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Monday, April 1, 2024

Forget Cows ........ non-dairy milk ...

milch cow - cattle that are reared for their milk
In Triplicane, the land of Sri Krishna, cattle are aplenty – freely roaming on the streets.  Cows are timid and frightening at times; while buffaloes move slowly unfazed by the traffic around.  Cows are reverred but not treated so well.  The dairy system inflicts suffering at every stage, starting with the calving process, for milk comes from a cow or a buffalo that has calved recently. Calves, male and female, are separated or significantly restricted from accessing their mothers three to four days after birth. This separation is traumatic for both mother and calf, but leads to a 15-30 per cent increase in milk availability for humans.

Recently there was a newsitem that the Delhi drug department launched a special drive against the illegal sale and possession of oxytocin, a chemical commonly known as 'love hormone', which is injected into cows and buffalo to make them yield more milk. The very sight of milkmen makes the cows and even buffaloes run – for they are crudely injected with harmones and in a few minutes time, they will be milked.  The cattle are not provided quality food, allowed to roam on streets; then injected and milked.  There is also the recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a genetically engineered hormone manufactured by Monsanto in use in some places.  Sometimes referred to as Bovine Somatotropin (rBST), the bioengineered hormone is injected in the cows every other week to force the cows to produce more milk than their bodies normally would.

Other than cows and buffaloes – other animals also provide milk and would include -  goat, sheep, camel, donkey, horse, reindeer, yak and moose.  Forget animals, Daily Mail made me realise that there are other sources of milk as well.  In a report that appeared in July 2014, it stated that huge numbers  are switching from cow's milk to non-dairy milk alternatives, such as almond milk.  According to the report, a staggering one in five households over there chooses to buy non-dairy, plant-based products such as soya, rice, oat, almond or coconut milk as a lifestyle choice or for medical reasons.

In UK, the size of the non-dairy market jumped from 36 million litres in 2011 to 92 million litres in 2013 — an incredible 155 per cent increase, according to retail analysts Mintel.  At the same period, sales of milk and cream have grown just 3 per cent. Supermarket shopping expert mySupermarketsaid that comparing 2014 to 2010, there is a drop of around 20 per cent in the number of people putting dairy milk in their baskets, while there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number buying dairy alternatives.

Head of Mintel’s UK Food, Drink and Foodservice research Kiti Soininen said: ‘Many consumers may be turning to dairy alternatives or lactose-free cow’s milk for perceived health reasons, as research shows that some people feel drinking milk can upset their digestive system and leave them feeling bloated.’  There are many who opine that plant-based milk is healthier than cow’s milk.  Alpro, the biggest-selling non-dairy milk brand in the UK, with 64 per cent of the market, has seen 15 per cent growth in the past 12 months and is now one of Britain’s biggest 100 grocery brands. The plant-based, non-dairy category is worth £150.6 million. Soya-based alternatives to yogurt account for 13 per cent of all sales in the plant-based eating category and are growing at 8 per cent year-on-year.

Nearly two-thirds of British shoppers questioned by The Co-operative admitted to taking food abroad. It's easy to miss those home comforts when you go away on holiday — and it seems many of us have no intention of doing so.  Instead, we are stocking our suitcases with British food, alongside our swimsuits.  The most popular items were teabags, with 54 per cent of holidaymakers questioned taking them, followed by biscuits (48 per cent), instant coffee (31 per cent), crisps (17 per cent), brown sauce (15 per cent), noodles (11 per cent), tomato ketchup (9 per cent), powdered milk (6 per cent), sugar (6 per cent) and instant mashed potato (3 per cent). Men are most likely to take brown sauce, whereas women prefer a cup of proper tea and a familiar biscuit while away. Scottish people were more likely to take alcohol away with them.

Some of the non-dairy milk are :
ü  Soya milk made from soaking, grinding and boiling soya beans with water.  It contains only slightly less protein than cow’s milk, does not taste like cow’s milk and is perfectly palatable.  It comes sweetened often with apple juice or unsweetened.

ü  Rice milk is made from water, rice and sunflower oil and it higher in sugars and calories than dairy products. 

ü  Almond milk is made from roasted, ground almonds mixed with water.  It is low in fat, sugars and calories and tastes delicious.

ü  Oat milk is made from oats mixed with water with some added oil.  It contains betaglucons the soluble fibre that is said to lower cholesterol levels.

ü  Then there is coconut milk also, low in fat and surprisingly low in sugars.  The marketed non-dairy milk has added calcium too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Feb 2015.

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