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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not All Soymilk is Created Equal

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Silk, SoyDream, Pacific Natural Foods and Vitasoy all Rebuked in New Soy Scorecard Ratings

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org) has just released a new report about organic soy products that's sending shockwaves through the soy industry. By compiling information on the sourcing of soybeans, the use of toxic chemicals for soy protein extraction, and the use or avoidance of genetically modified soybeans, the Cornucopia Institute has created an Organic Soy Scorecard that reveals which soy product companies are truly trustworthy vs. those that are not.

(NaturalNews contributed funding to this investigative reporting, specifically on the subject of the laboratory testing for hexane residues in soy products. Thank you to all NaturalNews readers and customers who allow us to earn the funds needed to support these important public safety research initiatives.)

The scorecard (http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/s...) takes into account:

• Where the soybeans are sourced from (many companies use "organic" soybeans sourced from China!)

• How the soybeans are processed (some companies bathe soybeans in toxic chemicals, then put the resulting extracts into infant formula!)

• How forthright the companies are in providing information to investigators.

• Whether the company tests for and avoids genetically modified soybeans.

... and other details.

You can read the full report on www.Cornucopia.org

Here's who came out on top:

The soy companies scorecard

5-star rating
• Eden Foods - 100% of their soybeans are grown in the U.S. and Canada.

Vermont Soy (Vermont) - 100% of soybeans also grown in U.S. and Canada (mostly in Vermont). Low-heat pasteurization helps preserve soybean nutrients.

• Small Planet Tofu (Washington) - Buys solely from American farmers.

• FarmSoy (Tennessee) - Real tofu made from soybeans bought from American farmers.

• TwinOats (Virginia) - Buys soybeans from an organic family farm in Virginia.

• Unisoya / Green Cuisine (Canada) - They grown their own organic soybeans on 400 acres.

4-star rating
• Organic Valley
• Great Eastern Sun
• Fresh Tofu
• Wildwood
• Tofu Shop

3-star rating
• Harris Teeter

2-star rating
• Trader Joe's - refused to disclose sourcing information

1-star rating
• Pacific Natural Foods - Buys soybeans from China and refused to disclose the name of the organic certifier in China. Refused to respond to questions about the certification of their "organic" soybeans. Cornucopia wonders whether Pacific Natural Foods is engaged in "a marketing gimmick" when it claims its products are "Certified to the Source." (Certified by who?)

• Vitasoy USA - Buys soybeans from China.

• Westsoy / SoyDream (both owned by Hain Celestial Group) - Refused to share sourcing information.

• Silk (Dean Foods) - Refused to participate. Says the report: Since Dean Foods acquired WhiteWave, its founder, Steve Demos, has left the company, along with almost all of the pioneering management -- those who believed in "green" values. According to Demos, the company is now all about "green, with the dead presidents on it."

What to make of all this - the Health Ranger's opinion

Nothing in this report surprises me. In my opinion, these greenwashing, fake food companies like Dean Foods, Hain Celestial Group and Pacific Natural Foods are health food charlatans who intentionally deceive consumers about the integrity of their foods.

Armed with slick marketing campaigns, clever packaging and an abundance of corporate greed, these operators rip off the vocabulary and imagery of the natural health industry in order to sell products that are little more than a mirage.

Dean Foods, in particular, is much like the Monsanto of the food industry, in my opinion. Many of its products are made with monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sodium nitrite, a chemical linked with dietary-induced cancer. (http://www.naturalnews.com/007024.html)

Hain Celestial Group is a "health" food conglomerate that routinely uses yeast extract in its foods (a form of hidden MSG). Its brands include Garden of Eatin', Health Valley, WestSoy, Earth's Best, Hain Pure Foods, Spectrum Naturals, Walnut Acres Organic, Imagine Foods, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, Ethnic Gourmet, Yves Veggie Cuisine, JASON, Avalon Organics, and Alba Botanica. I personally wouldn't buy anything from this conglomerate.

It's nice to know that Eden Foods was awarded the highest rating in this Cornucopia Institute report. Eden Foods' soy milk tastes like real soy milk, unlike Silk, which to me tastes like soy-flavored sugar water.

So if you want real soy milk, go with Eden Foods soy products.

The low down on soy

I've noticed a tendency in the natural health industry to lump all soy products into the same category. While soy was a high-demand item five years ago, today's best-informed natural health consumers tend to avoid soy products for various reasons.

The truth is that there's good soy and there's bad soy. It's much like the question of sugar. There's good sugar (raw sugar cane juice) and there's bad sugar (processed white table sugar). Same stuff, different process. So you get different outcomes and results.

Companies like Dean Foods (Silk) process the life out of their soy milk (in my view), while companies like Eden Foods manufacture real soy products that have tremendous health benefits! (Such as helping to prevent prostate cancer.)

As with any other food item, you can't just lump all soy products into the same boat and say they're good or bad. You have to assess them on a case-by-case basis, which is of course what this Soy Products Scorecard is all about.

Personally, I drink soy milk and eat real tofu in Ecuador right now. That's because our soy milk is made in our own kitchen by soaking (sprouting), grinding, straining and cooking non-GMO soybeans into a traditional, zero-sugar soy milk beverage.

Our soy tofu is made in town by a local resident who specializes in REAL tofu. It's the real deal.

I don't eat processed, corporate-branded soy products. Silk, in particular, is a complete joke, in my view.

The soy products I consume are real superfoods -- and they're made the same way in Asia, where soy is a routine part of the healthful diets consumed there. If you eat soy products the same way I eat soy products, you're getting good superfood into your diet. But if you purchase and consume junk soy products backed by powerful food conglomerates that are really only interested in profits instead of integrity, you're probably just consuming processed junk food with "soy" in the product name.

Be careful where you put your trust in any food product. "Natural" food companies will lie to you if they can get away with it, and most consumers are fooled by their slick promotional campaigns.

Please do your part to reward the honest, high-integrity soy companies like Eden Foods by giving them your business. And don't you dare buy anything from Dean Foods or Hain. Do not reward their business practices with your hard-earned dollars.
Buzz up!vote


Joan Ross said...

Thank you, Marcus, for keeping us informed. I read Natural News every day and send articles from Mike Adams to my friends. The soy article was a real eye opener! Organic standards being respected in China? I don't think so.

Joan Ross

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! I thought I was doing something good for mu daughter by giving her soy. I will be.more careful of what brand I use in the future!

Megan Striano

We would never expect you to eat this shrimp, nor do we serve farmed Asian shrimp

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