Making sense of what exactly makes non-milk milk.
As babies we all start off as milk drinkers. And most of us westerners graduate to cow’s milk shortly after. In a twist of evolution, a third, unprecedented stage of milk drinking is occurring amongst adults: alternative milks.
Non-milk milks are an emerging trend. From soy lattes to oat milk, these alternatives are no longer reserved for people with milk allergies. The alternative milk boom is here to stay, so let’s understand it.
Normal milk is just liquid from a cow. Squeeze the udders and voila, milk. Alternative milk does not have such a plain definition. The US FDA states that these ‘imitation milks’ are foods that have the same physical characteristics of milk, such as taste, body, texture or appearance. However, under no circumstances, can alternative milks be sold physically next to animal milk.
In Europe, the confusion continues, as legislation prohibits the word ‘milk’ in drinks that are not made from mammary secretions. As a result, our shelves are adorned with products that contain the words m*lk, m.lk and mylk.
This leaves the definition of alternative ‘milk’ open to interpretation. And it is the reason why we have cultivated such a wide range of alternative milk products.
These like-milks often choose a specific quality of cow’s milk, and run away with it. So if you like cow’s milk, you should try see if you can find your alternative.