Milking it!


My 12 year old daughter just made Almond milk!

Milk is an opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young (Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.) not from almonds or soybeans.

I love gelato, cafe lattes and cheese, oh how I love cheese.

Dietary guidelines have for a long time advised us to have 2-3 servings of dairy per day, so we did, more or less.

So what’s wrong with good old cow’s milk? Well, everything it would seem.

We grow drinking it; all mammals rely on milk in infancy to develop. However, humans are exceptional for continuing to consume milk after progressing to solids; in fact those who drink milk are the exception amongst humans. (McGee, 2004, p. 14) McGee states our ability to digest lactose in milk peaks shortly after birth then slowly diminishes, ergo lactose intolerance.

The A2 milk company claims the A1 proteins present in cow’s milk might be the cause of stomach upsets and their milk, containing only a2 protein might make a difference. They certainly aren’t suggesting a non-dairy diet. An article in The Indian Express goes even further suggesting there is evidence linking A1 proteins to a range of serious health issues and that the A2 proteins provides positive health benefits. (Khosla, 2015)

In order to try and enjoy their morning cereal or a cuppa lactose intolerants and vegans would seek out alternatives. A friend who worked in a health food store in the 90’s was recalling that health food stores were the only place to buy cow’s milk substitutes then and soy milk was the only non-animal alternative. Now it seems every “hip” coffee shop offers your favourite coffee with soy, almond, macadamia, rice or oat milk, if you’re like me they may even have some good old fashioned cow’s milk. The ABC Rural news website refers to the “Al Pacino” (Almond milk cappuccino) whilst providing details on the rise of the non-dairy milk market. (McAloon, 2015)

Remember the Oxford definition of milk?

Why are the alternatives called milk? Why do they exist at all?

Almond milk contains little fat, is low in protein and contains very little almond.


Product Fat – Total/100ml Protein/100ml Calcium/100ml Almond/100ml
Pauls Full Cream Milk


3.8g 3.4g 115mg 0%
Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Unsweetened 1.4g .06g 75mg 2.5%

Data Source: ;

Does the use of the word milk come from a desire to replicate the original and to normalise the use of the alternative? Soy or almond extract isn’t appealing or any more accurate than milk. The Soy Info Centre website explains the Japanese word for soymilk is tonyu. To means “bean” (usually soybean), and nyu means “milk.” in their history of Soy milk and Dairy like Soymilk products. (Shurtleff & Aoyagi, 2004)

What if we just stopped having milk because that’s what we are designed to do?

New Zealand’s economy would probably crash. According to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, dairy is the backbone of their food and beverage industry as New Zealand is the world’s biggest dairy exporter accounting for around 40 percent of the international dairy trade. In December 2014, milk based exports such as milk powder, butter, and cheese exports were valued at NZ$15.9 billion compared to wine’s NZ$1.3 billion. (New Zealand Government, 2016)

They need not panic. The growth of dairy consumption in non-traditional markets will more than counter the loss of sales to non-dairy milk. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations dairy consumption in Asia and the Pacific more than doubled in twenty five years growing at 4% per annum (APHCA, 2008)

From an early age we are conditioned to consume milk not physiologically but socially and that is growing. It doesn’t look like we’ll stop consuming milk tomorrow and the wine industry is probably safe too.

Kevin Robe

Student ID: 212386109


APHCA, 2008. STRATEGY AND INVESTMENT PLAN FOR SMALLHOLDER DAIRY DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA, Bangkok: Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Khosla, I., 2015. The Indian Express. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 20 March 2016].

McAloon, C., 2015. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 20 March 2016].

McGee, H., 2004. On Food and Cooking. s.l.:Scribner.

New Zealand Government, 2016. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 20 March 2016].

Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. Oxford Dictionaries. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 16 March 2016].

Shurtleff, W. & Aoyagi, A., 2004. Soy Info Centre. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 21 March 2016].


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