Best Dairy Alternatives for a Sustainable Diet
Sustainable eating means choosing products that are better for the environment, better for your health, and less harmful to animals and workers than conventional products.
For a lot of people, going vegan can be one of the best ways to eat sustainably. However, many people don’t want to give up their favorite dairy products—after all, what’s an omelet without cheese?
Luckily, there are plenty of dairy alternatives that give you all the nutrients you need without the environmental impacts involved in factory-farmed dairy. Here are the best of them.
Almond milk is a popular dairy alternative, but is it really the best choice? When it comes to sustainability, almond milk is not as eco-friendly as you might think. The process of growing and harvesting almonds requires a lot of water, which can put strain on local water supplies. So, if you're looking for a climate-friendly dairy alternative, oat, pea, or soy milk are all better choices.
Greek yogurt is very resource-intensive to make, while vegan yogurt is usually more climate-friendly. The fermentation process of vegan yogurt can reduce methane emissions by about 18% compared to dairy yogurt. Vegan yogurts made from coconut or soy are easy to find in stores and are sometimes cheaper than their dairy counterparts.
Nut Milk Cheese
Nut milk cheese is a great climate-friendly option. The dairy cows that make milk for cheese produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Alternatively, the production of nut milk cheese requires less water. All in all, if you are looking to be more sustainable or are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, opt for nut milk cheese over regular cheese.
Vegan butter is usually made from plant-based oils, which are a more sustainable choice than butter made from dairy. Plus, it's usually cheaper and healthier than real butter. Look for vegan butter made of olive or avocado oil.
Cashew cream is a dairy-free and vegan-friendly alternative to regular cream. It's also much better for the earth. Cashew cream is made from cashews, water, and salt. The cashews are soaked in water overnight, then blended with water and salt until smooth.