Almond milk and the bees

Bitki

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Obviously in the push back from the dairy farmers over the popularity of almond milk there have been numerous news articles recently about the use of bees to pollinate the almond trees in California and the amount of bees dying in the process. If you haven't read any of these articles they are relocating millions of bees to pollinate the almond crops in California and then when the trees stop flowering the bees are dying. They also lose a huge amount of bees when they relocate them.

As someone who has changed over to almond milk and enjoying it this is hugely annoying. I still feel that almond milk is a lesser evil than cows milk. I am now sourcing almond milks that are being produced from Australian almonds. I'm not sure if they practice the same methods but I'm hoping their crops are smaller and they don't have the same practices. I never liked soy milk so if I am going to drink something I have found almond milk to be a nice flavour. I also feel that in this world you have to work with what you have, there was a huge backlash over vegans not caring about the smaller insects but there is a certain amount of things that you simply don't have any control over.

What does everyone think about this?
 

David3

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Lou

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I still like Soy milk. but if I didn't I would get pea or oat milk instead.
 

Bitki

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Thanks for the links David, I like Tofu in my stir frys and use it quite often so that's handy to know.
 
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SapphireLightning

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The annoying thing is that the only reason they are carting these foreign bees around is to produce honey. If not for that, they could just set up sections of the fields where native pollinators could set up shop naturally and pollinate the almonds (or whatever other crop) without molestation. The exploitation is for bee vomit, not for almonds. Also, almond milk still uses much less water than cows milk to produce, so I am getting kinda sick of hearing that argument from the dairy industry...
 
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Indian Summer

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As for oat milks, I really, really enjoy the taste of Oatly! It's a Swedish brand which has been popular here in Europe for several years. It has recently-ish become available in the US, but I don't know about other places like Australia.

Oat milk has the smallest footprint (water usage and CO2 equivalents) of all plant milks.
 

Indian Summer

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Oat milk has the smallest footprint (water usage and CO2 equivalents) of all plant milks.
Checking my source again, this isn't completely true - the picture is more nuanced. See the graph in this article for details on emissions, land and water usage for different milks:
 

shyvas

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As for oat milks, I really, really enjoy the taste of Oatly! It's a Swedish brand which has been popular here in Europe for several years. It has recently-ish become available in the US, but I don't know about other places like Australia.

Oat milk has the smallest footprint (water usage and CO2 equivalents) of all plant milks.
Definitely agree that Oatly is one of the best plant based milks together with Alpro. Their cream is to die for. 👍

 
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Bitki

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At this stage I might try a few others but if almond milk works for us then I think at this stage it's a better option than cows milk. I am new to this way of living and we have made so many positive changes already. I figure I have to start somewhere and it will be a process.

I will have a look for Oatly and Alpro.
 
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Lou

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[QUOTE="David3, post: 32114, member: 5172"
It's interesting to note that 98% of U.S. soybean meal is used for animal feed: http://www.wisoybean.org/news/soybean_facts.php . We tofu and soymilk consumers have barely any impact on soybean production.
[/QUOTE]

A similar factoid is that 45% of corn production is fed to animals. Only about 10% of the corn grown in the US is suitable for human consumption.
 

Emma JC

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Just a reminder, in this milk discussion, that you can easily make milk from a banana, especially if you use it for cereal you will never notice it isn't almond or soy or even oat. Just put a banana and some water in a whizzer and whiz... you have milk.

Emma JC
 
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shyvas

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Just a reminder, in this milk discussion, that you can easily make milk from a banana, especially if you use it for cereal you will never notice it isn't almond or soy or even oat. Just put a banana and some water in a whizzer and whiz... you have milk.

Emma JC
Wouldn't it be more like a pureed banana rather than milk ? :) I would have thought that a pb milk is the extract (nut,seed or pulse/legume) plus added water.
 
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Lou

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I've made banana milk a few times. Sometimes when I run out of soymilk, there might be a banana in the house. And it works great over cereal.
If you have a frozen banana you can turn it into banana ice cream.
 

Emma JC

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Wouldn't it be more like a pureed banana rather than milk ? :) I would have thought that a pb milk is the extract (nut,seed or pulse/legume) plus added water.
nope, depends on the amount of water you use - 1 ripe banana and 1/2 cup of cold water approx. and it is a lovely milklike substance

Emma JC
 

Hog

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The most important difference between vegan milk and cow milk is that my farts seem less smelly with vegan milk.
 
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Luis Halson

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Obviously in the push back from the dairy farmers over the popularity of almond milk there have been numerous news articles recently about the use of bees to pollinate the almond trees in California and the amount of bees dying in the process. If you haven't read any of these articles they are relocating millions of bees to pollinate the almond crops in California and then when the trees stop flowering the bees are dying. They also lose a huge amount of bees when they relocate them.

As someone who has changed over to almond milk and enjoying it this is hugely annoying. I still feel that almond milk is a lesser evil than cows milk. I am now sourcing almond milks that are being produced from Australian almonds. I'm not sure if they practice the same methods but I'm hoping their crops are smaller and they don't have the same practices. I never liked soy milk so if I am going to drink something I have found almond milk to be a nice flavour. I also feel that in this world you have to work with what you have, there was a huge backlash over vegans not caring about the smaller insects but there is a certain amount of things that you simply don't have any control over.

What does everyone think about this?
Yes, lots of bees die in almond milk production. It is much better to drink something like soymilk, ricemilk or oat milk.
 

Lou

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This poster of this thread is long gone. but...
I'm surprised I didn't respond to the original post.
There are some statements that are made that are not exactly right.

I know I am a nitpicker but I think its good to get your facts right

the part about "when the trees stop flowering the bees are dying" is not right. The bees spend days in the orchard and nights in their hive. When its time to move, the beekeepers just pack up the bees at night and go somewhere else.

the part about "They also lose a huge amount of bees when they relocate them." This part is right. The bees are transported in big trucks. Some of them come from hundreds if not thousands of miles away and the trip IS very stressful. Millions (probably billions) of bees die during the trip.

Maybe even a more important issue is no one knows if this kind of bee exploitation is one of the causes of Bee Collapse Disorder. And even without considering Vegan Ethics, it would be a good idea for us Hoomins to take BCD seriously. A very large percentage* of the crops we eat are dependent on bees for pollination. If the bees go - a famine starts.

i live in California and its just freaky how many acres of almond trees we have in the central valley. Everytime I drive thru there I see more almond groves too. Most of the world's supply of almonds come from California and the demand for almonds is fueled by the popularity of almond milk.

If you hapen to be on Interstate 5 or 80 at the end of February there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of big semis filled with beehives.

The problem is that almond trees are only fertile for a few days in the Spring. And the almond trees are grown in a monoculture. Perhaps if for every almond tree there were a bunch of other flowering plants nearby a resident bee population could survive the almonds and then have other foods nearby the rest of the year.

It has been suggested that not eating honey but eating almonds is hypocritical. And a debate has ensued. Also, it might not just be almonds and honey. Avocado farmers in both California and Mexico utilize huge amounts of commercail bees. and lots of other forms of crop production are dependent on bees, too.

* The percentage is subject to debate. Maybe as little as 25%. Maybe a much as half. No matter - either number or anything in between would be a catastrophe.
 
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