Can you imagine the words “potato” and “milk” together? No right? But what if we told you that something like that exists and is usually consumed by people too?
Although non-dairy kinds of milk made with oats, almonds, and soybeans have been a hit with vegetarians and vegans, one more type of milk has made its way into the spotlight. Yes, you guessed it right. Potato milk it is.
Potato milk is becoming a popular favorite within the Canadian cafes’ scenario. Eva Tornberg and Lund University in Sweden, food technology and engineering professor, developed the product.
Eva said that she got the opportunity after paying attention to how much protein potatoes contain, so why not put them to better use?
Development of potato milk
The professor said she thought of transforming potatoes by adding rapeseed oil, chicory fiber, and pea protein. According to Eva, potatoes saved people from starvation and provided nutrition during the 19th century.
Eva Tornberg is also the head of innovation and development at the Veg of Lund, the company behind potato milk. The milk is rich in protein and vitamin C, with high starch content.
Potato milk is a rare product at the moment. It is currently available in the UK, Sweden, and China. Eva says that the milk is becoming a hit with the people quickly, and they have already run out of stock. She says that milk is becoming so popular because of its creamy texture and neutral taste.
Research shows that potato milk might also be the most environmentally friendly milk option now. Another bonus to this is that potatoes are much easier and more economically friendly to grow than almonds.
Potatoes are one of the most accessible foods to grow and also very productive. Potatoes are water and land-efficient, which means they produce more food and use less water than other plants.
Tornberg says that it takes 16 000 liters of water to produce a kilogram of almonds. Compared to this, they need 270 liters of water to grow a kilo of potatoes. Not only this, most of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which is experiencing its worst drought in years.
According to Alissa Kendall, professor of civil environmental engineering at the University of Davis, California, almonds are grown in Mediterranean-type climates. As a result, there has to be a lot of suns but not a lot of water. Kendall says that almonds take a large amount of water to grow, usually irrigated water.
Soymilk is a better option comparatively in terms of water usage for growth. It averages around 2,500 liters of water per kilogram of soybeans. But studies show that soymilk is the worst kind of milk in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
It probably has to do with the fact that the growth of soy leads to more carbon release in the environment. Kendall says that it has a lot to do with where the carbon is being grown.
Soy milk can be a good option if grown in other parts of the world, significantly when it is grown close to where consumers live.
Oat and potato milk are similar in carbon and water footprints, but according to Eva Tornberg, growing potatoes is twice as efficient as growing oats.
Although they have their shortcomings, Kendall says that all plant-based milk is better than dairy milk in terms of water use, carbon footprint, and land use.
When it comes to dairy, feed a lot of cows. Along with this, cows also produce large quantities of methane while metabolizing their feed and producing milk. So, they are not very environment-friendly.
Not only this, growing cattle feed requires a lot of resources, and dairy-processing itself is a very intense process.
Choose the best milk
Although potato milk seems like the best possible environmental hazard, Kendall says that the packaging may cause more harm to the environment than the actual production.
Kendall says that this plant-based milk is mostly water, which means there are not many plants. So, since the product is mostly water like other products, production and packaging are important factors.
Kendall says that people should check the labels of the milk cartons to see where it has been packaged. Some companies package the milk closer to where it has to be sold, which saves shipping and is better for the environment. So, there are two advantages.
If you are looking for healthy and environment-friendly options, we recommend you check out this potato milk. Enjoy it with some cookies while you are at it.
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