Almond Milk or Milk-Milk and Does This Say Anything About You?

by Leandra Medine
August 4, 2014


There is an illusive line of demarcation that illustrates the difference between the character of a coffee drinker vs. that of tea drinker’s. Occasionally, this inconsistency will be met with an analogy: he who drinks coffee also likes dogs and she who drinks tea also likes cats. That the former is typically a man in this simile and the latter a woman seems blasphemous if only because most of the men in my family have never so much as tried coffee and yet love canines.

But I don’t make the stats, I just present them.

The supposition, I guess, is that the dog owner/coffee consumer is presumably easier going. This, in spite of an addiction to third-party energy. The tea drinker is vaguely more timid and enjoys a cat because just like their owners, the felines take care of themselves. Or whatever.

But what about those of us who drink regular milk vs. those of us who have fallen victim to the plague that is a non-dairy, hot beverage accoutrement? Never mind the lactose intolerant who must forgo the former product in a struggle I like to Splat: Battle of the Bathroom. Almond or soy milk isn’t so much an option for the pant pooper as it is retaliation against his or her adoptive nickname. Mostly, I’m talking about (or is condemning?) someone who is like me and has never exhibited a negative reaction to milk-proper but snarls — straight up snarls — when a coffee shop does not serve almond or soy (or cashew or hemp or coconut) milk.

Am I simply pretentious or is something else at play?

There is of course the argument that the latter milks (mylks?) are healthier. That’s why I’ve convinced myself that I consume them, at least. They all seem to moonlight as viable dairy avengers that don’t create mucus in the human body. And you know what they say, right? Less boogers = happier adults. Frankly speaking, too, they seem lighter — on the mind and the stomach. On the mind because there are no udder-to-mouth implications involved and on the stomach because, I don’t know, I’m excellent at tricking my mind into believing whatever I want it to believe?

Here’s the thing, though, if there is one thing I have learned from my dad — one thing only — it is that we have been put on this earth to eat and eat well. So if milk is your bag (and considering my relationship with ice cream, it is my fucking suitcase), you should request an extra large. If it’s not, don’t. So, does this mean that I’m sacrificing joie de vivre (joy of living) for peur de mourir (fear of dying)? Dramatic, I know, but ask yourself this question then double down using your fingertips and answer right below in the cogitation station depository a.k.a. home.

-Leandra Medine

  • BattleShop

    We’ll NEVER look at our Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk the same way again. “Less boogers = happier adults.” HILAR!

  • carrotsandcandysticks

    last night I spent 9 minutes and the rest of my good mood in the “milk” section of stop and shop trying to decide which variation of non-lactosed vanilla-ed or original-ed coconut/almond/soy/flax/hemp would a) taste the best and b) be least likely to give me cancer or a fat ass. I left with nothing, realizing the alternative was dying of indecision. I vote water/ whatever is in my mother’s fridge.

  • Heather P.

    I unfortunately fall under the Splat: Battle of the Bathroom category – so no matter how much of a dick I sound like when my local Starbucks runs out of soy milk (which happens well before 9am), it’s not because I’m a pretentious snob…I just don’t want to shart at work. And I really try not to act like a dick – I just get my coffee black and deal with it, which I should probably do anyway…but lattes are so f-ing good.

    I do, however, find that I like almond milk more than I like soy…so if that makes me a snob, then fine. I just don’t care for the flavor of soy – never have.

    I also hear there’s hazelnut milk out there, but I refuse to try it because if it tastes anywhere near as amazing as I think it does, I’m screwed and will forever pay $10/quart for it. ;-)

    • Esther Levy

      as a fellow victim of the potential b-room emergen-c, I sympathize with you

      • Heather P.

        It’s no fun, for sure – especially because I have yet to find an ice cream alternative that I like. :-)

        • Lauren W

          In the UK we have, which, dare I venture, tastes better than real ice cream. It’s made with cashews so you can practically argue that it’s healthy.
 is great soya based ice cream, not quite as natural but still good.

          Now you just need to pester them to branch out to the US and we’re rolling!

          • Heather P.

            Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely have to look into those! I’m moving to Seattle soon, and I’m hoping they’ll have more options than we have in Ohio (where people still think almond milk is for dirty hippies). :-)

    • Sarah P

      Alpro do hazelnut milk – at least in the UK, and it’s amazing (also nowhere near $10) hope you can find some near you

      • Heather P.

