It’s hard to imagine a bigger waste of time than this recent dispute about labeling non-dairy milk. We all get that dairy farmers are hurting. We need to find ways to help support them. But labeling almond milk differently is not the answer.
I am a coffee professional and work in a coffee shop in Baton Rouge. Every day, hundreds of people order coffee beverages with almond milk or, in our case, coconut almond milk. People who order coconut almond milk know exactly what they are getting. They do not think it comes from a coconut almond cow.
They are ordering it precisely because it is not dairy.
A preference for milk alternatives is a growing trend in the specialty coffee industry. And the options extend beyond almond milk to include cashew, macadamia nut, oat, soy and goat milks. Some are flavored with chocolate or vanilla.
The word "milk" is heading toward an understanding much like “Lacroix”, a popular flavored sparkling water. When you order it, the server immediately asks, “What kind would you like?”
We should embrace this wide conception of milk and hope that one day, we will have in the milk world flavors like that of soda — cola, orange, lemon-lime, root beer. If we do, Louisiana could be a better-tasting and healthier place. I’m sure the majority of Louisiana residents wouldn’t argue with that.
Debating how to label almond milk is an embarrassing endeavor that makes Louisiana look backward as hell to the rest of the country.