Remember the days when you would want a soy milk cappuccino but it was so hard to get one? They didn't even taste amazing but it was the only non-dairy option. Nowadays, most coffee shops will give you free reign over almond, soy or, probably the most popular, oat. I was doing a coffee run for a group of us at work the other day and someone asked for "a cappuccino". I'm so used to everyone having "an oat milk this" or "an almond that", that I actually had to ask him "what, with cow's milk?!"
It turns out that coffee isn't the only area where dairy consumption has reduced. Apparently a dairy farm closes every day in the UK at the moment. Of course changing consumer preferences are top of the list of reasons, but right up there alongside it is how difficult it is to make money from dairy farming nowadays. In the US, Wisconsin is one of the most concentrated areas of dairy farms. 2,000 farms have closed in the last 12 months and only 25% of farms are left from 25 years ago.
This week, California's oldest dairy farm announced that they are still going to produce milk but are switching out cows for almonds! They've sold their 2,000 cows (to an unknown destination), and are actually expanding their property from 400 to 900 acres in order to plant more almond trees. This is of course great news for the dairy farming family themselves, since they are confident that after having lost money for the last 4 years, that almonds will bring them profits. It's also a huge win for all advocates of cruelty-free consumption and veganism. What does almond milk mean for the environment though? Watch this space... next week we'll take a look into the pros and cons of alternative milks.