Environmental: Veganuary, the issue with Almond Milk.


Having experimented quite a bit with vegan cookery in the past and having been a vegetarian for a number of years, I thought taking on the challenge of Veganuary would be a piece of cake. I am interested in doing my bit to help the environment so I thought I would give it a go.

In fact it all started out very well and I am really enjoying the tasty Bosh inspired dishes. I had already given up dairy milk a while ago in favour of almond milk. I preferred it to the other sorts that I had tried as it goes well with both tea and coffee and is creamy and has a sweet light taste.


However I then began reading about and hearing about the adverse effect that almond milk production has on the environment.

80% of the world’s almond crop is grown in drought-hit California. A surprising fact is that it takes five litres of water to produce one almond! Compared with the production of cow’s milk, which takes 100 litres of water to produce 100ml of milk, almond milk is obviously a better choice, just about. Even so, on further research I discovered that almond crop farmers have to drill down thousands of feet in order to access water from ancient aquifers. This has led to serious land subsidence and now threatens the infrastructure of roads and bridges and so on.


At this point my research led me onto the use of imported bees on an industrial scale to pollinate the huge acreage of almond groves and I switched to oat milk. To date I have discovered only positive information about oat milk. It contains 10% of our daily iron requirement, it’s good for blood and strengthens bones and boosts the bodies immune system. It also tastes rather good so what’s not to like? And its great with porridge.

Other plant milks are of course available to buy.

George Atherton