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.

Image: Andy Farrington, Rotary Parlour at Broadwigg Farm, Geograph, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
13 May 2019

This paper, written by researchers on the University of Oxford’s LEAP project and co-authored by the FCRN’s Tara Garnett, explores what drives the intensification of dairy farming, and the consequences for the environment, animal welfare, socio-economic wellbeing and human health. The paper also considers three potential approaches to addressing these consequences: sustainable intensification, multifunctionality, and agroecology.

Image: Libreshot, Milk is poured into a glass, Public domain
1 April 2019

This feature in the UK’s Guardian newspaper examines the environmental implications of China’s promotion of milk consumption. Dairy consumption in China has grown from very little to around 30 kg per year within the last few decades, and government guidelines recommend that people triple their current dairy consumption.

11 February 2019

This report from Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Global Dairy Platform shows the global dairy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions and outlines the measures the sector could take to contribute to climate change mitigation.

Image: Farm Watch, Dairy Cow, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
29 January 2019

FCRN member Marie Trydeman Knudsen has co-authored this life cycle assessment of organic versus conventional milk production in Western Europe, which highlights the importance of including soil carbon changes, ecotoxicity and biodiversity in environmental assessments.

Image: Rob Mitchell, Cow and calf, Flickr, Public Domain
25 September 2018

In this study, researchers investigated the views of urban Brazilian citizens on dairy production. The study also explored the public’s awareness of and their views on the acceptability of four common husbandry practices: early cow-calf separation; zero-grazing; culling of the newborn male calf; and dehorning without pain mitigation. Their goal was to understand Brazilians’ concerns around and acceptance of dairy farming.

24 July 2018

A new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP, a US non-profit research and advocacy organisation) and Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN, a non-profit headquartered in Spain) finds that the five largest meat and dairy companies together account for more greenhouse gas emissions than ExxonMobil, Shell or BP. The top 20 meat and dairy companies have greater emissions than some nations, including the UK and Australia. The report argues that by 2050, the meat and dairy industry could account for 80% of the planet’s greenhouse gas budget if the industry grows as projected.

Image: Sam LaRussa, Yeast Cells Under the Microscope, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
12 March 2018

Startup Perfect Day, which grows milk proteins in yeast cells instead of cows, has raised $24.7 million dollars in funding and is now talking to major food brands.

Image: World’s Direction, Milk, Flickr, Public Domain
26 February 2018

A new paper compares four popular plant based milks to cow’s milk. It concludes that soy milk is the best replacement for cow’s milk from a nutritional standpoint.

Image: Apostolos, Cow, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
20 February 2018

A new technique has been devised to verify whether the cows producing ‘organic’ milk have actually spent the required 120 days a year grazing outdoors.

Image: Viva Granda Photography, Friendly Calf, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
20 February 2018

A new study shows that individual dairy calves have a tendency to be pessimistic or optimistic, with more fearful calves tending to be more pessimistic.

Keywords:
Image: US Department of Agriculture, k11662-1, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 February 2018

Tougher immigration laws, the rising cost of labour and cheap credit could encourage dairy farms to use more robots, according to this article in Bloomberg.

Image: David J, Oats, Flickr, Creative Commons license 2.0 generic.
1 February 2018

In more non-dairy milk news, oat milk maker Oatly are marketing their product to coffee shops across the United States.

Image: USDA, 20150722-NRCS-LSC-0122, Flickr, Creative Commons Public Domain Mark 1.0
1 February 2018

The rising popularity of non-dairy milks has prompted calls from the dairy industry for the name “milk” to be restricted to the dairy version.

21 January 2018

Researcher at the University of Nottingham have developed a free Excel-based tool to reduce the use of antibiotics on dairy farms. It is hoped this will help combat antimicrobial resistance in the farming industry. The calculator gives measurements which graphically display to farmers their use of antibiotics and detects any patterns. The calculator also tells farmers how their antibiotic use compares to other farms.

28 November 2017

The top five mega-corporations responsible for factory-farmed meat and dairy are responsible for emitting more combined greenhouse gases (GHGs) than Exxon, or Shell, or BP. That is according to findings released in a joint study undertaken by IATP and GRAIN.

7 June 2017

An ad used by Arla Foods to promote their organic milk has been banned as it used the "misleading" claim that its production is "good for the land". 

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.

Pages