
So how do you find a brand to carry in your cafe or to drink in your coffee? I like the new environmentally fit label Better Than Milk for a number of reasons and my top list of whys is because the company sources simple ingredients and doesn’t try to thicken its milk with artificial gums and thickeners that aren’t good for us (read about bone health and additives here).
Rather than work with pesticide-applying and bee-killing commercial farms in oats and almonds, Better Than Milk sources its raw ingredients from small holder organic farms and it uses fresh, free-flowing spring water from the source to “milk” the basics into a drink. To top it off, its paper-based recyclable carton is capped with a lid from sugarcane, not petroleum. One less thing to worry about, thank you.
If you want to be perfect you will need to grow your own grains and nuts on a one-acre permaculture farm (like Woody Harrelson says) but until then Better Than Milk will probably be your fallback liquified beverage for cereal, cooking and coffee. Its preservative-free line of soy-free products, including rice hazelnut, are currently found online at Vitacost & Amazon but also in person at Erewhon Market, Nugget Markets, Earth Fare, Pete’s Fresh Market, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, and Jewel-Osco.
Green Prophet: Tell us what the problems are today with alternative milks found in American supermarkets?
A: At Better Than Milk we are focused on providing a plant-based milk that is not only better for you, but environmentally fit as well. We stand out because of our passion and commitment to provide both a sustainable clean-label plant-based milk made from 100% organic ingredients that are packaged in renewable eco-friendly materials.
An excellent example of this is how our plant-based milks are made with only an average of 5 ingredients, which are all free from processed oils like Canola Oil, compared to the plant-based milk category average of 11 ingredients which include Canola Oil, Xanthan Gum, and other unwanted ingredients.
How has the Better Than Milk mentality shifted thinking “alternative” into a new product?
A: We like to think of Better Than Milk plant-based milks as more than a healthier replacement to dairy milk. We are all about empowering people to live a healthier & eco-friendly lifestyle that helps protect our plant and should not be hard to accomplish throughout their daily routine.
It looks as though your product has checked all the boxes except for greenhouse gas emissions from transport and production. What are you working on there?
A: We are excited to share that we are working on a carbon footprint assessment of Better Than Milk to help us further evaluate and plan a carbon offset initiative. Be sure to follow along as we announce updates in the future.