Almond Milk - Environmental effects?

I’ve seen a lot of people around here stating that they use Almond Milk in their Huel. Presumably, these people are conscious of the effect we have on the environment and hope to minimise waste etc by consuming Huel.

Having seen a post in /r/fitness about it, I’ve realised Almond Milk is also quite damaging toward the environment and that the best thing we can all do is simply consume water with our Huel.

I’m a hypocrite for this, as I use 200ml whole milk in each of my 4 Huels a day. When I finish my weight loss in May, this will likely increase. However, I use Huel selfishly with less regard to the environment/animal welfare.

What do the environmentalists among you think of Almond Milk?

While it’s better than dairy, it’s certainly not ideal and uses an enormous amount of water!

Almond milk (well, almonds in general) does use a large amount of water, but it’s demonised way more than it should be for it. A lot of the stuff we eat (including vegan stuff) requires many times more water for a similar serving size, but these aren’t targeted for whatever reason (details here: )

Another important point though is most almonds are exported from California. California is experiencing droughts most years, and the issue is that ~11% of their water used each year is going into almond production, with the vast majority of those being exported. California is losing its available sources of water to those almond trees and the almonds, but this isn’t causing the world to lose water. The environmental impact comes from the shipping of the almonds worldwide, and as the article you linked mentions, the importing of bees. That last point is the only reason really almonds can be considered worse than other plants that use up more water, but many articles on the topic focus on the water used as if this is lost forever from the earth.

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You’re right. A lot of interesting points. I’m more curious than having a go at anyone. I see it as being similar to the whole palm oil crisis at the moment.

Heck, 2/3 of a jar of Nutella is palm oil. Madness.

I’m intrigued to try Almond Milk. I use dairy purely for nutrition, rather than taste. I’m wondering what people get from adding almond milk!

Dairy for nutrition!? Erm…


You might also want to consider footprint from diversity of ingredients and what you need to substitute for the nutritional failings of the non-dairy milk. How much energy goes into the other ingredients’ provision may be hard to answer but I guess since the non-water components are typically less than 10% of the milk this is ultimately not a huge issue.

In particular, Almond Breeze for example is 2% almonds, so around sixteen small almonds per litre; Rice Dream almond-hazelnut 0.6% (five per litre), Ecomil 7% (an extravagant 50-odd almonds per litre — one in every gulp!).

Non-dairy milks are almost all very different from milk, even at a macro level. Their main (non-water) ingredient typically has a strong non-milk flavour so they often add sweetener to compensate, oil for texture, etc. The NDM most similar to semi-skim that I’ve found is sweetened soya milk; Bonsoy’s one has around 14% more protein, 15% more carbs and 22% more fat (with 54% less sugars and 73% less saturated fat), using six ingredients. This is as close as anyone gets, I think. Ecomil’s sweetened almond by contrast has 75% less protein, 13% more carbs, 17% more fat (20% less sugar and 82% less saturated fat) with an impressively low 4 ingredients. Unsweetened soya milk can be had with as few as two ingredients (soya and water), while Oatly’s foamable barista edition (for coffee bars) has ten. The least milk-like NDM I’ve found is Rice Dream organic unsweetened, with (roughly) none of the protein, twice the carbs and half the fat of semi-skimmed real milk. Only three ingredients though!

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Quick and convenient way to pile a lot of fat into my diet :slight_smile:

Eat nuts and avocado dude. That dairy is gonna clog shit up.

Pretty bad nut allergy unfortunately. Been having a pint of whole milk per day for the last year or so and all is well :slight_smile: Thank you for the concern though!