Potato milk is offering an environmentally friendly alternative It's considered more environmentally friendly than other popular plant milks - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Potato Milk: The Best Plant-Based Dairy Option For The Environment?

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3 Minutes Read

There’s trusty oat, almond, coconut, and soy. There’s even plant-based milk made out of peas, hemp, and sesame. But a lesser-known new concoction is potato milk.

And judges are billing it the best for the environment, whilst also being free from some of the main allergens.

What is potato milk?

Simply, potato milk is plant milk made from potatoes. Its texture is dubbed to be white and milky and it’s mild in taste.

Swedish brand DUG has recently debuted its creation following research from Professor Eva Tornberg at Lung University. The current range includes Original, Barista, and Unsweetened.

Producing considerably less CO2 than dairy – it’s also considered more environmentally friendly than other popular plant milks.  According to the brand, it is twice as efficient as growing oats in terms of land use. And it requires more than 50 times less water than almond milk.

‘Our choice to use potatoes as a base means we have a super-sustainable drink’, CEO Thomas Olander told The Guardian.

DUG has three varieties of its potato milks

Plant milks

The brand hopes to offer an alternative to plant milks given a bad name for environmental impact. For example, soy milk is often deplored for its links to deforestation. However, there is mounting evidence that indicates land cleared for soy production is for animal agriculture, rather than to produce plant milk. In fact, 80 percent of soy crop is grown as feed for livestock animals.

Additionally, almond milk is widely considered as the worst plant milk for the environment in terms of water use, land use, and emissions. To produce just one liter of milk requires a staggering 371 liters of water, for example. 

It is also criticized for pesticide use and has been blamed for causing lasting droughts in California – where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are grown.

But whichever plant milk you choose, all have a lower carbon footprint than dairy: with nutritional and ethical benefits alongside.

Dairy industry

Despite this, there are many who persist that plant milks, in general, are damaging to the environment. This includes concerns about air miles or protecting local farmers. 

But dairy is extremely carbon-intensive, from the vast amounts of methane gas released to growing feed to raise livestock.

Moreover, it creates around three times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than plant alternatives.

Potato health benefits

Environmental benefits aside, the humble potato is packed with goodness.

The root vegetable contains a host of health benefits, such as providing a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Moreover, they contain antioxidants which may help reduce chances of developing chronic diseases including cancer.

Due to high starch content, potatoes are also linked to improved digestive functions.

So, is potato milk the future of plant milk?

You can find out more about DUG here

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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Roseann Walker
Roseann Walker
11 months ago

While plant based milks might be a suitable alternative for many consumers, the continual repetition of misinformation that accompanies any article about alternative ‘milks’ erodes any credibility attached to the product AND those that write articles about them. for instance the claim “land cleared for soy production is for animal agriculture, rather than to produce plant milk. In fact, 80 percent of soy crop is grown as feed for livestock animals” instead of the facts. FACT: only 7% of soy is fed directly to livestock (it’s actually rather toxic) Soy is mainly grown for it’s oil for human use, either in industrial use or for cooking oil or emulsifying ingredients (mainly for plant based alternatives).a small amount goes to make soy milks and tofu. Soy only yields 20% oil, after processing the other 80% is completely inedible to humans. The high protein ‘meal’ is used in stockfeed instead of being a waste product and going into landfill. There is a lot of difference in the feeding of by products to stating the the majority is GROWN FOR. Please keep to the facts.

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
11 months ago
Reply to  Roseann Walker

HI, Thanks for your comment.

This is quite a good resource regarding the subject.

https://ourworldindata.org/soy

“For consumers, since most deforestation is driven by expanding pastures for beef, or soy to feed poultry and pigs, reducing meat consumption is an effective way to make a difference.”

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
10 months ago

Hi Darrell, Roseann Walker is 100% correct. Only 7% of soy is specifically grown as animal feed. The soy that animals receive is a by-product of the extracted oil ( called “meal” or “cake” ) so to claim that that most soy is grown for animal feed ( Including poultry and pigs ) is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. You are perfectly correct in staying that deforestation is partly driven by expanding pastures for beef, but the issue of soy has little to do with livestock ( your website link is confirmation of that ). As someone with a university background in Ecology and Conservation Management with 50 yrs of field experience I am vehemently opposed to any destruction of the Biosphere for whatever reason, but exaggeration and misrepresentation do not help the cause.

PS. Commercially grown potatoes are an environmentally damaging crop.

Gangan
Gangan
10 months ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

One of the largest soya oil producers in the world Cargill publishes their revenue details on their website. Their largest revenue comes from animal nutrition, not from oil. Are we saying tail wags the dog here? Or are we prepared to accept that “cake” or “meal” is the main product, and oil is a by-product, going by the revenue numbers/

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Gangan

The practice of feeding by-product to animals is probably as old as farming itself, but in the modern vastly overpopulated, commercial and industrial world it’s become a whole new ball game.

In spite of the reversal of the commercial value, soy meal is a by-product of the veg oil industry, as is rapeseed and many others. If these oils are important to the food industry, one assumes they would continued to be grown to the detriment of the environment.

Although I would be more than happy to see an end to CAFOs and the Veg Oil Industry I don’t believe that offering false or partial information is the way to go. The public have been led to believe that these crops are grown SOLELY as animal feeds, future statements should therefore read that “ Soy as a crop is grown largely for oil and animal feed”

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
10 months ago
Reply to  Roseann Walker

100% correct!

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