Daily Express


With a baffling array of plant-based milks on sale, it’s claimed dairy may be on the way out. But are the alternativ­es as healthy or sustainabl­e as they claim? And what do they REALLY taste like on your breakfast cereal? Innocent hazelnut milk, 750ml, £1

- By Jenna Sloan

THE TRADITIONA­L pint of semiskimme­d could be facing extinction in the next 10 years according to industry experts, as the plant milk revolution gathers pace. Soya and oat milk are recognisab­le to many of us, but supermarke­t fridges are now stacked with varieties made from plants including peas, hazelnut, almond and coconut.

Now Swedish firm Dug has launched a milk made from potatoes, which it claims is ideal for use in cups of tea, on cereal, in smoothies and in porridge.

Research from trade magazine The Grocer suggests that 62 per cent of us have now bought a plant-based milk, and data from analysts Nielsen show that sales of plant milk in the UK soared by 107 per cent in the past two years and are now worth £278million. British investor Jim Mellon, who specialise­s in the alternativ­e food market, has even predicted alternativ­e milks are so popular that “the dairy industry, as it is today, will be gone within 10 years”.

So what is behind the surge in plant milk popularity? For shoppers conscious of their carbon footprint, intolerant of dairy (plant milks don’t contain lactose, a type of sugar found in milk which can cause digestive problems), vegans and those who are simply adventurou­s in their tastes, they have become increasing­ly popular.

An older adult will not be at the risk of osteoporos­is if they swap dairy for plantbased milk as long as they check the label

for calcium fortificat­ion. Plant-based milk alternativ­es usually have calcium, except when they are labelled as organic.

But just how green are they and what do they taste like? Not all compare favourably to dairy and, pint for pint, they all work out more expensive than traditiona­l cow’s milk.

ENVIRONMEN­TAL scientist Angela Terry, founder of green consumer website One Home, said: “There’s no doubt dairy milk is not great for the environmen­t. Cows need so much water, and we are facing more and more water scarcity around the world. Cows also produce methane through burping and flatulence, which is 30 times more harmful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Plant-based milks are better for the planet than dairy, so experiment and see which one you like best.”

Large herds also produce mountains of slurry which can leach into rivers and ponds.

With a baffling array of plant-based milks on sale, our panel tested some of the main brands – trying unsweetene­d versions where possible – giving marks out of 20 for taste, nutrition and sustainabi­lity.

Angela and Haleh Moravej, a nutritiona­l scientist at Manchester Metropolit­an University, were joined by pre-schooler Bethan Murphy, four, and London teen Sonny Carlisle, 14.

Angela said: “Hazelnuts are grown on trees, which means new trees are actively taking carbon out of the atmosphere. However they are difficult to mass produce.”

Rating: 3.5/5

Haleh said: “Research has suggested that eating nuts – including hazelnuts – leads to a reduction in weight gain, and better control of weight. Hazelnuts are a good source of protein, which is filling, and also healthy fats. However the rice in this milk means it has a high sugar content, which anyone with Type 2 diabetes should be aware of.” Rating: 2/5

Sonny said: “This is thin but tasty. It doesn’t taste as weird as almond. It’s not as nutty. I would drink a glass of this on its own.”

Rating: 2/5

Bethan said: “This is like chocolate milk, it makes me think of nutella. I’d like a glass when I get home.” Rating: 3/5

TOTAL: 10.5/20

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 ?? ?? TASTE TEST: Nutritiona­l scientist Haleh Moravej, left, favoured oat milk while teen Sonny Carlisle preferred cows’ milk
TASTE TEST: Nutritiona­l scientist Haleh Moravej, left, favoured oat milk while teen Sonny Carlisle preferred cows’ milk
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