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1st January 2023

12 Days of Christmas: Eight Oat Milk Controversies

Praised by the lactose intolerant and climate conscious alike, oat milk has been the favourite milk substitute for a long time. With its creamy texture, natural sweet taste, and ability to make a latte even more delicious, is it too good to be true?
12 Days of Christmas: Eight Oat Milk Controversies
Photo: neurosheep @ Flickr.

Milk and sugar, please!

Most oat milk cartons will proudly state ‘No Added Sugar’, but fail to mention the surprisingly high levels of sugar that are naturally occurring.

Oats contain starch which is broken down when making oat milk. This process produces lots of simple sugars, specifically maltose.

Natural or added, sugar is sugar, and weighing in at a teaspoon every 100ml of milk, that’s 13% of our daily recommended sugar intake in your morning coffee alone. There are a lot of people who regularly turn down the offer of sugar in their coffee, unknowingly drinking that same amount in the form of oat milk.

Like everything else, sugar is acceptable in moderation, however, it’s the lack of advertisement for this sugar that is the overriding issue. The most successful oat milk company, Oatly, recently had to remove their ‘No Added Sugar’ statement from their cartons due to intense backlash from the media about the secret sugar content of their milk.

Enough to turn you green (washing)

As the cherry on the vegan cake, Oatly recently partnered up with Aral, a German petrol station network. They shipped carton after carton of oat milk to petrol stations across the country to promote their new ‘Barista style’ oat milk. This company, with taglines such as, “we aim to drive a systemic shift in society — in the ways people eat, food is produced, and the planet is treated“, are collaborating with a petrol company? It seems too comical to be true.

Next time you order your iced caramel latte, or your flat white, try another milk for a change, you might like it…

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