Oat is the G.O.A.T.
People can choose to avoid dairy milk for a variety of reasons, but a major contributing factor has consistently been the sustainability aspect. According to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, dairy farms cause quite a bit of air, water, and soil pollution. However, finding a substitute that matches the flavor and creaminess of dairy milk is difficult. That’s why when oat milks started to enter the scene, people got excited. Oat milk has a higher fat content than its other plant-based competitors, making it creamier and a better candidate for frothing in coffee beverages. But how does it score in the sustainability department?
Good news—oat milk is one of the most sustainable options on the market! It uses six times less water to grow oats than almonds, and ten times less land than dairy milk. According to the BBC, oat milk also has the second lowest emissions rate (almond milk has it beat slightly in this category). While the growing practices are important, waste and packaging are important too, so for this, you’ll have to look to the brand you choose. Oatly has been in Sweden for over 25 years, and is now expanding into the US. They send their used oats to local farms after they’ve been separated to decrease the amount of waste produced in the process. Their packaging is also 100% recyclable and made from 71% renewable resources (32oz ambient cartons) or 82% renewable resources (64oz chilled cartons). If Oatly isn’t available in your area, don’t stress—major brands like Silk and Califia Farms carry oat milk products, or you could keep an eye out for one of my favorites: Planet Oat!
This Trend is Heating Up
If we could pick one word that sells in the wellness industry it would be “detoxification” which is the main benefit we previously associated with today’s topic: infrared treatments. Beyond detoxification, infrared treatments are said to help with chronic pain issues, reduce inflammation, and boost endorphin levels. Infrared may seem surface level, but many people actually consider it invasive as “Infrared light penetrates deep into your body (2-7 cm) all the way to the inner layers of your skin, to your muscles, nerves, and bones.” Historically, infrared treatments have been touted by celebrity athletes like Tiger Woods, but now can be brought into the home relatively inexpensively. You can find portable personal saunas on Amazon for less than $200 dollars, for context a typical treatment is about $50. Is this trend losing heat or will it continue to rise in popularity?
It’s a Fruit, Afterall: Cacao Juice
Do you even know what cacao tastes like? I don’t mean candy bars, or even nibs. I mean the fruit.
Cacao pods, which are stuffed with rows of cacao beans, are what chocolate is made from, but only the beans are used to make the treat we’re all familiar with. The husk, along with the fleshy white fruit surrounding the beans, is cast aside. For the most part, this tropical treat has been enjoyed by only those that live on or near cacao farms, or those that have happened across fresh cacao while visiting the tropics.
Robert & Kayla Weidner are making that flavor—which is surprising tropical, tangy, and sweet— available to foodies in the US through their company, Repurposed Pod. And, they seem to be on to something, giving adventurous foodies a taste of the world, while paving the way in sustainable cacao farming appeal to conscious consumers.
Now you can have your chocolate and drink it too. Find Repurposed Pod ready-to-drink beverages at Whole Foods Markets or in select gourmet chocolate shops.
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