With the rise in the number of plant-based products calling themselves 'alternatives' to dairy, it is more important than ever to keep highlighting the important role milk, cheese and yoghurt play in a healthy, sustainable diet.
This is why Dairy Australia has partnered with the CSIRO to develop a new nutrient profiling tool that scores common foods against their ability to address nutrient gaps among Australians.
The findings reveal that milk - be it regular, reduced fat or flavoured - is the most affordable way to address nutritional gaps in the Australian diet, as compared to plant-based beverages.
While fortified plant-based beverages have performed well in terms of their environmental impact based on the metrics considered, their nutrient density was much lower than that of milk, pointing to the important trade-offs that need to be considered in any potential food swaps.
This research will now be amplified to consumers and healthcare professionals through a large-scale campaign headed by nutrition scientist and dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan.
Another important issue the dairy industry has been fighting to address is the misuse of dairy terms and images in the marketing and labelling of plant-based beverages.
In 2021, Dairy Australia provided technical support to the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) in contributing to the Senate Inquiry into definitions of meat and other animal products.
Read more: Collaboration puts dairy levy to work
The outcomes of the inquiry were released last month and include recommendations for a regulatory framework, a review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and new Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code (FSANZ) guidelines.
For more information on dairy and plant-based products, visit dairy.com.au/sustainablediets or contact Melissa Cameron, Human Health and Nutrition Policy Manager, Dairy Australia, on Melissa.Cameron@dairyaustralia.com.au
Want to read more stories like this?
Sign up below to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.