ASI Beat teaches environmental benefits of oat milk

By Aaliyah Marie Eve Murillo, Apr. 26, 2022

On April 18, ASI Beat kicked off its Earth Week events with a milk alternative workshop over Zoom that let attendees know how to make oat milk at home with ingredients that can be found at the Poly Pantry.

­ASI Beat focused its Earth Week on climate change by teaching Cal Poly Pomona students on how they could help against the fight through an easy, quick and low-cost milk tutorial.

“It is a simple way to encourage students to pick a more sustainable option,” said Vanessa Perez, ASI Beat’s outreach supervisor and political science student. “The dairy industry is the primary source of smog-forming pollutants in California.”

The workshop began with ASI Beats Student Activities Assistant Nicole Hoyer in her kitchen showing a short PowerPoint presentation on why oat milk was the best option for a dairy milk alternative.

Hoyer mentioned an LCA, or life cycle assessment, study, performed by the oat milk brand Oatly, where the results showed that oat milk had 80% lower greenhouse gas emission and used 60% less energy in comparison to dairy milk.

Hoyer also included a 2018 Oxford study on dairy milk that found that a glass of milk had three times more emissions than other alternative milks.

Oat milk is said to require 48 liters of water, compared to cow milk, which requires 1,050 liters of water. Oat milk emits only 0.18 kilograms of cardon dioxide for every 200-milliliter glass, making the industry have a relatively low greenhouse gas footprint.

After presenting the facts for her research, Hoyer began the tutorial of making oat milk by listing the ingredients and materials required for the process.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of rolled oats, 3 ½ cups of cold water, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. Students will need a blender, cheese cloth, an airtight container and a mixing bowl.

Courtesy of ASI BEAT.

Once Hoyer gathered her material and ingredients, she placed the oats and water into a Ninja cup and blended it for 20-30 seconds. Afterward, she strained the mixture with a cheesecloth into the mixing bowl, squeezing the milk out very lightly.

After the milk was completely drained, Hoyer placed the remaining ingredients and milk back into the Ninja cup and blended the milk for five seconds until the mixture ran smooth. After the second mix, the milk was ready to be consumed and could be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

The oats leftover from the straining process could be used for other baked goods, such as cookies or sweet bread. It could also be composed or used as a face mask for a beauty routine.

At the end of the workshop, participants discussed what they liked or disliked about oat milk. Most students aid they use it in their coffee or matcha drinks, while others were uninterested in an alternative.

“That isn’t milk, it is just water and sugars put together,” said Dylan Barajas, a business student. “Oats don’t have udders. Just because it is tinted white, doesn’t mean its milk.”

ASI Beat continued to host events all week long in celebration of Earth Day, which was on April 22. The events included an on-campus tree walk, a “SustainabiliTEA” Zoom event, a lost and found auction and thrift shop and a “Divers Against Debris” event, both held at University Park.

The campus community can keep up to date with future ASI events by visiting myBar.

Feature image courtesy of ASI BEAT

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