July 21, 2014

"[T]he almond-milk industry is selling you a jug of filtered water clouded by a handful of ground almonds."

"Which leads us to the question of price and profit...."
A single ounce (28 grams) of almonds... contains six grams of protein (about an egg's worth), along with three grams of fiber (a medium banana) and 12 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (half an avocado). According to its label, an eight-ounce serving of Califia almond milk offers just one gram each of protein and fiber, and five grams of fat. A bottle of Califia delivers six eight-ounce servings, meaning that a handful of almonds contains as much protein as the mighty jug of this hot-selling beverage....

36 comments:

Michael K said...

All I had to see was the source.

David said...

Coke and Pepsi had no comment.

The Crack Emcee said...

If people could figure even simple fraud out, my life would be so much happier,...

Ann Althouse said...

"All I had to see was the source."

So… I take it you like almond milk.

I've always looked askance at almond milk, so I liked this piece. Eat plain almonds. That's what I do. Making "milk" out of some nuts and additives is absurd (unless you need something to pour on cereal and in coffee and you're genuinely lactose intolerant).

Henry said...

The words "flavor" and "taste" never appear in the article. This is a very bizarre way to write about food.

For example:

"Almond milk has been crushing once-ubiquitous soy milk, perhaps partly because of hotly contested fears that it creates hormonal imbalances."

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Almond milk is crushing soy milk because Almond milk tastes sweet and nutty and Soy milk tastes the sour leachings of fermented beans.

Almond milk is a drink made out of nuts that people enjoy. Saying it's absurd is absurd. It's like saying that making "chocolate" out of beans and sugar is absurd.

I write this as a person who eats raw almonds almost every day and doesn't drink almond milk at all.

Lyssa said...

Making "milk" out of some nuts and additives is absurd (unless you need something to pour on cereal and in coffee and you're genuinely lactose intolerant).

I thought that that was the purpose of almond milk (as a reasonably healthy sub for dairy if you don't want to use it for whatever reason). I didn't realize that people were consuming it purely for health reasons.

I love cow's milk and drink a lot of it. I've tried almond milk and found it pleasant enough, but not so much that I would buy it for myself (unless I suddenly couldn't have cow's milk for some (horrible) reason).

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Looks like I was wrong to believe that there are cows that eat nothing but almonds.

Michael K said...

"So… I take it you like almond milk."

No, I like a free country where even people stupid enough to read Mother Jones are allowed to do so.

Lauderdale Vet said...

We make our own coconut and almond milk here at home. A bit of effort, but tastes so much better.

dbp said...

I have long referred to these "milks" as essentially thin (soy or almond or rice flour)batter.

One of our daughters has turned-out to be lactose intolerant. She came very close to crying tears of joy when we got her some lactaid milk. She missed milk so much and could finally drink it again.

tim in vermont said...

Who gives a crap? It tastes good on cereal and it doesn't activate my intolerance like milk. I am not sure what more I could ask of a product.

TosaGuy said...

While I do applaud exposing hipsters, I despise neo-puritanism more.

Not a fan of almond milk, but I need to go buy some tonight.

Henry said...

Edit: Soy milk tastes *like* the sour leachings of fermented beans.

What drew me back here was the memory of non sequiturs. From the article:

Given that it takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond in California, where 80 percent of the world's almonds are produced, drenching the finished product in yet more water seems insane.

Are raw almonds a water substitute? Eat almonds. Stop peeing. Magic!

The ice industry must drive Mr. Philpott insane.

MathMom said...

Find a need and fill it. Big deal.

tim in vermont said...

It is also a nice thing to have around the house when vegans visit, just a tip.

MadisonMan said...

Cow's milk is delicious. I love it. Life would be horrible if I couldn't drink milk, eat ice cream, and snack on cheese. If I couldn't drink milk, I don't know what I'd do. I've never tried almond milk.

Siggi's Yogurt is superb, also (but pricey -- I'll only buy it on sale at Target).

pcrh said...

Unopened almond milk will keep in your cupboard for several months. Milk, not so much.

richlb said...

My wife uses Almond Milk as a lactose-free milk substitute. She's tried soy milk before, but doesn't care for the taste. That people drink this for health reasons seems crazy. But only slightly so. I have a friend who juices and I always ask her "Why don't you just eat the fruits and veggies that you juice?" It seems absurd to me to try and take the essence of something and turn it into a drink when you could just eat it.

St. George said...

Whole fat dairy, eggs, fatty meat--that's what's good for you, says "The Big Fat Surprise" by NPR reporter Nina Teicholz.

The government-approved low-fat, high-carb diet kills. And heated poyunsatured vegetable oils are harmful. Lard is good.

