DairyNZ’s position is that when people decide what food to eat, they need accurate, science-based information grounded in the New Zealand context and aimed at the best health and sustainability outcomes.
In keeping with this, Inside Dairy brings you some facts to have at your fingertips should you wish to get involved in the conversation, either in person or on your social media feeds.
- New Zealand dairy is 64 percent more emissions-efficient than the global average.1
- New Zealand dairy products are so sustainable that a litre of our milk shipped to Ireland (the next most efficient producer) would still have a lower emissions profile than milk produced there.
- If milk is to be produced anywhere, it should be here. At 0.80kg CO2/kg MS, New Zealand milk’s emissions are world leading and well under half the global average of 2.5kg CO2/kg MS.1
- The greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of plant-based alternatives is rarely acknowledged. Soy beverage can have double the GHG footprint of New Zealand milk per unit of nutrition, and rice beverage 10 times.2
- Fermentation-produced proteins (using cells) also have substantially higher footprints – up to 50 times higher.
- Most countries recommend at least one serving of milk (250ml) or milk products daily, some up to four each day. New Zealand dietary guidelines recommend at least two to three serves.3
- Although there are plenty of manufactured plant-based alternatives available, they do not contain the nutrition of milk naturally produced by New Zealand dairy cows. Some carry warnings that they’re not suitable as a complete milk replacement for children under the age of five.
- While some essential nutrients may be present in plantbased alternatives, they are not always in a form that can be absorbed by the human digestive system.
- Many of the nutrients in the plant-based beverages have been formulated in at the factory in order to mimic natural dairy.
Nutrient content: cow's milk & plant-based
1 Chobtang, J., S. F. Ledgard, S. J. McLaren, and D. j. Donaghy. 2017. Life cycle environmental impacts of high and low intensification pasture-based milk production systems: A case study of the Waikato region, New Zealand. J. Clean. Prod.140:664-674.
2 Smedman, A, Lindmark-Mansson, H Drewnowski, A and Edman, A-K M (2010) Nutrient density of beverages in relation to climate change. Food & Nutrition Research, 54:5170.