About milk, dairy products and substitutes for them
Let's talk about milk, which is something of a dilemma in our house(boat)hold. Personally I quit drinking milk a couple years ago, and have cut down drastically on the rest of the dairy products due to the fact that the levels of hormones and estrogen of cows milk makes my already sensitive skin getting negative reactions. Consumption of dairy products meaning cheese, milk, cream, sourcream, milk chocolate, ice-cream etc has always given me a tickling feeling under my skin, and very often led to pimples if digested in larger quantities at once, so obviously I've tried to limit consumption of dairy products as much as I could.
Now that I have spent months reading and studying further pros and cons of eating and drinking products from the animal kingdom, I've got an even greater reason to quit dairy altogether.
Not that the terms in themselves are that important and they are somewhat limiting to the ever changing and flexible human being, omnivores that I still believe that we are as long as we try to eat from small local farms rather than from the inhuman multi billion dollar factory farming. But I'd say that I currently live my life after a 70% vegan, 15% vegetarian and 15% pescatarian diet. Besides the physical side effects of ingesting milk and dairy products, I just can not stand the immense tragedy and sadness that the dairy industry stands for.
If you are still drinking lots of milk and eating dairy products on a daily basis, I would love to give you the advice of always opting for organic products from a local farm rather than from the big guys (though I am still a little hesitant to the commercial organic business as well due to the fact that I do not know exactly how their animals are treated and how the products actually are being produced, so small local farms are always better if anything). I know it might be a couple cents more expensive right now as small organic farmers usually don't get the same subsidies as the large corporations. But as much as we can become more aware of how we can work towards at least one step better a world, the better.
So the dilemma we have in our home is more Alex's milk consumption. He's easily making use of half a liter/2,5 cups of milk per day in his coffee and occasional morning cereals, and can almost not imagine a life without it. After the horrifying videos I've shown and the books I've read out loud for him lately, he isn't happy about continuing spending money on a dairy cows milk but will probably do so till we find a more reasonable option. In search for substitutes, we've bought all the other sorts of milk we could get our hands on here in Panama, but the selection isn't fantastic, and we also haven't seen one farm since we got here. There is the regular soymilk of course, but since the commercial soybean is one of the most genetically modified (GMO) foods along with corn, and the soybeans are highly processed to that, it isn't a very good option.
Almond milk is much better for you but we've only found this very sweetened version which probably is more suitable for milkshakes, cakes and sweets. Haven't tried the rice milk yet as we can't find it here, but I'm thinking the best option is to perhaps make my own almond milk to get rid of all potential health, animal and environmental risks. Only problem to that is the taste, Alex doesn't associate his coffee with the flavor of almonds, so how to overcome that? If any of you have a good method in producing almond milk or any other milk substitute, please let me know. The challenging thing with these kind of life changing improvements, is to un-learn the patterns, flavors and behaviors that have lived with us since we were small.