        I’m in the US, but I’ll definitely keep my eye out for it!

  • Sascha

    Almond all the way!

  • andrea raymer

    I was raised on skim milk. Any sort of dairy milk richer than that and I will probably puke. for a while I was having stomach issues and i gave up dairy and went on an all-liquid diet during which i was obsessed with smoothies with almond milk. I had to settle for hemp milk once and nearly vomited. I also ended up with a yeast infection and started eating real food again. I guess I learned what happens when you consume nothing but smoothies, juices and nut milks for 2 weeks.

  • Aubrey Green

    I fall under the Splat category, except the opposite of splat. I get very annoyed when a coffee place doesn’t have soy, almond, or an alternative to regular milk. I drank SOOOO much milk as a child and developed rashes on my skin, but still drank milk anyway.

  • maria

    I choose Almond or Cashew or what ever (not soy!! could be transgenic! ) over dairy, but i would take it a step further only if it is home made and with no additives all of them are just as harmful, being them in the dairy or any kind of milk. Also, beware of the sugar in those so called healthier milks.. I do my own at home… Am I a freak? Also i try not eat dairy at all. Except for the occasional ice cream. What can i say? I am flawed…

  • Zoe

    I’m a little of both: some full-fat whole milk or half-and-half, or almond milk. I much prefer whole milk (opposed to grey water a.k.a. skim), but I once maybe heard somewhere that milk=hormones=hormonal adult acne=why god why?

    The What’s In Between

  • Alma

    I adore regular milk sadly I’m one of those poopers! Damn it… But I find almond milk quite nice better than the soy option actually. I think though it has loads of calories or whatever but I’m on the joie de vivre circle ;) anyway, I’m also a tea drinker who loves dogs… Xx, Alma

  • Gigi Gastevich

    So confused on the whole non-milk thing. I grew up in Wisconsin and wasn’t even aware that non-cow types of milk existed. It wasn’t until I moved to LA that I even HEARD of soy or almond milk (both of which taste so gross to a kid who grew up on four skim glasses a day.)

    Love, Gigi
    Dolce and Gabriella

  • Angela_E

    Blessed is the day the Lord hath given humankind half almond, half coconut milk. Changed my life.

  • Celeste

    I think its the hypochondriac in me but I can’t drink milk milk without convincing myself I’m ingesting a bounty of antibiotics, hormones and general cow unpleasantries. And even when its organic… I’m not a calf. I’M NOT MEANT TO DRINK THIS STUFF. Though I won’t go so far as to spell it as mylk. Haha

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      Your’re not a hypochondriac. Factory farm milk is full of antibiotics as well as cancer causing RBGH3, bovine growth hormone, which does not have to be labeled.It’s disgusting.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I love almond milk but I kind of feel bad for cows :(

    • Alma

      why? because they’ll be out of a job? :D

  • Jordan Wester

    I drink whole milk, but I also drink almond sometimes bc it’s incredibly delicious. I don’t drink soy milk bc too much soy doesn’t agree with me & I already have to police labels looking for added soy :/

  • Jordan Wester

    And while whole milk is a 1 cup a day staple, almond milk is more of a once a month sugar treat.

  • rose.k

    Homemade almond milk blows away any regular milk you could ever drink. It’s just flat-out better in every way.

  • Maui

    I used to love soymilk until I I started having problems with my uric acid (body aching all over just an hour after drinking a bottle!). Now I’m really into rice milk. Never really liked cow’s milk unless it’s super cold and there’s a cookie around.

  • Cocoberryeight

    I am def a dog-tea-non dairy-girl. I’m in china, well… Macau, you don’t know where the hell your food comes from. Fake milk and fake eggs are not uncommon around here.

  • Caro

    Wait, how did no one else notice this/comment? (See photo).

    I don’t fall into the splat category but I did recently watch Vegucated and saw some animals penis get ripped off (seriously, that’s how they do it) and screamed. So, I thought I’d play around with the vegan thing. I was also becoming increasingly interested in eating a more balanced diet, w/ plants.

    Do you all experience the thing when you order an almond milk latte and, I think they must burn the almond milk or something because it tastes awful? Some places get it right on though. I’ve also played around making almond milk at home which is fun for several reasons. Sometimes it’s not fun because you have to wait 12 hours for the almonds to soak. I’ve found it nice because it doesn’t have the additives like guar gum which I’ve heard can give you diarrhea. But…can’t everything give you everything?

