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Is Pea Milk the Next Big Alternative Milk?

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If your mom's anything like our moms, we're going to assume you heard, "Eat your peas" and "Finish your milk" more than once in your lifetime. Luckily, with age and wisdom, we learned how to do our taxes (with help), pay rent on time (for the most part), and—thank you, Mom—eat (relatively) healthy, so getting those peas and calcium is no longer the battle it once was (if it is for you, please allow this beauty to change your mind).

But a new product may introduce an entirely new phrase: "Drink your pea-milk."

What we imagined when someone told us "pea milk" is on the market.
What we imagined when someone told us "pea milk" is on the market. Photo by James Ransom

The man behind the sustainable soap brand, Method, Adam Lowry, is tackling milk sustainability one pea at a time with his new "pea milk" brand, Ripple.

Here are the facts: As Fast Company reported, one gallon of milk takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce, but Ripple's website claims that pea milk takes 99% less water than dairy milk to make—and that it's more sustainable than milk made from those California-grown, drought-stricken almonds, too.

And while we haven't had the chance to try it yet ourselves—it launches in Whole Foods next month—it claims to taste nothing like peas. Instead, it's supposedly creamier than almond milk, sweet, and, you know, not green (it's made with yellow peas). It also claims to be healthier than dairy milk and other alternative milk options—it has 8 grams of protein (the same amount as milk; almond milk has 1 gram), more calcium, and half the amount of sugar as dairy milk.

Making Your Own Soy Milk is (Much) Easier Than You Think
Making Your Own Soy Milk is (Much) Easier Than You Think

That being said, dairy alternative expert and author of the book, The New Milks, Dina Cheney, said that while pea milk sounds promising, there may not be a need for it. She listed tiger nut milk and coconut milk as great rich, creamy milk alternatives and, her personal favorite, soy milk. "Soy milk naturally contains as much protein as dairy milk, plus lots of calcium to boot. And it’s very inexpensive to prepare," she said, "And soy milk (especially if homemade) is very clean, with no added preservatives, gums, or stabilizers." (Ripple's pea milk, on the other hand, lists guar gum and gellan gum on its ingredient list, which are commonly used as stabilizers.)

"Personally," she said, "I love the artisanal plant-based milks with short ingredient lists, and don’t see a need for high-tech versions with long ingredient lists."

For us, the jury's still out on whether we'll be dipping our cookies into pea milk—we'll let you know—but in the meantime, we owe our moms a phone call.

Have you experimented with making alt-milks at home? Tell us about it in the comments.

Tags: pea milk, vegetable milk, alternative milk