Early last week I was at Costco picking up some basics and I stumbled upon Califia Farm's Pumpkin Spice Oat Milk beverage. I got a little mad when I read the nutrition facts panel and filmed a quick video, which I posted to Instagram.
Everyone always asks me why I don't make oat milk. I've been reluctant to write about it and rain on everyone's parade because oat milk seems like such a good choice for both human health and for the environment, but in my opinion, it's not. Keep in mind, I'm not a nutritionist, an MD or a naturopath.
Here's my beef with oats:
For one, oats (even organic) contain traces of glyphosate (Roundup) which, as I understand it was initially patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic. We know that antibiotics kill bacteria, so you may be wiping out your gut bacteria when you consume oats. I have never heard anyone talk about this fact in the oat milk debate, so you heard it here first.
Two, oat milk is a sugar bomb. During the production process, enzymes are added (that are not disclosed) and heat is applied to break down the starch and turn it into simple sugar, primarily maltose. When you drink oat milk, your blood sugar is effected in about the same way as if you were to have a can of Coke. As I understand it, maltose has a glycemic index of 105. Since the scale only goes from 0-100, I'll let you do the math on how that might impact your blood sugar level. (Side note, one in three Americans is pre-diabetic. Oat milk is not going to help us bring that statistic down.)
Three, most oat milks contain industrial seed oils which are known to be highly inflammatory. Generally speaking, I stay away from vegetable oils (other than coconut, olive or avocado oil) and I would never, ever, ever put it in my mylk. The only reason companies add it to their mylks is to add fat to help it hold together better (emulsify), especially when heated.
Lastly, there's also a lot of greenwashing when it comes to oat milk. From what I understand, oats are a monocrop which means that they are using large tracts of land to plant oats, which impacts the bio-diversity of the plants and insects where these crops grow. Monocrop farming depletes the soil of nutrients (making the soil less productive over time) and can cause soil erosion.
Personally, I love oats and you're probably not going to see me eliminate them completely just yet. I will likely continue to enjoy them here and there, but when I do, I'm going to make sure I'm getting benefit of the fiber that they contain by eating them whole.
That's my take on oat milk. (Please don't shoot the messenger.)