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Skip the Dairy, Enjoy the Milk

by Marianne Navada

Canada released its new food guide, removing dairy as a part of a balanced meal. Dr. Hutchinson, the Director General for Health Canada, notes the use of evidence-based research in putting together the guide. They also avoided industry-funded research to prevent bias.

Visually, the guide uses a plate and not a pyramid to illustrate distribution, similar to the 2011 changes the US made to its own food guide. Overall, Canada’s revamped health recommendations champion a variety of unprocessed foods and also plant-based ingredients.

we have erroneously placed “cow’s milk next to mother’s milk” in terms of its importance for human health.

Dr. Jenkins
Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism | Faculty at the University of Toronto, Nutritional Sciences Department

In the US, non-dairy milk products are increasing in popularly, as people are looking for more humane and wholesome ways of cooking. Nut and grain-based milk sales were up by 8%, with almond milk showing the strongest sales. Oat milk and non-dairy milk blends saw the largest leap increasing 23% and 51% in sales respectively.


This comes as no surprise. Aside from the health benefits, there are other personal advantages to switching to nut/grain based milk:

  • Fresh: being able to make milk from home means you can have fresh milk when you want.
  • Price: it’s cheaper. For example, 1 cup of almonds yields about 5 cups of milk.
  • Spoilage: since you can control how much milk to make, you’re less likely to waste.
  • Convenience: it’s super easy to make.
  • Variety: you can make milk from different nuts, oats, rice. If you want flavored milk, you can customize it to your taste, such as adding vanilla and dates for sweetness.

Non-Dairy Milk Recipes

Make fresh milk at home. It’s easy, convenient, and customizable.


Non-dairy milks are also far more environmentally sustainable than animal-based milk. According to Sujatha Bergen, a policy specialist with NRDC’s Food and Agriculture program:

It takes a lot of energy to raise cows…you need to grow the feed [mostly grain], which takes lots of pesticides and fertilizers.

After the cows eat that feed, they release methane through their digestive systems, and then their manure also produces lots of greenhouse gases.

A by-product of cow dung is nitrous oxide, a climate-warming pollutant 298 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Source | NRDC


And then there is the fate of the cow. The industrial production of milk is never a happy story, no matter how humane we attempt it to be, or how we use catchphrases such as “happy cows” or images of cows in green pastures.

Commit to living.