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Whole Milk is Cool Again!

A portion of Milk on a dark wooden background.

Attention guys: Hot girls like whole milk. That is, if they’re not lactose intolerant, ethically opposed, or just don’t like dairy as a rule. 

While the non-dairy, milk alternative industry surged during the pandemic, New York Magazine’s Grub Street claims that coffee shops and trendy people are going back to full fat, protein-rich whole milk. 

“Hot girls are ditching the alternatives and are going back to basics,” tweeted @meetka, a downtown NYC-based café server.

There’s no end to the non-dairy options out there (soy, oats, almonds, coconut, even brain-cracking mushroom), yet none of them can stack up to that frothed, creamy goodness arising from a cow’s udder. Seriously: If you’re stomach can take it, try a bite in your oatmeal/cereal or dip a warm cookie in a tall, cool glass to discover what you might have been missing. 

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While this may be anathema to a food trend that has indoctrinated the culture over the last several years, milk lovers and trendsetters are stepping out from the shadows to proclaim their place in the world again. 

Grub Street cites New York’s downtown publicist Kaitlin Phillips (@yoloethics) planted her flag at the Abraco coffee shop two weeks ago, 

“The real reason I like Abraco is they ONLY have half and half, no fancy milk. Incredible !”

While MSN Money found that butter production is up 6% over the first nine months of 2021 and is on track to top two billion pounds for the first time since 1943, the milk substitute industry seems to be doing just fine itself after riding a pandemic surge.

According to the nonprofit Good Food Institute, investments in alternative food tripled in 2020 to $3.1 billion. This included $2.1 billion for plant-based meat, egg, and dairy. The research group also found that sales of United States meat alternatives jumped 45% in 2020.

There’s an argument to be made on both sides. Some plant milks aren’t fortified with all of the naturally occurring nutrients in cow’s milk, which include calcium, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D, and vitamin A.

In a previous article for Eat This, Not That!, Lauren Hoover, RD, MS at Shift in Chicago explained that, while oat milk is a great choice for non-lactose guts and vegan diets, it’s not necessarily nutritionally superior.

“I would not say that oat milk is healthier than cow’s milk, they are just different,” Hoover explained. “Cow’s milk has more protein and also is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids.”

Whether or not whole milk is indeed making a comeback or is just a quick trend, one thing is certain: Skim milk and 1% are feeling pretty left out nowadays. 

Read More: How to Make a Perfect Milkshake at Home

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