Oat Milk has been around for decades in Scandinavia, but has had a slower rise in the United States. Many people are making the switch after reports have surfaced that indicate Almond Milk uses 6x the amount of water in production than Oat Milk.
What is it made of?
Oats and water! Some brands will add canola/rapeseed oil to increase the fat content. Additionally, it must be fortified with vitamins and minerals such as; calcium, potassium and vitamins A, D, B12 and riboflavin. If you’re gluten-free, make sure you get a gluten-free brand as there could be cross contamination in some production facilities.
How does it stack up to almond milk?
Oat milk contains 2x protein and fiber than almond milk, but it also has 2x calories and carbohydrates. Because of all the natural fiber oat milk contains, it is THICK; perfect for adding to coffee or using in baked goods. The buttery-ness of the milk is reminiscent of milk that has been soaking with cereal. A nostalgia moment.
Where to get it?
I been using the Swedish brand Oately at Whole Foods lately and would vouch for it! Their products are 100% free of any Glyphosate, aka Roundup. It’s used to kill weeds in the crops, but we definitely do not want our Oat Milk with a side of Roundup.
Ever heard of “fining“? Neither had I until coming across vegan wine at the grocery store. Embarrassingly enough, I thought to myself “Isn’t wine was already vegan?”
Fining has to do with clarifying the wine. Why do they manually clarify wine instead of leaving it to the wine’s natural process? Because people want that clear, beautiful, dark red that is so admired. The natural murkiness/haziness of a young wine is caused by different tannins, proteins, tartrates and phenolics. Gradually, during the life of the wine, the murkiness would subside, BUT companies want to speed up this process- that’s where fining comes into play.
Why isn’t wine vegan?
Many of the fining agents can be animal-derived.
Blood & bone marrow
Casein – a milk protein
Chitin – fiber from crustacean shells
Egg albumen – from egg whites
Gelatin – protein as a result from boiled animal parts
Isinglass – gelatin from fish bladders
Sounds fishy, no?
When the fining agents are added to the wine, the molecules contributing to the murkiness coagulate around the agent. Wine makers are able to remove the large bits, but it is natural for them not to get everything. Which, in turn, makes wine not vegan.
What to do?
The industry seems to be paying more attention to the demand for vegan wine and alternatives are being used for fining agents. These include;
Some winemakers are even taking steps to let their wines self-stabilize, meaning they do not use additives to alter the appearance. Usually these wines will be labeled with a “not fined or filtered”.
Smaller wine shops and co-ops will have great recommendations on what wines are vegan friendly. I have yet to find a wine with a nutritional label on the back, but there is lobbying taking place to make this change! So TBD on that. Some bigger grocery stores have started advertising on their store labels.
PETA recommends the this website for a comprehensive list. It is perfect when standing in the wine aisle trying to make a decision!