Oat milk

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RenewableCandy
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Oat milk

Post by RenewableCandy »

So. Fille has gone Vegan - good for her!

In a possibly connected incident, we are now having Oat milk delivered instead of the more conventional cow-juice. I like the taste, and it does all the stuff cow-juice does, pretty-well. (Note: the rest of us, myself included, will still eat whatever is served.)

The question is this: for a given amount of slightly-rough Northern English land, which is more productive of 'milk': grazing cows, or growing oats? Does anybody on Board happen to know? If there are calculations, have they included the additions you have to make to oat milk (Calcium, Iron etc) to level-it-up with actual cow's milk (and indeed to stop it curdling in hot drinks)? Is Oat milk harder to make? And so on.

Comments, anyone?
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adam2
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Re: Oat milk

Post by adam2 »

I have no hard figures, but direct use of vegetable matter such as oats, is almost always more efficient than the indirect use of plants after they have been eaten by animals.

Oats are easier to grow than rearing cows, but turning oats into oat milk is more complex than milking a cow.

The hardier breeds of cattle may be kept on land unsuited to arable farming.

The dung of cattle improves the soil. Dairy cows can be eaten when no longer productive. The male cattle can be eaten, and can be used as working animals, though this is rare in the UK. Leather is also produced and has many uses.
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clv101
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Re: Oat milk

Post by clv101 »

I know two families locally, one who produce oat milk and one who produce milk in the conventional bovine way, both at the small but commercial scale. Making 'proper' oat milk isn't particularly hard, one person with a few thousand pounds of commercial kitchen equipment and the right enzymes (essential to make it behave like real milk) can produce and bottle/pasteurise a couple hundred litres per day. They grow and process some of the oats used but not all. This is less work, less capital and less land per litre than the other family who maintain a small herd of grass fed, calf at foot, dairy cows. From my first hand experience of both setups, I think the oat milk is easier and more profitable per litre. However, I expect a litre of cow milk has a lot more calories than the oat milk!
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PS_RalphW
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Re: Oat milk

Post by PS_RalphW »

Oat milk can be bought from the cheaper supermarkets around here for 80p a litre. Cow milk in the village shop was £1 a litre the last time I looked. Given the economies of scale that cow milk will have at present, I must assume oat milk will be much the cheaper and less carbon intensive if it really takes off. Better half uses it in preference for all the milk alternatives she has tried.

According to google, oat milk has about the same calories as semi-skimmed milk.
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clv101
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Re: Oat milk

Post by clv101 »

Retail price in a poor metric. Milk production is mostly primary agriculture and as such benefits significantly from subsidies. A much larger proportion of the oat milk value chain is manufacturing (only about 80g oats per litre?), so there's far less subsidy per litre than for milk. I also expect there's a much larger retail profit margin on oat milk.

Without any subsidy I'd expect milk to be at least three times the price of oat milk per litre, maybe a lot more.

But, nutritionally they aren't the same litre for litre.

100g whole milk: 65kcal, 3.6g fat, 4.6g sugar, 3.5g protein
100g oat milk: 58kcal, 3.4g fat, 4g sugar, 1.2g protein

More similar that I thought, protein being the biggest difference.
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emordnilap
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Re: Oat milk

Post by emordnilap »

Since I started making my own decisions, I've not seen the need for milk of any sort. I'm with the majority of the human population, historically and presently, on this.
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clv101
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Re: Oat milk

Post by clv101 »

Yep, that's a good point. Drinking litres of milk a week is extremely unusual, even amongst most Europeans.

I wonder what proportion of global milk production is taken as *milk* as opposed to cheese, butter, custard, chocolate etc. If it's something like 50% then it might be a reasonable policy decision to simply quit milk retail, as there are lots of alternatives, shrink the global herd by the 50%, and maintain all the milk *products*.
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adam2
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Re: Oat milk

Post by adam2 »

I almost never use milk, cow or oat.
I do however use butter and sometimes cream, these being produced from cow milk.
Butter is usually obtained direct from a farm, or from the local farmers market.

BTW, pet cats know the difference and wont touch oat milk !
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RenewableCandy
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Re: Oat milk

Post by RenewableCandy »

Thanks all, particularly for the comments about cheese. I may have found it a doddle to give up cow milk but LET THEM PRISE MY WENSLEYDALE FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!
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