As if drawing milk from coconuts, soybeans, and almonds isn’t enough, the latest ridiculous non-dairy milk is here – and it’s somehow coming from peas.
That’s right, peas. That tiny veggie that you hated to eat as a kid is being used to produce pea milk, a vegan alternative to regular ol’ cow’s milk.
The new range launched by Australia’s Own earlier this month, called Like Milk, is made of pea protein. According to Australian Food News, pea milk is high in amino acids, vitamins B2 and B12, vitamin D, and calcium.
Like Milk comes in both Sweetened and Unsweetened versions, both of which have less sugar and fat per serve than dairy milk. That makes sense, seeing it didn’t come from an animal of any kind.
While talking to Australian Food News, dietician Jemma Watkins didn’t sound too confident about the success of the non-dairy milk.
“Pea milk may have use in vegan and lactose-free populations, however, calcium-fortified soy milk is likely to be more nutritionally balanced,” she said. “For the average Australian adult, the significantly lower calories compared to cow’s milk may be favourable.”
She also noted that “it has a different taste to milk and may take some getting used to.”
I don’t know about you, but if I offered a new food product to the market and someone told me that the taste “may take some getting used to,” I wouldn’t be too flattered. It’s code for: it tastes really bad.
Apparently, the popularity of pea milk stemmed from the fitness market, but whether it is going to take off among retail consumers is hard to tell. Gym goers are more used to drinking disgusting drinks with perceived health benefits than regular folk are.
Sonya Kukuljan, a dietitian at Australia’s Own, wrote on the company’s website:
“It provides similar amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin B2 as cow’s milk, with added Vitamin D to help with calcium and phosphorus mineral absorption and also Vitamin B12 to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
“Like Milk provides the key nutrients of cow’s milk, but without the dairy and lactose.”
However silly the idea of pea milk sounds, the vegan milk market is one of the biggest in Australia. Retail stores stock milk from almonds, rice, coconut, soy, organic soy, and oats. On that list, I guess peas don’t sound too crazy.
Figures released by Dairy Australia note that Australians purchased over AUS$200 million (US$144 million) worth of vegan milk in 2017, or around 83 million litres. Global figures are predicted to soar above AUS$16.3 billion (US$11.7 billion) in 2018.
That’s a whole lot of fake milk. I think I’ll stick to the bovine brew.