How has this happened? Flawed research 50+ years ago by zealots. "Billions of dollars spent trying to prove [a flawed hypothesis], by vested interests lining up behind it, by research careers coming to depend on it. Biases developed and hardened. Researchers quoted inadequate studies back and forth to each other, confirming their biases....Critics were sidelined and silenced."

Very much like global warming....

Forbes said...

Mother Jones questioning profit--dog bites man story.

damikesc said...

I can't drink regular milk so Almond milk works well for me. I got no beef with it.

Unknown said...

One of the most disturbing things I saw as a child was when my Grandma raised guppies, and I they ate their young. Today I find Mother Jones attacking an industry that could only survive because of a mostly left-leaning client base (could be a wrong perception, I guess) is just funny.

damikesc said...

Almond milk does taste pleasant. The vanilla variety is quite good.

Freeman Hunt said...

People use almond milk because it is very low calorie. A dieter can use it on cereal for half the calories of skim milk.

n.n said...

Jugs of mostly water.

Henry said...

Water is good for you.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I don't use enough skim milk to use up a whole gallon before it goes bad, but the price of a half-gallon just makes me cringe.

So I was at Costco about to grab a gallon of skim, and they had samples of almond milk with vanilla.

I tried it. It is different from milk, but I liked the taste, unlike soy milk which reminds me of the taste of wood. And the shelf life really impressed me. A box contained three half-gallon jugs for I don't know how much, but it was more expensive than milk by the gallon, but cheaper than milk by the half gallon. So I bought a package, months ago, and it still hasn't gone bad.

It's pretty good on cereal and oatmeal, too, but I think it has some thickeners in it which really thickens up the oatmeal.

I haven't decided if I'll ever buy it again, but I have no regrets.

Anthony said...

The old, crusty dad of a friend of mine had this to say about almond milk:

"Almond milk? What the hell is that? When did almonds start growing tits?"

St. George said...

Then there is the wilder absurdity of bottled water.

When it was introduced in the US in the late 1970s, Perrier being the first brand, it was for the effete. Now most think nothing of putting down $1.19 or more for two cups of water. Purified water!

Also noticed recently that ice at the gas station has gone up to $2.49. Two dollars and forty-nine cents for a bag of frozen water. Seems like it was only $1.99 last year!

T Rellis said...

Apparently our new daughter doesn't like dairy in my wife's breast milk so she had to stop dairy. Almond milk works for her, glad it's around.

great Unknown said...

Cow milk is approximately 87% water, so let's call it discolored water also.

tim in vermont said...

" She came very close to crying tears of joy when we got her some lactaid milk."

Great if it works for her. Doesn't for me.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Did someone say "genuinely lactose intolerant?"

Oh,God... don't tell me there's a meme floating around out there that lactose intolerance is imagined.

There may be people who are anti-dairy... they would probably also be borderline orthoretics. But people who don't/can't drink milk because of lactose intolerance are truly unable to drink it without varying amounts of discomfort. Trust me. Been intolerant since I was 18. (Originally diagnosed as "nerves" and prescribed nembutol or something similar that made me drool.)

Harold said...

richlb said...
"I have a friend who juices and I always ask her "Why don't you just eat the fruits and veggies that you juice?" It seems absurd to me to try and take the essence of something and turn it into a drink when you could just eat it."
-----------------------
I make smoothies using bananas, blueberries, strawberries, yogurt, milk (dairy milk- 2%) and a little sugar. It is more trouble to bend then pour into bowls. But easier to drink then eat them all, and when mixed altogether tastes good. And I can carry a cup into the car and drink it on the way to work. And to be honest, I don't like yogurt at all. But it's fine when mixed with all the other stuff. And it's supposed to be good for me...

Maybe she doesn't like the veggies by themselves. Mixed together makes them palatable to her.

jaed said...

I've always looked askance at almond milk, so I liked this piece. Eat plain almonds. That's what I do. Making "milk" out of some nuts and additives is absurd

That's unusually silly even for you when you're in a provoking mood.

"It's absurd to grind coffee beans to make a beverage! Eat espresso beans. That's what I do."

"It's absurd to press fruit to make juice! Just eat an orange. That's what I do."

"How absurd to make a hot beverage out of some chicken and water! Just eat the chicken. That's what I do."

Almond milk isn't some kind of substitute for almonds, any more than chicken broth is a substitute for chicken.

Mitch H. said...

Jugs of mostly water.

Sounds like a succinct description of low-information voters.

I don't drink almond milk because I'm a) cheap and b) not lactose-intolerant. But its existence does not offend my sense of order in the universe.