If the last decade has taught us one thing, it’s that you can make milk from basically anything. While many of us will have grown up pouring something extracted from a goat or cow over our cornflakes, shoppers today have a choice between everything from oats to almonds. Who knew that so many nuts had tiny sets of udders?
Despite different milk options becoming increasingly commonplace, there are still a few products that continue to come as a shock. The idea of milking hemp is and always will be seriously odd. But, proving that we’ve only scratched the surface of what can and can’t be milked, there is a new product on the market apparently intent on making the rest of the competition look as traditional as semi-skimmed.
According to emporium for the healthful, “Whole Foods”, the next big revolution for the anti-dairy industry is the advent of pea milk. Made from yellow split peas, the new liquid allegedly packs the same amount of protein as regular cow’s milk, whilst also containing 50% more calcium, half the sugar and a third of the saturated fat.
To the uninitiated, pea milk might sound like something you’d expect to find in Shrek’s handkerchief. However, according to those in the know, it could represent the next advance for anyone who prefers plant-based alternatives. Aside from the nutrition, the yellow split peas actually give the liquid a naturally creamy colouration, making it look a lot less disturbing that what otherwise might appear to be a big bowl of snot.
Though pea milk has been readily available in some countries - most notably, the US - for several years, Whole Foods endorsement marks the first time that it will be brought to British shores. According to the Amazon-owned store, pea milk is set to be one of 2019’s biggest food trends. Considering that it contains around eight times the calcium of other alternatives, like almond, this is exciting times for anyone unable to eat dairy.
Aside from the potential health benefits of switching to a pea milk-based breakfast, advocates cite the positive environmental impact of the product over other competitors. According to The Metro, “it takes 100 times more water to farm almonds than peas and 25 times more water to farm dairy so it is better for the environment in that sense.” This could help influence anyone looking to go green in 2019.
Though there undoubtedly several potential positives for anyone who has to pursue an alternative lifestyle when it comes to dairy products, experts have been quick to point out that anyone without a physical or ethical objection should think carefully before making a switch. Speaking to The Evening Standard, dietician Dr Hazel Wallace said that "If you have no problem consuming dairy, i.e. you don't have any intolerances or ethical issues with it, then I would say drink cow's milk, because it's such an important source of protein, calcium and iodine.” This, coupled with some people’s natural reluctance to drink a pea, may mean that it’s some time yet before it completely takes over the dairy industry as we know it.