Monday, August 9, 2010

It's Not Milk

Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk and oat milk all have one thing in common – they’re not milk!

The dairy case at the grocery store seems to keep growing to make room for products that contain no dairy at all. Today, there are many products available that are packaged like milk, look like milk and are labeled “milk”. The marketers of these products want to position themselves as similar to nutrient-rich milk, but they are not the same. Is this marketing, misleading or counterfeit?

Plant-based foods and beverages naturally do not contain the same nutrients as dairy foods. A survey of commercial products by National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) revealed that, even with fortification, the nutrient profiles of the plant-based products were inferior to the dairy foods they were trying to imitate.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) define Standards of Identity which are minimum quality specifications and composition for many staple food products. Standards of Identity have been established for milk, cream, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream and some types of cheese. Part of the standard of identity of “milk” is that it’s obtained from cows.

As a dairy producer, I believe non-dairy products should not be allowed to carry the label “milk”. Consumers should have the choice to purchase products made from grains, seeds, nuts or other ingredients, but they shouldn’t be labeled milk and shouldn’t be in the dairy case.

If you want the excellent nutrition package of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin, make sure you consume real dairy products.

Other resources on this topic:

Not milk? Experts sort out the confusion over options, substitutes by Betsy Friauf

They Don’t Got Milk Facebook page


  1. Totally agree with you on the milk label issue. Thanks for the links!

  2. I only like "real" milk and it's the only kind you will find in my fridge. Never could get used to the taste of any alternative milks and frankly who would want to?!


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