You be the judge: does my sister really need five open milk substitutes at the same time?

The charge: Lara

Having five different types of milk open is ridiculous. Beatrice is not even lactose-intolerant

The world has gone mad for milk in my opinion. No one needs such a huge selection of options for every type of drink, but that’s exactly what we have in our fridge at home. I live with my little sister, Beatrice, and she is obsessed with milk at all times. Oats coconut soy almond and some flavors and barista too. But she is not lactose intolerant and also keeps normal milk in our fridge for cooking. It’s completely insane.

It takes up too much space in our fridge, because they are all open at the same time. She also keeps unopened vegetable milk in our cupboards. It’s annoying because it eats away at my closet space.

Beatrice is a little obsessed with coffee and I think the milk habit helps with that. She saved up for a barista-style coffee machine and asked our parents for a coffee grinder before. I think it’s all a bit overdone. What happened to a normal cup of coffee with a dash of cow’s milk?

Beatrice gets mad at me for using her milk (the first one I take) when I’m home, but there’s no way I’m buying more milk and clogging up our fridge more . If there’s any open milk, I’ll use it – otherwise they’ll go out before she can finish them. I had to throw a couple in the past.

Beatrice is one of those people who walks into a cafe and asks for an oat milkshake, and when the barista says, “Oh, so you don’t want cream because it’s dairy?” she says “No, I do”. It does not mean anything. Why bother having milk alternatives in your drinks if you just want to keep the cow’s cream on top? I’m a few years older than Beatrice, who is in her early twenties, and I just missed the obsession to avoid dairy. It just seems like a trend, something that makes you look cool and ethical.

Beatrice needs to relax on buying milk and stick to one or two. It’s more economical and saves space. Béatrice has just started working after graduating. She should save some of her money instead of wasting it on fancy drinks.

Defense: Beatrice

Coffee is a highlight of my day, and everyone my age enjoys different milks. Lara needs to relax

I love having a selection of milk alternatives at home. It’s nice to have one for every mood, or drink. I have oat milk for my morning coffee, coconut milk for iced coffee, almond milk for tea, and soy milk just because it’s good for everything. I also have barista versions of all of this, to go with the expensive coffee machine I have in our apartment. It may be a little haunting, but I pay for everything myself.

I work part-time from home as a marketing assistant and consider keeping a variety of milks at home good for motivation. The best part of my day is making a fancy drink after getting up and answering my emails. I like an oat milk latte made with coffee that a friend bought me from the Galápagos Islands. I grind it right away, so it’s extra fresh. I want to buy a milk frother next. I think it will give my drinks an extra edge.

Lara complains, until I make her one of my fancy drinks on the weekends or after work. Then she’s like, “Oh wow!” She also keeps quiet about how she spends a small fortune on Pret drinks every day, while I rarely buy coffees now. My way is more economical but she doesn’t want to admit it.

I keep lots of different milks open in the fridge as I don’t know which one I will need at any given time. They are rarely wasted. And the ones in the closet don’t take up much space – Lara is exaggerating there. I buy plant milks in bulk because it’s cheaper.

I’m not lactose intolerant, so what? Everyone my age is addicted to different milks. It is good to consume less dairy products, whatever your diet. Plant-based milks are healthier and generally taste better. I keep regular cow’s milk around the house for guests and for cooking, but I don’t think that’s ridiculous.

Lara uses my milk and doesn’t care which one she takes. I’ll say, “Coconut milk works better with this kind of coffee,” but she’s not listening. I think she should stick to normal dairy as she doesn’t like other people. I will continue to consume milk as I wish – and Lara should relax because she uses it too.

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The Jury Guardian readers

Should Beatrice buy fewer milk alternatives?

With so many alternatives to cow’s milk, it seems totally unnecessary to use cow’s milk: it’s a cruel industry even if you buy organic. Some plant milks work better with different drinks, so I don’t think Beatrice is guilty.
Laura, 27 years old

It’s commendable that Beatrice drinks non-dairy milks even though she’s not lactose intolerant – it’s much better for the planet. However, fridge and cupboard space is limited in a flatshare, so it is unreasonable to keep multiple boxes open. So Beatrice is guilty. Just.
Dean, 30

While I realize keeping five cartons of milk in the fridge is decadent, using so-called “milk” instead of animal milk is something we should all accept. Beatrice doesn’t say she uses them for ethical reasons, but assuming that’s one of them, Lara should end the criticism, especially if she drinks them herself in secret.
month, 34

I can identify with Beatrice; We have oat milk for coffee, rice milk for tea, growth milk for our two-year-olds and this week cow’s milk for builders! They are all open in the fridge (plus the unopened ones in the cupboard) and we go through the lot.
Louise, 40 years old

Nobody’s saying Beatrice can’t enjoy something she really loves, but keeping five different open milks in a shared fridge is absolutely crackers. Limit it to a couple or buy a mini fridge and keep them in there. Beatrice should realize it’s her obsession, not Lara’s.
Greg, 39 years old

you are the judge

So now you can be the judge. In our online poll below, tell us: Should Beatrice hog the fridge with all these milk alternatives?

The poll will close on Thursday 4 August at 9:00 a.m. BST

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Last week’s result

We asked if Katie should help fellow bridesmaid Stephanie tone down their lavish hen-do plans.

1% of you said no – Katie is innocent
99% of you said yes – Katie is guilty

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