Potatoes are highly versatile root vegetables. You can have them as hashbrowns and home fries for breakfast, French fries at lunch, chips and dip for a snack, and roasted, mashed, or baked for dinner—but now potatoes are truly proving their range and versatility by pushing their way into the plant-based milk market.
Yes, plant-based milk is on the rise as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint by shifting from dairy milk, which on average generates a hefty 3.0kg of CO2 per liter, to non-dairy options like oat milk, which averages about 0.9 CO2 per liter.
Now, Swedish company DUG’s potato milk is giving other popular plant-based milk a run for their money. In fact, DUG just won a 2021 World Food Innovations award in the Best Allergy Friendly Product Category for its vegan and nut-free potato milk.
All plant-based milk generates less CO2 and requires less water than dairy milk, however, some are more sustainable than others. Almond milk, for instance, has high water production values (around 120 liters to produce one glass). Soy milk, on the other hand, seems to be quite sustainable on paper as it boasts low CO2 and water use per liter. That said, soy is used for feeding livestock, so soy production has led to the clearing of large areas of the Amazon rainforest.
Oat milk is on top (for now) because even though it uses a tad more CO2 per kg than almonds, it requires less land and much less water.
The new spud on the block
DUG potato milk was created by Professor Eva Tornberg at Lund University. It’s produced in Sweden and is available for purchase online in three flavors: original, barista, and unsweetened. Like most plant-based milk, it’s created by blending a plant-based product (in this case potatoes) and rapeseed oil.
According to DUG, their potato milk’s environmental credentials are good enough to steal oat milk’s green crown. According to the company, growing potatoes is twice as efficient as growing oats per square meter, plus potato milk has a lower carbon footprint than any plant-based milk before it (an impressive 0.27kg CO2 per liter).
Potatoes also require 56 percent less water than almonds and are rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
How does it taste?
So far, potato milk has been well received according to online reviews, however many have complained that it splits when poured into tea. That said, DUG is a new player in the plant-based milk game and will continue to refine its product with the goal of becoming the most sustainable milk the world has ever sipped.