Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths

Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths

Lately, the dairy industry has been waging war against soy milk, suing the manufacturers of soy beverages for using the word milk and claiming that the dairy industry alone has a right to use it. This is ironic, because I believe a case could be made that the dairy industry should not be allowed to use the word milk unless they specifically state that they are referring to “cow’s milk.” For truth in labeling, shouldn’t every cow’s milk carton say on it, “Cow’s milk”? Isn’t that actually what it is?

Suzanne Havala is the primary author of the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) 1988 and 1993 position papers on vegetarian diets. She reminds us, “Milk is species specific. Each species’ milk is tailor-made for its own kind. So how on Earth did people start drinking milk from cows? Even adult cows don’t drink cow’s milk. And if we drink cow’s milk, why stop there? Why not drink dog’s milk? Or bear’s milk?” 

Bear’s milk aside for the moment, in 2000 the National Milk Producers Federation tried to keep soy beverages from being sold alongside cow’s milk in the grocery aisles. A spokesperson for the National Milk Producers Federation made it clear why the industry was upset. “It is,” he said, “a clear attempt to compete with dairy products.”

Heaven forbid.

Comparing Milk to Milk... Soy That Is

Meanwhile, the dairy industry is spending ever more hundreds of millions of dollars on ads and other forms of promotion, telling us things about cow’s milk and soy milk that, well — let’s just say they don’t mind stretching the truth a little.

For example, here’s what the Dairy Bureau tells us about the nutritional comparison between cow’s milk and soy milk: “Unfortified soy beverages contain only half of the phosphorus, 40 percent of the riboflavin, 10 percent of the vitamin A, (and) 3 percent of the calcium . . . found in a serving of cow’s milk.”

Let’s look at this carefully for a moment.

Only half the phosphorus? Brenda Davis is a registered dietitian and Chair of the American Dietetic Association’s Vegetarian Practice Group. She is not impressed by the dairy industry claims. “We get plenty of phosphorus in the diet,” she says, “and possibly even too much. Providing only half the phosphorus of cow’s milk is an advantage, not a disadvantage.” 


 Get The Latest By Email

First name:E-mail:
 


Details the Dairy Industry Doesn't Care For You to Know

Only 40 percent of the riboflavin? It’s true that unfortified soy milks contain only about half as much of this nutrient as cow’s milk, but riboflavin is plentiful in nutritional yeast and green leafy vegetables, and is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, so getting enough riboflavin isn’t a problem for people who eat a variety of healthy foods.

In fact, vegans (who consume no dairy products) consume as much, or nearly as much, of this vitamin as lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians. A mere teaspoon of Red Star Nutritional Yeast powder contains as much riboflavin (1.6 mg) as an entire quart of cow’s milk.

Only 10 percent of the vitamin A? Too much vitamin A is toxic, so this could be a good thing. Vitamin A deficiency is quite rare among North Americans and Europeans who eat plant-based diets. Furthermore, vitamin A is high in cow’s milk only because it’s added to it, and there is no reason it could not be added to non-dairy beverages if there was some advantage to doing so.

Cow's Milk & Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths

Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths Only 3 percent of the calcium provided by cow’s milk? Where does the dairy industry come up with this stuff? All of the most popular soy beverages sold in the United States provide vastly more calcium than the 3 percent claimed by the Dairy Bureau. Soymoo provides 116 percent as much calcium as cow’s milk; Westsoy Plus provides 100 percent as much; Vitasoy Enriched provides 100 percent as much; Pacific Soy Enriched provides 100 percent as much; and Edensoy Extra provides 67 percent as much. Even those soy beverages that have not been enriched provide two to nine times as much calcium as claimed by the Dairy Bureau.

Meanwhile, there are a few more things the dairy industry isn’t telling you about the nutritional comparison between cow’s milk and soy milk.

For example:

• Cow’s milk provides more than nine times as much saturated fat as soy beverages, so is far more likely to contribute to heart disease.

• Soy beverages provide more than 10 times as much essential fatty acids as cow’s milk, so provide a far healthier quality of fat.

• Soy beverages are cholesterol-free, while cow’s milk contains 34 mg of cholesterol per cup, which again means that cow’s milk is far worse for your heart and cardiovascular system.

• Soy beverages lower both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, while cow’s milk raises both total and LDL cholesterol levels, providing yet more reasons soy milk is better for your health.

• Soy beverages, unlike cow’s milk, provide substantial amounts of substances known as “phytoestrogens” which lower both heart disease and cancer risk.

• Men who consume one to two servings of soy milk per day are 70 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who don’t.

When Is a Milk Not Classified as a Milk?

The dairy industry has fought long and hard to keep soy beverages from being included in the milk group in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. But in 2000, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, despite being stacked with members who had received grants from the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and had been “visiting professors” with the National Dairy Council, recommended that soy beverages be included as an option in the milk group.

THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT MILK CONSUMPTION

  • Antibiotics allowed in U.S. cow’s milk: 80

  • Antibiotics found in soy milk: None

  • Children with chronic constipation so intractable that it can’t be treated successfully by laxatives, who are cured by switching from cow’s milk to soymilk: 44 percent

  • Average American’s estimate when asked what percentage of adults worldwide do not drink milk: 1 percent

  • Actual number of adults worldwide who do not drink milk: 65 percent


This article was excerpted with permission from the book:

Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World
by John Robbins.(10th anniversary edition)

Reprinted with permission of Conari Press, and imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. ©2001,2011. The Food Revolution is available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher at 1-800-423-7087 or http://redwheelweiser.com.

For more info and/or to order this book on Amazon, click here.

About the Author

Cow’s Milk vs. Soy Milk: Calcium and Other Myths John Robbins is the author of Diet for a New America, The Food Revolution, and the widely acclaimed Reclaiming Our Health. His life and work have been featured on the PBS special, Diet for a New America. Groomed to follow in the footsteps of his father, founder of the Baskin-Robbins empire, he chose a different, more authentic path for himself. John is considered to be one of the most eloquent and powerful spokespersons in the world for a sane, ethical and sustainable future. Visit his website http://www.foodrevolution.org/

More articles by this author.

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT

From Utopia to Materialism to Becoming Citizens of the World
The New Golden Rule: Becoming Citizens of the World
by Daisaku Ikeda
Our youth, to whom we will entrust the twenty-first century, look upon neither their future nor…
Young girl sitting surrounded by lots of book of various colors
How to Recognize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Thom Hartmann
ADHD is not an all-or-nothing diagnosis. There appears to be a curve of behaviors and personality…
Three Ways Virtual Reality Could Transform Mental Health Treatment
Three Ways Virtual Reality Could Transform Mental Health Treatment
by Poppy Brown
Therapists require extensive training, and the most effective forms of therapy involve coaching…
You DO Take It With You... It's Your Story
You DO Take It With You... It's Your Script and Your Story
by Marie T. Russell
They say you can't take it with you... That is false! Not only do you take it with you, but you…

SOCIAL & POLITICAL

someone taking a picture in a crowd
To Weed Out Fake News, A Public-Led Approach Just Might Work
by Tauel Harper
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, TikTok, Redbubble and Twitter have agreed to abide by a code of…
A small kitchenwith stove, sink, etc.
More People Are Living Alone – What Does This Means For The Environment?
by Tullia Jack, Diana Ivanova, et al.
Globally, households are shrinking – more and more people are living alone. In 2016, almost two…
young girl looking over a desolate monochromatic landscape
Is the Answer to the Overpopulation of Earth, More Monks?
by David Brower
Asked how many people the Earth can sustain indefinitely, Harvard professor E. O. Wilson, certainly…
two Muslim women wearing the niqab and using their cell phones
Muslim Women Reflect On Wearing The Niqab In A Mask-wearing World
by Anna Piela
Racialized perceptions related to masks have put an additional burden on groups that already…

INNERSELF VOICES

We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
by Pierre Pradervand
How I see my life path is a choice I make minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day… And this…
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
by James Endredy
For most people, walking is an activity that requires no thought or intention -- it is rarely even…
Young girl sitting surrounded by lots of book of various colors
How to Recognize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Thom Hartmann
ADHD is not an all-or-nothing diagnosis. There appears to be a curve of behaviors and personality…
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard
You may not think you have a core negative belief, but if you’re mysteriously stuck, one or two…
Scrabble letters that spell out: NO HATE
Vaccination or No Vaccination? That Is Not the Question Here...
by Joyce Vissell
This is not an article about the benefits of getting a vaccination. Nor is it an article about not…
heart shape filled with various colors
Quiz: What’s Your Risk of Heart Disease? and What To Do About It
by Maryon Stewart
If you answered yes to more than three questions, I would highly recommend that you follow the…

LIVING IN HARMONY

coffee shop, Valentia Island, Ireland
Why Being Unable To Hang Out In Cafes and Bars Drains Our Creativity
by Korydon Smith, Kelly Hayes McAlonie,and Rebecca Rotundo
Researchers have shown how creative thinking can be cultivated by simple habits like exercise,…
Three Ways Museums Are Making Classic Literature More Attractive To Young Readers
Three Ways Museums Are Making Classic Literature More Attractive To Young…
by Heather Green
For many lovers of classic literature, opportunities to devour the works of undiscovered authors…
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
by Vicky Armstrong
Many of us may be looking to art activities to keep children busy while at home. If you are, I want…
Parkinson's Disease: Blood Changes May Occur Years Before Diagnosis
Parkinson's Disease: Blood Changes May Occur Years Before Diagnosis
by Alastair Noyce
In our latest study, my colleagues and I have identified changes in blood that occur years before a…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.