DAIRY farmers and the industry in general need to keep working closely and effectively with nutritionists to dispel the myths surrounding alternative foods in all forms, a Teagasc specialist has advised.
Dr. Pat Dillon, Head of the Teagasc Animal and Grassland and Research and Innovation Programme, has advised that the dairy industry should not be complacent in terms of the ‘dairy alternatives’.
Writing in the July-August edition of the Today’s Farm Teagasc magazine, Dr. Dillon – who is a native of West Clare – said that the estimate from Bord Bia was that 1% to 2% of the Irish population were vegan [consumes no animal product].
“However, NDC (National Dairy Council) research indicates that 30% of young men and 41% of young women are limiting the amount of ‘dairy’ that they consume.
“Similar to much of the plant-based alternatives to dairy, nutritionally these alternatives are a poor substitute but that does not mean that we should be complacent,” said Dr. Dillon.
He said that in general, dairy alternatives were generally composed of water and ingredients such as soya, rice, almond, oat, coconut etc. and were not nutritionally equivalent to cows’ milk.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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