Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Dairy and alternatives

A dairy product is food derived from the milk of mammals. The main animals used for milk production are most often cows, but in some countries goats, sheep, water buffaloes, yaks, horses and camels are also used. While dairy is used regularly Europe, the Middle East, South and Central Asia, East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines avoids it. Dairy products include butter, cream and fermented milk products such as cheese, yogurt, kefir. Dairy contains significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat, although with the exception of butter. Non-animal alternatives to standard dairy products may be made from soya, rice, oats, almond and coconut. Dairy production is resource-and GHG-intensive (dairy producing animals are ruminants) and give rise to the same environmental concerns that are associated with meat consumption.

Photo: Erik Edgren, taro burger, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

In this paper, using three scenarios for food demand, the researchers model and highlight the indirect relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emission abatement within the food supply system and the energy system, globally.

7 March 2017

As Asda becomes the first UK retailer to sell ‘free range’ milk, the Pasture Promise logo will be placed on the milk packages, to ensure consumers that the cows grazed for 180 days and nights and farmers were offered fair price.

8 February 2017

This report outlines the main - familiar - arguments for cutting meat and dairy consumption in high-income countries in order to significantly reduce GHG emissions. It specifically focuses on larger corporations and briefly touches on governance issues.

3 November 2016

With milk prices in the USA dropping due in part to a fall in demand from Chinese middle class customers, large stockpiles of cheese now lie waiting.

Photo: Peter O’Connor, Cattle Herd, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
31 August 2016

This report commissioned by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and written by its High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) focuses on sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, specifically in relation to livestock.

1 April 2016

The EU parliament has now approved a law which will merge the separate EU school milk and fruit schemes and boost their combined annual budget from €20m to €250m a year.

18 January 2016

This paper published in Marketing Science finds that small price differences at the point of purchase (a so-called excise tax) can be highly effective in shifting consumer demand from high calorie to healthier low calorie alternatives.

18 June 2015

In this post on the Public Health England blog, Alison Tedstone discusses sustainable healthy diets and what such a diet can look like in the UK.  It particularly discusses the consumption and production of meat and dairy.

12 June 2015

This Bloomberg article describes how as a percentage of all new milk products on the market in 2014, non-dairy milk products made up 24% and 31% in European and North American respectively. In addition to oat, soy and almond milk, scientists have also developed alternatives based on from hemp and quinoa. The article focuses on the case of a Swedish Oat-milk producing company Oatly – a company that has seen sales grow significantly with revenue increasing with 37 percent this year. It describes how “(t)he expanding range of options has helped broaden the appeal of products such as Oatly beyond vegetarians, vegans, and the lactose intolerant”.

8 May 2015

This paper provides a useful overview of the nutritional, and (very briefly) some of the environmental differences between cow’s milk and substitute milks made from plants such as soy, rice, quinoa and oats.  Having described the process of transforming plants into milks it then goes on to conclude that there are important nutritional differences, with cow’s milk generally richer in protein and essential micronutrients.  It notes, however, that the GHG footprint non-dairy substitutes tends to be lower. It concludes:

19 April 2015

This paper finds that consumption of high-fat yoghurt and cheese are linked to reduced risks of developing type 2 diabetes – reducing these risks by as much as a fifth. High meat consumption, on the other hand, is linked to a higher risk, regardless of the fat content of the meat. These results are in line with previous studies of eating habits that indicated a link between high consumption of dairy products and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

26 March 2015

This is a special issue introduction, providing a brief overview of the CSES project (Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES)) to serve as an introduction for the papers that follow in this volume of Poultry Science. The full issue focuses on providing empirical information on the sustainability of commercial-scale egg production. 

Keywords:
18 February 2015

This article highlights one of the approaches the dairy industry is taking to create new markets for dairy consumption.

3 December 2014

The consumption of milk is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Archaeologists and geneticists have been puzzling about where and why people have been drinking milk since it was revealed that the mutations which enable adults to drink milk are under the strongest selection of any in the human genome. Co-author Dr Christina Warinner, from the Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, said: "The study has far-reaching implications for understanding the relationship between human diet and evolution.

Pages