Brölk != mjölk
December 5, 2019 6:41 AM   Subscribe

 
Only milk tastes like milk, yes.
Only milk wreaks utter havoc and destruction on my entire system, too.

All hail not-milk-milks!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:05 AM on December 5, 2019 [10 favorites]


OMG that last paragraph had me chuckling out loud.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:06 AM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


They saved the absolute best quote for the end of the article:
Sipping coffee in her kitchen, she said: “I would never drink cow milk — its tastes like cow-titties!"
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:06 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


BTW the current champion of our not-milk making household is a blend of almonds, dates and white rice. We've been making not-milk for over a decade with countertop machines ("Soy milk makers") and it's certainly cheaper than cow milk, and also doesn't make me bloated. And honestly goes better in smoothies, too.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:10 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I can't speak for Sweden, but in Finland there are so many non-dairy milk options I was actually a bit challenged in finding the ones that use dairy. Yogurt too. Non-dairy products seem to have big market share there, or at least a lot of shelf space. If it's similar in Sweden I'm not surprised they're freaking out.
posted by rednikki at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


“I would never drink cow milk — its tastes like cow-titties!"

Didn't a study some time ago find that a significant proportion of commercial cow's milk is pus?
posted by acb at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2019


The very thought that milk somehow tastes good is fantastic to me.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:39 AM on December 5, 2019


"the outdated interspecies ritual of cow milk consumption."

This is absolutely the best of the web. This has provided some much-needed levity - and perspective - to my day. Thank you, Etrigan.
posted by eviemath at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


I like the taste of cow milk (like, actual cow milk, not overly processed milk product). Even more, I like dairy-based ice cream. But I also like oat milk quite a lot (* I haven't tasted Oatly, but the brand available in my local coffee shop is quite good). Soy milk is hard to get to not taste chalky, in my opinion. Almond milk and rice milk are fine for cereal (and light ice creams). But oat milk seems to be better for hot beverages as well, and is definitely my favorite non-dairy milk so far. I do think it's great to have a variety of alternatives, given people's different allergies, sensitivities, and flavor preferences!
posted by eviemath at 7:50 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


the outdated interspecies ritual of cow milk consumption

I know people who spent years on that Culture ship
posted by Dumsnill at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2019 [24 favorites]


As a cow-milk lover (to the point of sourcing raw milk) I thought Oatly was the first in a long line of alternative milks I've tried that I thought was close enough that I'd enjoy drinking it as a milk replacement.

Like, in the realm of "okay I can probably think identify this as not-milk if I was really concentrating hard to find something off about it" close.

I've already cut back on my milk consumption due to the sugar content and environmental effects, but If Oatly is able to get to a low-carb version of it I will be a convert, assuming oatmilk is a reasonably more environmentally friendly alternative to cattle.
posted by Karaage at 8:05 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I can't speak for Sweden, but in Finland there are so many non-dairy milk options

There is an abundance of non-dairy milk options here in Sweden.

The milk industry's latest marketing campaign is gross but more importantly grossly incompetent at trying to persuade people, so much so that I think it will contribute to accelerating the decline of the milk industry. The tone of the campaign reminds me of what I read on Flashback, the largest Swedish forum and home to the most extreme bigotry you can imagine, and not public corporate discourse.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:11 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've been using unsweetened Silk soy milk (yeah, additives, yeah, it's my crack, go away) on my cereal and as an occasional drink throughout the day for several years. I still use cow milk in several mugs of tea each day as the soy doesn't taste quite right, and I use milk in cooking and baking, but that's about it. My main sources of dairy are cheese and yogurt.

A few months ago, I tried to give milk another chance on cereal, and the 1% I used tasted -- well, cow-tittiy-ish, I guess. Not good. I tried richer milk, and it still tasted really, really weird. I'm surprised that you could lose your taste for milk after decades of drinking it, but that's what happened.

(Middle-aged Swedes used to be Canadians' worst nightmares. I guess I'm now returning the favour.)
posted by maudlin at 8:18 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


If you don't drink your milk, you'll only ever be good enough to play for this lot.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 8:33 AM on December 5, 2019


Ko mjölk är inte så illa.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Komjölk er fruktansvärd
posted by Dumsnill at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Holy cow that last paragraph! 🐄

I don't have an opinion about moo- vs non-moo milk, but as a new reader to The Outline, I have to say that the wiggly mouseover line they put under their links is damned satisfying.
posted by Mchelly at 8:47 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


The real question is how many points I lose for real milk versus other milks.
posted by curious nu at 8:58 AM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


I tried a latte with Oatly and it was so disgusting that I immediately asked everyone I was with to taste it too. Unfortunately, I can't drink milk at all, so black coffee for me.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


“Milk has been a natural part of Swedes’ diet and culture for over a century — it’s in the Swedes’ souls

Hasn't milk been a part of the northern European diet for more like a few thousand years? (and the second link notes that Sweden is one place where nearly 100% of the population is lactose-tolerant).

