Just came back from a training and we had oatly chocolate in the fridge, it is SO. DELICIOUS.
As the foodie and wannabe environmentalist I am I started to research the life cycle analysis of this oatly drink and I wanted to compare this with soy and cow milk. A lifecycle analysis has the whole chain from the first step of producing oat/soy seed/ baby cow to when the product is on it´s way to recycle. So it includes everything that you want to measure. F.ex. Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides etc.
I will not write a scientific paper on this but to give you the answer form these studies, the environmental impact seems to be less in the process of producing oat milk than cow milk.
My journey through the “awareness” of my nutrition and its impact on the planet started when I was 14 and decided to stop eat meat. I was convinced it was the better for the planet. Taking some more classes of biology and nature science at high school (and I guess also impact form my social circle) I started to eat local meet or wild meat like reindeer or moose that someone nearby had hunted.
Getting into university it made me vegetarian again due to my economical situation, lentils, oats and rice was the base of my nutrition for many years.
Traveling and having a lifestyle that takes you through different cultures I started to eat meat again, not much, but I didn’t say no when someone offered me a piece of chicken or cow. I wanted to be polite and easygoing. And I didn´t mind the taste. I sometimes actually could want to eat meat.
1,5 year ago I stopped, mainly because I started to think more and more of the whole process of meat, the process of producing the animals food, and how we handle the animals. Is it worthy? I didn’t want to eat meat that was treated that way, or had that impact on nature. I had no problem with meat that friends hunted or meat from the neighbour farm that the animals kept the landscape open, could run free and seemed to have a quit happy life. But I didn´t eat it anyway.
Living in the north with the big areas of pasture, grazing land and forest we have all the opportunities to be self-sufficient with food. What we don´t have is the warm temperatures to grow lentils and beans with higher amount of protein. Which is one of the main reasons I have not (yet?!?) convinced myself to stop eating milk and eggs as it´s a good source of protein. I do think at least up here where the areals are so big, that having animals and the protein source we get from them is logical and sustainable.
But I don´t think, and studies are showing that, the areas here can not handle the average meat consumption of today.
I have not read any study about the impact from transporting tons of dried lentils and beans on a boat from the south to here. But it´s hard to believe it has a very big impact.
And by the way isn’t it crazy that it can be cheaper to buy a piece of cow from Argentina than from the local farm?
Anyway getting back to the milk, that started all this writing, I am such a big lover of cow milk in coffee. I drink around 0,7 liter /week and maybe 200-300 grams of other milk products. I eat and drink this ceremoniously. I find it to hard to stop with that but I´m very happy that there´s products that can be like a substitute for milk products. Yoghurt, ice cream and chocolate milk from oatly or other brands are more tasty than the cow milk based, at least when I think about the whole chain.
(I just chose oatly because they are produced in Sweden, awesome! closer to me )
So I try to eat local, seasonal and organic. This is also an issue of money, like I mentioned before, when I was a student my diet was mainly lentils and rice and oats.
I try to get my protein mainly form lentils and beans but I do eat some cow milk products and eggs because it´s easy protein.
I appreciate the convenience of today, having products shipped all over the world. Like coffee, coconuts, peanuts, banana, avocado, cacao oh the list is long..which are the products I enjoy the most and I think about this a lot when I eat them, bake with them or just buy them.
I don´t write this to say you should do this or that, I just write this to share my thoughts of nutrition and why I eat like I do. And I got the inspiration to write when I drank the oat chocolate drink.
Do you have any of these thoughts? Any reflections? I think this is super interesting to hear from you!
Some of the articles that I was reading: