Why I Drink Soy Milk
I drink soy milk. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was a good decision. I have several reasons, mostly because of the things in conventional milk, but also because soy is really healthy, particularly for women.
My reasons for avoiding regular cow’s milk:
- rBGH = recombinant bovine growth hormone produced by Monsanto. It is given to cows so that they produce 5-15% more milk than normal. All of Europe has banned it, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. When the hormone is injected, it elevates levels of IGF-1, which is the hormone found in several cancers. Basically higher levels of IGF-1 lead to higher risks of cancer.
- rBGH harms the cows’ bodies. It gives them painful infections like mastitis (on the udders) in addition to birth disorders, increased pus in milk, and organ disorders.
- Dairy cows live in large shed-like structures with floors of concrete piled with manure. They are fed rich grains, which can disturb their digestive systems. Barely any of these cows have seen the happy green pastures displayed on ads all over the country.
- Because of the living conditions and rBGH, the cows become sick. So, unnaturally, they are given antibiotics. According to the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), the bacteria resistant to the drugs are given to humans through the milk. This makes humans more resistant to antibiotics.
- Regular milk tastes watery to me. I grew up on Oberweis milk, which is a lot thicker and has more taste. Oberweis is local to me (I grew up in St. Louis) and although I didn’t know it at the time, they do not use rBGH for the cows. They also use glass bottles to contain the milk. Calder Dairy is a close Michigan dairy farm and has delicious products as well. Other than local and hormone-free milk, nothing else comes quite close.
- Soy contains isoflavone, a chemical similar to estrogen. This is why soy is great for women. These isoflavones have been known to decrease risk in cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Info here. Studies have shown a 58% decreased risk of breast cancer for girls who ate a lot of soy between ages 5 and 11. This also goes for later age groups, but for each group was a significantly lower decrease (Weil, Andrew. “How Foods Can Affect Cancer”. Time. Nov.27, 2006).
While soy milk contains more protein and fiber than cow’s milk, it has a little more fat than 2%. But with this does not come the cholesterol like ordinary milk. Soy milk also contains about 75% less calcium than cow’s milk. Food is tricky—you really have to pick your battles. It seems than when you win some, you also lose some. But I feel like I am winning a lot more with soy.
(Info for 1, 2, and 4 from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Campaign for Safe Food)
So the Us hasn't banned rBGH? *sigh* we're always so slow when it comes to being health-conscious. This entry has persuaded me to give soy milk a chance.
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Posted by: betherre at February 24, 2007 12:47 AM
i actually heard the opposite concerning soy milk and cancer, specifically that women with a history of breast cancer in their families became more susceptible to getting breast cancer themselves when their diets included high amounts of soy milk. Is this unfounded? i can't remember where i heard it....
Posted by: blairz at March 12, 2007 12:10 PM
Take a look at this Soy Milk vs Cow’s Milk: A side by side nutrition comparison http://lovesoymilk.com/archives/5, and you'll know soy milk is better, plain and simple.
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