I don't really care about the language issue - I love apple butter and maple butter, neither of which contain any dairy. "Milk" is just a description of a type of liquid for most people - opaque, with protein, less sugar than juice, good for counteracting the tannic acid in tea. The ingredients are indicated in the name: soy milk is made from soy, oat milk is made from oats, cow milk is made from cows, and human milk is made from people and babies are just natural cannibals.
posted by jb at 9:10 AM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


After several years of putting alternative milks in my cereal and lattes, I tried a glass of fresh, organic dairy milk recently, and all I could taste was... decay? It was not nearly as tasty as I'd anticipated, so that final paragraph rings true!

I still prefer dairy-based yogurt and cheese to existing plant-based options, but will probably stick with with pjölk, brölk, sölk, and trölk when I want to drink something straight-up.
posted by estherbester at 9:11 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


pjölk, brölk, sölk, and trölk

Attorneys at Law
posted by Dumsnill at 9:17 AM on December 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


Similar problem in Canada: the dairy lobby is so huge that any attempt seen as disparaging milk will get the newcomer flattened entirely. Remember, we're a country that has the canary-like Canadian milk label (because we can't force imported milk to have labels, so the absence of a DFoC label says a lot) that most consumers are happy to pay more for. They've gone after soy milk and coconut milk before; they'll come for oats soon enough.

I do like oat milk as a beverage (washing up the glasses afterwards, not so much) but as a Scot versèd in the Porridge tradition, I know oat soakings when I see 'em.
posted by scruss at 9:22 AM on December 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


That's vør-sade for you plebians.
posted by Dumsnill at 9:28 AM on December 5, 2019


I guess animal products are the only political issue that make northern European countries resemble southern US states.
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:31 AM on December 5, 2019


I don't really care about the language issue - I love apple butter and maple butter, neither of which contain any dairy. "Milk" is just a description of a type of liquid for most people - opaque, with protein, less sugar than juice, good for counteracting the tannic acid in tea.

Also, calling soy milk "bean juice" would present a number of marketing challenges.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:35 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I tried a latte with Oatly and it was so disgusting that I immediately asked everyone I was with to taste it too. Unfortunately, I can't drink milk at all, so black coffee for me.

Very very worth checking out the Oatly barista edition - find their regular a bit watery but the barista ones are GREAT (and expensive but hey)
posted by litleozy at 9:55 AM on December 5, 2019


It's teats people! Get it right.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


According to an article I read earlier this year (I swear it was in Glamour?), in a head-to-head taste, mouthfeel, and coffee-additive throwndown, neither cow's milk nor oat milk were the top winners. Camel's milk (why is it so salty?) and pea milk were the overall winners by a great margin.

Y'all are fighting the wrong battles in our leguminous camelid future.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 11:15 AM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


I've been wondering whether, for some people, maintaining lactose tolerance requires continuous consumption of lactose, and so for those people, giving up dairy for a while would result in inability to take it up again, but no one in this thread is reporting such a thing.
posted by jamjam at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Cheese is so irresistible that no person who is lactose tolerant has ever given up lactose. We will never know the answer to this hypothetical.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


I love this post. I got to Sweden too late for the Oatly advertising that pissed off the milk industry here in Sweden. I enjoy how Oatly advertises its products, which is not how I feel about hardly any advertising. It's always fun when folks do the marketing thing both well and a bit differently than usual.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:42 AM on December 5, 2019


jamjam, my girlfriend had to quit dairy for just over a year while she breastfed our son who was allergic to milk protein and she found she no longer tolerated lactose afterwards.
We're an oat milk household now.
posted by aldurtregi at 11:52 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


We now know the answer to this hypothetical.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:55 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Non-dairy milk has been around for a long while, but Oatly's creamer is finally a non-dairy cream I can cook with.
posted by fragmede at 11:58 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Didn't a study some time ago find that a significant proportion of commercial cow's milk is pus?
This is categorically untrue. There are somatic cells (white blood cells) in all milk, including human milk, and they can be used to monitor mammary gland health. The number of somatic cells in their milk is tested for about half the dairy cows in the US on a monthly basis, and every tanker of milk that goes into a plant is also tested. There are legal limits on these counts, and milk that exceeds those limits is rejected. Dairy producers are often paid a premium for low cell counts because it's associated with milk quality and cheese yield. These somatic cells have been characterized by anti-animal agriculture groups as "pus" as a means of scaring people away from milk, but it's not an accurate description. In point of fact, the average somatic cell count has been decreasing in the US, indicating that cow health and farm sanitation is improving every year.
posted by wintermind at 12:04 PM on December 5, 2019 [18 favorites]


Fallen Order is pretty damn good overall, and the combat is particularly satisfying in a light Sekiro-style.

Non-dairy milk has been around for a long while, but Oatly's creamer is finally a non-dairy cream I can cook with.

And while I'm glad to see EA finally doing something worthwhile with its Star Wars license, there are some technical shortcomings and narrative issues that prevent it from being a 10 out of 10.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:09 PM on December 5, 2019


Oatley outperforms hemp milk for steaming in lattes and the like. I have no problem with lactose but I will use Oatley in coffee now and then and it's just fine.
posted by tommasz at 12:16 PM on December 5, 2019


My visit to a Stockholm grocery store last winter makes more sense now. At the time, I was in awe of how many Oatly products there were. This photo is only half of the shelf, I would have had to use my panorama feature to get the other half in frame.
posted by jeremias at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2019


Umm, not to be that person, but the vast majority of non-dairy milk consumers aren't vegans. They're lactose intolerant.

