got milk?

The demand for cow’s milk has decreased dramatically in recent years while the demand for alternative milk has risen. Find out why people are ditching cow’s milk for non-dairy options and their favorite alternative!


Elli Westmacott

When it comes to drinking milk, people tend to have very strong preferences. We either love it or hate it. In recent years, since we’ve been drifting away from cow’s milk and favoring alternative milk, there are so many more options to choose from, and many more questions to be asked. Do you prefer almond milk or oat milk in your iced latte? Coconut milk or hemp milk for your smoothie? Do you drink these faux-milk options alone, or is that out of the question? The truth is that Americans are moving on from cow milk — alternative milk sales have increased 61 percent from 2012 to 2017 according to a study done by Mintel.
Since drinking cow’s milk is so normalized for most and some faux-milks seems a bit odd and certainly different from what we’re used to, we decided to try out these options to give readers some tips on which alternative milk may be the best.


Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almondmilk
Taste: The vanilla flavor was lacking but the flavor was overall good. Although a bit bitter, there was still an almond flavor.
Environmental impact: 74 liters of water per glass (highest water use), relatively low land use, medium carbon emissions


Pacific Foods Oat Plant-Based Beverage Original Unsweetened
Taste: This oat milk was probably the overall least favorite because its flavor tasted like stale water. There was maybe a little bit of oat flavor, but more or less, it tasted like nothing.
Environmental impact: less water than almond milk and grown in non-drought suffering areas, low carbon emissions


Rice Dream Unsweetened Rice Drink
Taste: After giving this one a few different tries, we concluded that this one doesn’t have much flavor. A slight taste of overcooked rice was present, but this rice milk tasted very much like water.

Environmental impact: 54 liters of water per glass, lowest for land use, relatively high carbon emissions


Tempt Unsweetened Original Hemp milk
Taste: This one had the strongest flavor of all the milks we tried. It especially tasted like vanilla and it was very creamy. Overall tasty.
Environmental impact: very little water, no pesticides, very good environmentally,
low carbon emissions




365 Organic Unsweetened Coconutmilk Beverage
Taste: This one tasted very much like water with a bit of coconut flavor.
Environmental impact: low impact except for carbon emissions since it grows in tropical places and has to be transported, medium carbon emissions