Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fight! Soy Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

What’s better for you and the environment, soy milk or cow’s milk? Let’s look at it from a nutritional and environmental standpoint.

Nutritionally speaking, it’s pretty much a toss up, according to
an article I found at a random website (sorry I couldn’t do better, but there’s very little out there on this subject). Cow has an edge in protein (3.34g per cup compared to soy’s 1.91g), but soy milk is lower in calories (33 compared to 61 calories). Soy has no cholesterol compared to cow’s 14mg, and it has 1.3g of fiber whereas cow has none. But milk has slightly more (.2g) essential amino acids. Milk also has (a little) more calcium.

At “GoAskAlice.com,” (Alice, I presume)
suggests that, “Fortified soy milk provides almost the same dietary value as cow milk.” So where nature makes soy and cow milk different, man has evened the score (to compete in the marketplace, of course).

Speaking of markets, profit and all that, Newstarget.com’s Mike Adams
doesn’t like soy milk because it’s gotten too commercial. Adams blames “profit-seeking corporations” for loading supermarket-grade soy milk with sugar leaving it “nutritionally inferior.” He also gripes about farmers using genetically modified soy beans (Why is that bad? Seriously?) and the clearing of rainforests to plant crops.

For the record, consider that cows have to eat and drink something to make milk. And
from what I understand, it takes ten plant calories (which may very well come from clear-cut rainforests) to make one animal calorie. In other words, a cow needs to eat 610 calories of plants to make one 61-calorie serving of milk. Thus, compared to soy, it would take ten-times the crop land to get the same amount of cow milk.

Considering that, it’s not hard to believe
it takes more than a thousand gallons of water to yield one gallon of milk.

Back to our friend Mike Adams, he doesn’t like cow’s milk either. Aside from being “alarmingly high in pus,” pasteurization destroys “beneficial microorganisms” and alters its fat in a way that “ultimately harms the human cardiovascular system.”

What does Mikey like? Fermented raw milk (high in probiotics) and raw almond milk (rich in cancer-fighting phytonutrients).

One other thing, from that random article referenced earlier, Pound360 learned that soy milk appears to have an edge in certain amino acids (arginine for boosting the immune system, alanine for breaking down sugar and aspartic for boosting stamina) and it has more thiamin, niacin, magnesium (for absorbing calcium), copper (for bone formation) and manganese (for storing iron, neural transmission and protein metabolism).

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.