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[flagged] The California almond industry is placing a huge strain on bees (thecut.com)
27 points by ping_pong 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments

Earlier discussion of the original article in the Guardian:


Can we stop labeling everything evil? It works or it doesn't. If almonds are fundamentally unsustainable at scale, fine. Say that. This is not a children's fairy tale with an evil ogre and a fair prince. Let's stop casting everything as good v. evil. Works or doesn't work is sufficient.

Whatever the ultimate effects are, I highly doubt that almond farmers are sinister, malevolent beings who want to destroy humanity. If there's a better way they can do what they do, I'm sure they'll be happy to do it.

“Work or doesn’t work” is as manichean of a binary as “good or evil”.

But it doesn't have a moral component, only a practical one.

I'm confused about beekeepers complaining about the issue in the article. They can refuse to deal with almond farms if they really care about the bees. This seems like "I care about bees dying, but not enough to stop it". Are there no alternatives in farms?

More accurate title: "Pesticides and Unsustainable Farming Practices Are Even More Evil Than You Thought"

The effect of pesticides and diseases on bees is a new angle I hadn't heard of before!

The article ends by mentioning the water usage of almond milk, but I wish it would have contextualized that. Almond milk still uses about half the water of dairy milk: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46654042

There's no shortage of water in most major dairy-producing regions.

I like Oat Milk as a good substitute for almond, cashew, or macadamia nut milk. I think Oak Milk requires fewer resources than tree nuts.

I find Oat Milk is also the most delicious.

I'm currently addicted to an oatmilk coldbrew latte and I just loove it.

I've been meaning to try oat milk. Cow milk upsets my digestion but I also have a tree nut allergy.

Wait till the Guardian publishes outrage-bait about why Oat Milk is evil.

If the key impact is declining bee populations, it would seem that the current ecology of almond growing is unsustainable. But that should give growers an acute incentive to invest in bee populations, lest bees shoot up in price and wreck the economics of their orchards. If growers aren’t doing this already, why aren’t they?

> why aren’t they?

They won't do anything until Uncle Sam subsidizes it.

"Almond Milk Is Even More Evil Than You Thought"

This title is garbage, saves me a click. Let me guess though:

-water use


-land use

I'd be willing to bet it still wins over cow milk.

Ever though about the cost of producing milk or what happens to the unwanted male calves.

They make for good Schnitzels. Sorry.

But you are right. They are a problem. Talked to a farmer a couple years back (on Christmas Eve in the stable, watching the new born calves). They would get some 160€ per male calve, barely covering their costs raising them. That’s probably still somewhat better than male chicken though.

Anyway, we need to find ways for more sustainable meat production and consumption. This whole thing is unhealthy in pretty much any level. Really looking forward to all those alternative meat startups.


Food fads tend to be weird no matter who does it or when they happen. We know so little about nutrition that it always feels (and usually is) cargo cultish to anyone who steps back for a moment.

It just means that lactose intolerance is now recognised and accommodated. The body produces less of the enzyme (lactase) needed to break down lactose as we age, with the result that it ferments in the gut, producing gas. Undigested lactose reaches the outlet as a liquid. I'd rather be thought strange than be farting and squirting out cow nipple juice.

This is precisely amongst the most lactose-tolerant population in the entire world.

You can thank the dairy lobby for schools pushing milk.

Europeans were consuming vast quantities of dairy products for centuries before the "dairy lobby" existed.


Attributing children's milk consumption to the "dairy lobby" is a simplistic view, verging on a conspiracy theory. Milk has been considered healthy for children since forever. It's not because of "pushing" by a "dairy lobby".

Buy organic..

I thought that US produce can be organic so long as no nonorganic pesticides are used. Is there evidence that this distinction matters to bee health, which is the big evidence for the argument here?

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