I felt this was super tone-deaf of the writer to just assume that everyone who buys Oatly et al. is doing it for environmental reasons, and not you know...because they can't digest regular milk.
posted by Delia at 2:47 PM on December 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


I sometimes like to spend an afternoon working at a table at whole foods. I usually eat a muffin and drink a milk.

I have not been able to drink an ordinary milk at the nearest superstore sized whole foods in about 6 months because they no longer seem to carry milk in small containers. They do however carry what seems like every single imaginable alternative in small containers.

[They also got rid of their magical double chocolate muffin. Thanks Jeff Bezos!]
posted by srboisvert at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2019


Oatly & Co. shout about their efforts to save the world but it's just more waste and CO2 emissions. It's hard to get rich off of selling 'just have a glass of tap water instead of a either a non-mjölk or a cow-mjölk latte.'
posted by romanb at 6:47 PM on December 5, 2019


My wife's workplace here in Sweden (75 people) has gone vegan, which is a huge deal if you've ever visited a Swedish office and witnessed how much coffee is consumed, and the ubiquitous small sandwiches and cakes of the "fika" breaks. And yes, a surprising number of adults drink milk or sour cultured milk products daily. I'm on team cheese/proper fatty yogurt/butter/ice-cream and the heavily processed dairy substitutes don't do it for me.
posted by St. Oops at 9:44 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Obligatory.

And Team Milk 4 Lyfe!
posted by bryon at 9:52 PM on December 5, 2019


There is an abundance of non-dairy milk options here in Sweden.

In the vast majority of cafés, though, Oatly (the big national incumbent) have a monopoly on non-dairy options. In a handful of others, there's also soy (usually Alpro, from Belgium). (I personally refuse to drink Oatly because of their obnoxious ads: their ad campaigns are often douchey dominance displays, of the form of "You thought you could avoid reading our ads? Here's another one!")

I have not yet seen any evidence of anybody importing the world's objectively best soy milk to anywhere in Sweden, or indeed in Europe other than the UK.
posted by acb at 1:15 AM on December 6, 2019


"It’s like milk but made for humans"

It is truly a war as they are using the classic strategy of hinting that the other is not fully human. I drink my coffee black unless it's really horrible gas station coffee. But soy milk and oat milk are just fine in coffee. They taste really weird as such. But so does fat-free milk if you're accustomed to skimmed. Greasy liquids are all like that I guess.
posted by ikalliom at 2:37 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


They're not implying that the other is not fully human. It's referring to the idea that cow milk is made for baby cows, not for humans.
posted by Lexica at 9:38 AM on December 6, 2019


Its current series of attack ads refer to milk substitutes using the made-up words pjölk, brölk, sölk, and trölk, emphasizing that they are anything but mjölk — the Swedish word for milk.

Oatly fired back in September by trademarking Arla’s made-up words and printing them on its packaging.


I really laughed at that. Want to call us made-up names? We'll legally grab ownership of those names. Those names now belong to us. Ingenious.
posted by eye of newt at 11:49 AM on December 6, 2019


I have lived in Sweden for years and experienced the whole milk/ Oatly battle.
Very entertaining it has been too.

Originally launched as a vegan alternative to dairy, Oatly was just one of many plant-based alternatives. Swedes are generally not lactose-intolerant (less than 1%) but lactose-free dairy is a big seller anyway.
The turn around for Oatly came when John Schoolcraft became involved.
He has a display quote in the article - but has been instrumental in its success as a product.

He identified the key factor to entice customers - Identifying as eco warrior, fighting the evil dairy industry - and not merely being a vegan. Targeting primarily sophisticated young metropolitans he redesigned the packaging, giving it a hand made look with aggressively confrontational copy. He even trained the entire production staff in the eco warrior ethos using a specially made wooden manual.
A marketing triumph indeed.

Before taking on the assignment he famously tasted Oatly and said ’ It tastes like shit’
and later even used the phrase in the early advertising campain. Thats chutzpah.

I have been running a restaurant here in Stockholm for the last twenty or so years and more than half of my dishes have been vegan. Customers started asking specifically for Oatly.So I took it in, of course.

Being of a sceptical nature, I felt obliged to check their vegan credentials.

Commercial oat production needs fertilisers. Fact.

Here there are two choices.
Either manure (animal shit) or chemicals.
Oatly uses bone meal and blood meal. And whats more the waste products from the process are used - as animal feed. So a low score in the vegan stakes.
Whats more the company is now owned by an Asian risk-capital venture. So a low score in the political economy stakes too.

Entertainment factor is high though.
And the kids can feel they are sticking it to the Man.

He was right Mr Schoolcraft. It does taste like shit.
But damn, people like it.
posted by jan murray at 7:33 PM on December 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


« Older Pachelbel's Train   |   Howard Cruse, RIP Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments