Oil, ultra sugary sugar, and… herbicide?
Oat milk has, in less than five years, completely changed the alternative milk game. According to a market analysis report published by Grand View Research, the global market for this once unheard of beverage is now expected to grow nearly 10% by 2027, putting it in the running against almond milk for popular alt milk available. These predictions and figures hold especially true in the U.S., where oat milk sales skyrocketed over 300% from 2019 to 2020.
Part of oat milk’s success is thanks to its presence in coffee shops, where oat milk products make significantly creamer, richer, and more robust espresso drinks than their almond and soy counterparts. The other—much larger—part, of course, is marketing and advertising.
Oat milk is often touted as a dairy-free magic bullet. It’s good for you, it’s better for the earth than dairy and almond milk, and it’s really, really tasty. All of these things can be true, but only when the product is made ethically. The honest truth is that shelf-stable, mass-produced oat drinks are about as close to ethical as Earth is to Pluto.
Goodmylk’s Oat Mylk is not shelf-stable, meaning, there are no preservatives, gums, fillers or binders.
Our main concern with shelf-stable oat mylk? Read on to find out.
The first ingredient in all shelf-stable is—no surprise here—an oat base made of water and oats. While we know that oats are a beneficial and nutritious whole-grain food, something sweet—we would argue too sweet—happens when they’re broken down for processing.
When oats are processed, enzymes are used to break down their natural starches into sugar. But the sugar created by oats is not just any sugar. Enter maltose, a form of sugar that can cause an intense spike in blood sugar thanks to its ludicrously high glycemic index. As you may know, blood sugar spikes cause lethargy and tiredness in the short term, and weight-gain in the long term. Not exactly healthy.
It’s not magic that makes oat milk rich and creamy; it’s fat.
While there are many, many heart-healthy and nutrient dense fats out there (here’s looking at you, extra virgin olive oil), commercial oat milk manufactures aren’t going for them. Instead, they opt for super-cheap canola oil, aka rapeseed oil. This highly refined oil contains little nutrients, is almost always made from GMO crops, and can lead to increased inflammation and decreased heart health.
Here’s where the controversy kicks into high gear. Unless your oat milk is certified organic, it’s grown with the “help” of chemicals. Glyphosate is an herbicide commonly used on oats, which is linked to a lot of bad and not much good. In fact, the World Health Organization classifies glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
While some major commercial brands have set up third-party testing to guarantee their products are Glyphosate free, it’s really, really hard for the makers of any non-certified organic product to make this claim—especially when their product is mass-produced. So unless you are only drinking organic brands or brands that make the aforementioned guarantee, you’re likely drinking some herbicide.
These types of unfortunate practices are why we got into the mylk game in the first place. Fillers are gross, a ton of sugar is unnecessary, and no one wants to drink canola oil.
We worked for years to perfect our Super Oat Mylk. We’ve been able to use tiger nuts—a nutrient-dense root vegetable—to achieve the rich and creamy texture people have come to love and expect. Sweetened only with a few dates, flavored lightly with salt, and blended with alkaline water, we’ve been able to achieve the magic bullet perfection that oat mylk can be.