By Eddie Long
Over the last 10-15 years, milk alternatives have exploded across the market, especially in coffee shops! Soy, almond, oat, coconut, cashew… you name it, they milk it. This explosion has been great for the lactose intolerant and dairy allergy people.Milk alternatives have been praised for their lower carbon footprint than traditional dairy, but recent studies have been looking at other environmental impacts that each alternative can sometimes have and the negative consequences beyond just the carbon footprint.
Almond milk has become one of the most popular go-to milk alternatives for many. It is estimated that California produces 80% of the world’s almonds! One problem that tends to plague the almond industry is that the pesticides used can wreak havoc on bee populations. According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, there are over 1,000 pesticides used on California almond farms.
At Genesis, we began making an alternative milk alternative using “Wild Soil” almonds to make our own almond milk. Wild soil is a process that goes beyond organic, restoring virgin soil and using biodiverse farming methods. While organic almond farms can still use up to 23 Class 1 pesticides, Wild Soil almonds don’t use ANY! Virgin soil also retains water for longer and contains a web of microorganisms leading to more nutrients and probiotics present in the almonds. Not only that, but these regenerative and biodiverse forms of agriculture have created almonds that contain even more protein than beef!
Another BIG impact of making our own almond milk is the carbon impact of shipping! When we buy almond milk from the store, it’s mostly water that’s being shipped in plastic containers. For every 3lbs of almonds used to make our own milk alternative, we are saving 24lbs of shipping weight! Another bonus is re-usable containers that create less waste. It isn’t as convenient to make your own almond milk, and it took lots of research to find the type of almonds we were looking for to make the world better, but it turns out that when you seek what’s best for the planet and for others, you end up with a product that’s much better for YOU as well. Once again, the “buy good, do good” mentality is a WIN for everyone!