Right now the draught in California has been a hot topic. Blame has been placed on Nestle, the residence of the state all the way down to growth of almonds. While these are all factors, and I will not excuse Nestle for their actions, a huge culprit has been seemingly neglected by the major media sources. This culprit are the dairy farms. I know most people may be thinking that this can’t be a huge contributing factor, but it is. Currently California is the United States largest producer of dairy, exceeding Wisconsin by approximately 700,000 dairy cows (California as of 2014 records have approximately 1.8 million dairy cows). Milking dairy cows drink about 30-50 gallons of water per day. So while yes avoiding bottled water is a fantastic idea and watching how much water you use at home is still something I believe we all should do no matter which state you live in there is more you can do. There are many dairy alternatives that I can personally vouch for as being even better than the real thing.
So you’re a big milk drinker, cereal eater or even a big baker replacing dairy milk is easy in all instances. My personal favorite is unsweetened vanilla almond milk. With only 30 calories per serving you’re not only helping the environment but cutting calories as well. Plus, did I mention it’s delicious in cereal or on its own?
Maybe you’re looking for a thicker milk for baking, we’ll I’ve got you covered. There are two great options, both are great for drinking alone as well. My favorite of the two is cashew milk. If you’re looking for a rich creamy milk this is where you find it. With it being so creamy its hard to believe that its only 25 calories and actually has less grams of fat than almond milk. But let’s not forget the perhaps most well known dairy milk alternative soy. Soy is hands down my favorite milk for baking. You want a fluffy muffin or biscuit this is the milk for you.
The most common thing I hear among people who consume dairy is that they could give up everything but cheese. I am not going to lie this was personally the hardest dairy product for me to pass up. I mean pizza, who doesn’t love pizza? Giving up cheese doesn’t mean that pizza has to become something you used to eat. Daiya cheese shreds are the absolute perfect non-dairy cheese for pizza. They aren’t just good for pizza either. You name it the shredded or sliced form of Daiya will be a perfect substitute. But maybe you’re into the melty nacho cheese, fear not Teese has you covered. Trust me it’s better than the real thing by far.
While these are the two largest categories of dairy alternatives that doesn’t mean they are the only ones out there. Honestly you name it there is probably a dairy free version of it. There are yogurts, ice creams, mayonnaise, ect. Options are honestly endless. So if you don’t already live a dairy free lifestyle its time to give it a shot with the endless alternatives there’s no reason not to.
Bridget Newman, nutrition and dietetics student at The University of Akron