    Soy milk makes me nervous and one time I had the iced coffee with hemp milk from some organic fast-food place in the West Village and it definitely gave me insta-d at ABC Home. (Insta-d is trademarked by me, btw).

    • Caro

      My photo didn’t upload. It was a crop-shot of Amelia posting and then commenting on her own comment. So good.

    • karmiii

      Hot almond milk to any degree tastes rancid to me—even if I pour it directly into my coffee (sans the milk steamer). I’ve tried whipping it and warming it on the stove and it still tastes awful. I’ll stick with drinking it cold for now, and using So Delicious coconut creamer for teh coffees.

  • Victoria

    I drink coconut milk (and I do think it is lighter) but honestly it’s pretty fucking pretentious

  • Grace Cottrell

    I just really hate the taste of ‘normal milk.’ I have tried hazelnut milk but it was a bit like watery nutella so I think that almond milk is definitely my favourite :)

    – Grace

  • Kandeel

    I don’t really like drinking cows milk honestly. I like my homemade almond/cashew milk, and I use canned coconut milk to make coconut whipped cream (its so good). I guess this makes me pretentious but if it means anything i use cows milk in my oatmeal if i run out of nut milk (mylk?).

  • Ediblejewels

    You can find joie de vivre with my lait d’amande recipe on my blog it tastes so much better than straight up dairy milk!

  • Eileen

    I don’t enjoy the taste of whole milk that much yet I don’t like the watery taste of reduced fat milks. My favorite is soy and I use it as a coffee creamer as well! Almond works for me too.

    • Belle

      All almond milks, coconut milks and such contain carrageenan which is pure cancer. Please educate yourself as FDA does not really care whether you get cancer or not as long as they are making money$$$$$

  • Ingredients Solutions

    Regarding the safety of carrageenan, there has been an amazing
    amount of misinformation being blogged about carrageenan being unsafe as a food
    ingredient. In spite of this misinformation, carrageenan continues as the safe
    food ingredient it has always been. If it were not, the principal regulatory
    agencies of the world (US FDA, FAO/WHO JECFA, EU EFSA, and Japan Ministry of
    Health) would not approve its use, and all of them give the necessary
    approvals. In fact, at its 79th meeting in June of this year, the
    Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) completed an in-depth
    review of the science related to the safety of carrageenan and found it safe
    for use in infant formula, including formula for special medical purposes. After reviewing available research on
    carrageenan safety, particularly a new study of piglets that is representative
    of human infants consuming carrageenan in infant formula, JECFA concluded that
    “the use of carrageenan in infant formula or formula for special medical
    purposes at concentrations up to 1000 mg/L is not of concern.”

    all the concern about the safety of using carrageenan in foods? Starting in the
    1960s there have been research studies showing that if excessive doses of
    carrageenan are consumed in animal trials inflammation can be induced in the
    small intestine. Likewise, inappropriate methods of introducing the carrageenan
    into the animals, i.e. in the animals’ only source of drinking water, have
    induced an inflammatory response in the small intestine. However, there has
    never been a validated inflammatory response in humans over the seventy plus
    years carrageenan has been used in foods. The anecdotal “upset tummies”
    reported in blogs as coming from consuming a food containing carrageenan are

    reliable sources of information on the safety of carrageenan.

    Inflammatory responses in animals only occur when carrageenan can cross the
    blood membrane barrier of the small intestine. This only occurs when the
    extreme feeding conditions mentioned above are employed. Normal feeding regimes
    induce no such response.

    Over the last decade a group of molecular biologists at the University of
    Illinois at Chicago lead by Dr Joanne Tobacman have been exploring the in vitro
    interaction of carrageenan with various genes and conclude that carrageenan can
    cause inflammation in the gut via a binding mechanism involving TLR-4
    receptors. This group also concluded that carrageenan degrades in the gut and
    the degraded carrageenan can permeate the membrane barrier. Recent studies
    refute both of these claims, and furthermore this recent research questions the
    validity using in vitro studies to mimic the in vivo events in the GI tract
    when a human consumes a food containing carrageenan.

    The bottom line on the safety issue is that in spite of all the efforts to
    downgrade or question the safety of carrageenan, particularly by bloggers,
    carrageenan is a safe food ingredient in all of the major regulatory
    jurisdictions of the world.