Oat Milk Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  10 min read
oat milk benefits and side effects

Health

Oat milk health benefits may include:

Oat milk is typically…

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08/19/2022 03:46 pm GMT

Environment

Water footprint: likely moderate, it takes 2,416 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rolled oats / 290 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rolled oats

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of oats, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers

Destruction: low, oat milk production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. oats are especially valuable in sustainable crop rotation, help ensure sound cropping and soil conservation practice, an ideal low-input crop, encourages crop diversity to reduce soil erosion and control plant diseases, insects and weeds, reduce the need for herbicides,  don’t deplete underground water aquifers, oat by-products can help replace fossil fuels in power generation

Oat milk is….

Animals

Kills: none, oat milk production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, oat milk production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from oat milk production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Oat milk is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Oat milk…

Where does most oat milk come from?

The world’s leading producer of oats is Russia, followed by Canada, Poland, Australia, Finland, The United States of America, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom and Argentina.

Overall oats are planted in more than 70 countries world wide.

Is oat milk nutritious?

Yes! Oat milk is high in fiber, beta-glucans and often enriched with nutrients including calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamins A and D.

oat milk is typically gluten free but oats can often be cross-contaminated with wheat and therefore, contain gluten.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is oat milk gluten free?

Yes, oat milk is typically gluten free but oats can often be cross-contaminated with wheat and therefore, contain gluten. Be sure to check specific brand gluten free labeling if necessary.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

oat milk is typically not a common food allergen but oats are often cross-contaminated and contain the food allergen: wheat.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is oat milk a common food allergen?

No, oat milk is typically not a common food allergen but oats are often cross-contaminated and contain the common food allergen: wheat. Many people experience allergic reactions to wheat contaminated oats.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

oat milk is a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is oat milk FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Oat milk is a low-FODMAP food and fit into a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

oat milk likely has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does oat milk have a high or low water footprint?

Oat milk likely has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods and beverages.

What is the water footprint of oat milk?

It takes 2,416 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rolled oats / 290 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rolled oats.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

oat milk likely has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does oat milk have a high or low carbon footprint?

Oat milk likely has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of oat milk? It takes around 1.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of oats, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

oat milk is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is oat milk eco friendly? Is oat milk sustainable?

Oat milk production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

oat milk is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is oat milk vegan?

Yes, pure oat milk is vegan. Oat milk is made from oats, a cereal grain, and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

oat milk may or may not have labor issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is oat milk a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with oat milk production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

The Original Oat Milk – FoodData Central – USDA

NAMA: Oat sustainability

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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