Why 'Pea Milk' Might Be Better Than Cow's Milk and Almond Milk

A new alternative to cow milk comes from a source you wouldn't expect: peas. Ripple Foods is about to roll out the product nationally, first at Whole Foods and then at Target, reports VegNews.com. "It's creamy, sweet, and — don't worry — tastes nothing like peas," says a post at Co.Exist.

The idea is attracting plenty of buzz because of a slew of positives, the notable one being that the drink has 8 grams of protein per serving — the same amount as milk from cows and eight times the amount of almond milk. "As many non-dairy beverages lack protein, this fact alone may draw consumers," observes a post at Berkeleyside.com. It also has 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk, and a much smaller carbon footprint than either dairy or almond milk.

"The primary challenge is one of flavor," says Ripple co-founder Adam Lowry. "If you just make pea milk the way that you make almond milk, with regular yellow peas, you can get a very high-protein beverage, but it frankly tastes terrible."

The company says it has patented a system to keep the nutrients but ditch the pea flavor and color, a method that involves blending it with water, sunflower oil and stabilizers. If this system proves legit, it could open up all kinds of plants to the process and "disrupt an already disruptive plant-based dairy industry," notes a post at Food Dive.

Consumers can get their first taste at Whole Foods starting May 2, with a price of $4.99 for a 48-ounce bottle.

(In related news, this one judge says skim milk isn't really milk.)