Milk Has Lost All Meaning

You overhear a lot of strange things in coffee shops, but an order for an “almond-based dairy-alternative cappuccino” is not one of them. Ditto a “soy-beverage macchiato” or an “oat-drink latte.” Vocalizing such a request elicited a confidence-hollowing glare from my barista when I recently attempted this stunt in a New York City café. To most people, plant-based milk is plant-based milk.

But though the American public has embraced this naming convention, the dairy industry has not. For more than a decade, companies have sought to convince the FDA that plant-based products shouldn’t be able to use the M-word.