As proud producers of almond milk and almond based products we feel it is time we cleared something up! The arguments against almond milk are not new, no doubt it has popped up in your Facebook feed about the environmental cost or the actual percentage of almonds in your almond milk. But when it comes out of the mouth of someone whom many of your target market follow and whom you have spent significant advertising dollars with … well let’s just say a confused emoji face springs to mind!
So we are going to clarify a few points and just to make it more simple we are going to break it down as they have.
1. The water.
“It takes 5 litres of water to grow one almond!”
Yes this may be true but please put it into context! As Alissa Walker pointed out in her article ‘Seriously, Stop Demonising Almonds’, 80% of California’s water is used to grow food but we shouldn’t stop eating any fruit, vegetables or even meat due to how much water they take to grow so why are almonds now the devil?
By just focusing on the ‘water cost’ you are failing to consider the whole picture such as the social and economical value of the food we are growing with the water, not to mention the nutritional value. From an economic perspective, while almonds use 10% of the California’s water, they are generating approximately 15% of the state’s total farming value and almost 25% of agricultural exports from the state (Walker, 2015). Plus given the increasing demand for almonds which has seen prices skyrocket, almonds are bringing in significant revenue for California, $11bn of it in fact.
And what about the fact that the water is being used to provide us with a healthy food rich in protein and good fats – surely being used to create something which benefits the health of the population stands for something, right?
2. The waste.
“The almond meal is tossed when almond milk is commercially produced”.
Firstly don’t lump all commercial almond milk producers together. At Luz we actually wholesale our almond pulp to people for use in baking, plus we are always looking for ways to utilise it in product and recipe development. The fact is all food manufacturing has waste so no need to single out almond milk!
- The carbon footprint.
“The environmental cost of shipping almonds from US + packaging = small environmental disaster”
Carbon footprint, yes, environmental disaster – slight exaggeration perhaps? Regardless many products are also produced with ingredients from overseas so perhaps it is better to focus on supporting local farmers and industry – something we are big advocates of at Luz! We proudly use Australian almonds to minimise our environmental impact, as well as contributing to the Australian economy.
We won’t even get into the carbon footprint of the meat industry but needless to say it is huge!
- The dose of additives.
“Most brands are packed with thickeners, emulsifiers, sugars and other crap stuff “– you are right, we couldn’t agree more! Luz Almond milk is made simply of almonds and water without all those additives and nasty stuff. Again the fact is many manufactured products are packed with this stuff and I can assure you almond milk is not the only or the worst examples of this so it is about reading and understanding labels!
- The nutritional value.
Probably the most contradictory point in the whole article – on one hand we have that “most brands only contain about 2% almonds” so you can’t really benefit from the vitamin E, B2, magnesium and copper, however on the other hand it says really “we would only eat a small handful of almonds in one sitting and having two lattes on almond milk will add up to more than that”. So wait there is too many or too few almonds?
On a gram per gram basis it should be no surprise that almonds pack a greater nutritional punch than almond milk so by no means are we suggesting almond milk should replace almonds in your diet. However there are an increasing number of people looking for an alternative to dairy milk to use on their cereal or in their baking, coffee etc for many different reasons. For this, almond milk is a great alternative as it not only tastes great but also contains vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Obviously the amount of each of this is dependent on the actual percentage of almonds used in the milk but once again we always encourage people to READ LABELS and know what is in the food you are eating.
- The price.
“Almond milk is one of the most expensive alternatives out there” – well that shouldn’t really come as a surprise given how much almonds are these days. As a rule of thumb the most expensive brands usually contain more almonds and less of the other stuff but again read the label!
Our simply Luzscious verdict
Sure make your own! In an ideal world we would all love to make it BUT if god forbid you are busy or don’t own a high speed blender or I don’t know … just can’t be bothered then buy Luz…the closest thing to the homemade version!
But wait a minute … wasn’t the headline of the article ‘Sorry, but you actually shouldn’t be drinking almond milk’?
Guess your recipe books may need an edit!