Milk delivered home in glass bottles. When finished, the company brings you other full bottles and takes the empty ones to be washed and refilled. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that this „milk” is loved by carnivores and vegetarians alike? That this business is designed so that the negative impact on the environment is minimal? It sounds even better, doesn’t it?
Oato, is a vegetable milk, produced by a local firm in the city of Kendal, located in Cumbria County, North West region, England (UK) with about 27,500 inhabitants and is a milk obtained by soaking the pressed oats with hot water and certain enzymes, then, by filtration, separate and the delicious oat milk results.
Here’s a short list of what this wonderful product looks like and how it offers a healthy alternative to both the environment and the consumer:
- It is locally produced, from exclusively vegetable raw materials, and ingredients from local sources;
- It is bottled in glass bottles, which, after being emptied, are washed and reused;
- It is delivered to the clients on a pre-established route, using an existing infrastructure, thus reducing both costs and noxiousness. About this I belive they could find more environmentally friendly solutions such as electrically powered transportation from sustainable sources. But, for a small local firm, such an investment is probably too big at the moment;
- No traces of gluten. Oats naturally do not contain gluten. The manufacturer of Oato‘s milk does not process any products containing gluten in their factory. For those allergic to gluten this is still a great advantage;
- This vegetable milk is naturally sweetened with enzymes that are used to break down starch into shorter sugars, so the manufacturer doesn’t need to add anything to sweeten it;
- Oato is an alternative to milk, which does not contain lactose, nuts, sugar or soy and goes great with cereals, tea, coffee, cooking or consumed as is.
Oats, quite eco-friendly!
Not only that oats are healthy for consumers, they are also healthy for the environment. Each crop has its own particular diseases and insect pests. Planting crops in an annual rotation, such as oats / soy / wheat / corn, helps prevent the accumulation of many destructive organisms.
Keeping harmful organisms and insects at low levels reduces the risk of unexpected yield loss and the need for chemical pesticides. For example, a three-year rotation of corn / oats / soybeans reduces maize worms and thus the need for insecticides.
Thus, the introduction of oats into crop rotation can help combat the most widespread pest in the largest crop in the US (corn), reducing the need for chemical insecticides.
Another advantage of oat cultivation is the fact that it has a dense growth and does not allow the weeds to grow, greatly reducing the need for herbicides. Oats (Avena sativa) crop does not deplete the aquifers (the first horizon saturated with water encountered below the surface of the land) and helps prevent soil erosion.
Oat by-products can help replace fossil fuels in electricity generation
After the oats are grounded for food, the remaining shells represent a clean and renewable energy source that can replace coal in the production of electricity and steam. With almost the same calorific power as coal, oats shells can be used to produce electricity and help, for example, supply power to several large universities as it happens in the Midwest of the United States or tens of thousands of homes. Steam can be used on site, in factories, for processing oats for food.
If energy generation is not an option for oat shells, let’s say because the technology is not available in that area, they can be used as an excellent source of fiber in animal feed or as bedding.