Jan. 12 2022 08:00 AM

Milk’s nutrition and naturalness is what consumers need to know.

Just so you know, for the remainder of this article I will be referring to all nut milks as juice. Because as a self-respecting dairy farmer, I simply cannot agree to call it milk. I should also warn you that this article may not go the way you expect it to.

I don’t hate nut juice. Okay, look, I’ve never actually tried it. But I don’t hate the idea of nut juice, at least not as much as I used to. I used to hate it on principle. How dare they take the sacred tradition of having an ice-cold glass of milk with your dinner and turn it against us? A glass of milk is the perfect end to a hot summer day. A glass of milk is the remedy to all our modern-day problems. A glass of milk is family. It’s like coming home. Who would want to defile that? What kind of evil, backwards, face-spitting kind of person would take a few almonds, mix them with water, and dare to call it milk?

Other farmers.

I’ll admit, as dairy farmers, we tend to think we’re the ultimate farmers. And maybe we are. We work the hours, all the hours. We don’t get winter breaks; we don’t even get daily breaks. I don’t think I’m way out of line when I say that dairy farming is a bit more intense than most other types of farming. It. Never. Ends. But that doesn’t give us the right to hold it against other farmers. Farmers grow almonds, too. They grow rice, cashews, peas, and whatever other kind of nut they’re pretending to make into milk nowadays. I don’t have an issue with the product, or the farmers who grow it. And they don’t have control over the marketers who sell it.

Can’t you just imagine how that meeting went? “Hey guys, I know this is crazy, but do you know what market hasn’t had any real competition like, ever? Milk. Isn’t that nuts?” (See what I did there?) They were looking for a way to create a new product and sell some more nuts. They know it’s not milk. We know it’s not milk. The problem is that consumers don’t know it’s not milk.

Let’s stop hating the farmers and the nut industries for the suits who did the damage. Instead of attacking the product and the people who sell it, maybe we should inform the people who buy it. It’s not that hard to do. One look at the labels and it’s obvious that milk is the more natural (fewer ingredients) and more nutritious (higher protein and more nutrients) choice. Stop getting mad and start getting even. Or uneven, because we all know nut juice will just never measure up.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.