I am a big fan of hemp. In my opinion, there is no better replacement for cow’s milk – I might even venture to say that it’s better for you. I do a lot of baking with hemp milk, but was first introduced to hemp milk as a drinking milk. For years, vanilla hemp milk has been my son’s allergen-free milk of choice to have with his allergen-free breakfast cereal.
When I received a big box of goodies from Pacific Foods to review, I was most excited to try the hemp milk. Being familiar with Living Harvest hemp milk, it was impossible for me to do this review without comparing the two brands.
Pacific Foods hemp milk contains a very similar nutritional profile as Living Harvest – including omega 3 and 6 – but they vary in two important respects:
1. Pacific Foods contains significantly more sugar (and hence more calories), and they do taste sweeter. For example, the original (plain) Living Harvest contains 6g of sugar (100 calories), while Pacific Foods has 14g of sugar (140 calories). They do not offer an unsweetened line.
2. In their favor, Pacific Foods hemp milk contains more calcium (50% versus 25%) for the original and vanilla flavors, and a bit more vitamin D. This is a quality not to be overlooked, especially if you can’t get your milk-allergic child to eat broccoli.
Both products taste great. All in all, your choice comes down to sweetness versus calcium, weighed with availability in your area.
Pacific Foods also makes an extensive line of other nut and grain beverages, including rice, oat, almond, and hazelnut milks. Obviously those won’t be options for everyone with food allergies. If you are worried about cross-contamination, here is their allergen statement (from their website):
Pacific Natural Foods does not produce products with eggs, sesame, shellfish, or peanuts in our facility. We do produce products containing dairy, soy, tree nuts, and corn. Every 24 hours, production shuts down for a total cleaning and sterilization of all equipment. Complete cleaning and sterilization is also performed between runs of dairy and non-dairy items.
To further reduce potential for cross contamination, a thorough cleaning and flushing of all equipment also takes place after running any product containing allergenic ingredients. The same cleaning is also performed between runs of non-organic and organic products to maintain the integrity of the organic ingredients.
Nonetheless, we cannot guarantee that every minute particle of an ingredient from the previous product is removed. If you or a family member has a serious allergy to ingredients in any of our products and are concerned about the possibility of cross contamination, we recommend that you do not use our products.
Have you tried Pacific Foods Hemp Milk? What’s your favorite hemp milk brand?