Saturday, February 02, 2008

Where soy milk comes from (and musings about vegan yogurt)

The soy controversy came up in conversation last night with a mostly-vegan friend who's decided to cut all soy products from his diet. We were discussing soy- and dairy-free alternatives to soy milk, and speculating about the existence of soy- and dairy-free yogurt. It seems that the only soy- and dairy-free yogurt on the market right now is something called Ricera, which is made from organic brown rice. It's high in protein, cholesterol and trans-fat free, and fortified with Vitamins A and D, as well as with calcium. According to their website, they got off to a rocky start when the Vitamin D source they used was found to be D3, which is animal-derived. They've since rectified the problem and are using D2, which is vegetable-derived.

All nutritional questions aside, however -- is it tasty? I've never seen it in Canada, but a friend has mentioned that it's available at Whole Foods. A few Google searches led me to some sad reviews of the product, at least one using the word "barf". As more and more people avoiding dairy in their diets (either from lactose-intolerance, concerns over the use of hormones in the dairy industry, or for ethical reasons) become concerned about the purported issues with soy, it probably won't be long until other dairy- and soy-free brands of yogurt pop up on store shelves.

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