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Silk Milk-organic standards?

I posted a while ago about this:  Silk has changed from a "USDA ORGANIC" label, to" third party certified soy"- I was wondering why the switch, and should I be worried?

.......then today I came across this article, which suggests to boycott Dean Foods, the parent company, because the soy production is outsourced overseas and their standards are questionable.

http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/oca/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=4756

I am thinking of not using SILK! We use it so much that it would be a big adjustment. I mean, HUGE adjustment! I use other nut milks on occasion, but not as often as Silk, as it is so readily available in most markets, and it a larger container.

Any thoughts??  Maybe its time to get my own Soymaker!

I've been considering getting a soymilk maker too--if only to cut down on all the packaging. Also, I like the idea of making my own tofu.

In regards to boycotting Silk because it is owned by Deans...well, it's a complicated issue. Boca is owned by Kraft, Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen are owned by General Mills, Lightlife is owned by ConAgra--my point is that since "health food" has been converted into a commodity (profit) it's ethics have likely slipped a bit (okay, more than a bit). The only way to resist, as I see it, is to try and eat as little packaged food as possible. Easier said than done.

As a side note, most people have probably heard by now Wild Oats was just bought by Whole Foods--another mega corporation in the making?

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Aw. I kind of liked Wild Oats better.

I'm thinking about purchasing a soymilk maker too, when I get my tax refund. Until then, I'm buying generic. I know that "Big Soymilk" produces the generics out there, but I take some satisfaction in knowing that they're not making as much money off of me.

I think calling a boycott at this point would be a good idea. Soymilk is in high enough demand that I think that "Big Soymilk" would listen. If the boycott gets enough attention, anyway...(Fired Up Friday Idea?)

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wow, thank you for posting this. looks like i won't be using Silk any longer.

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This from the NOT Milk Man:
(I wish I could wean myself off of SILK!)

How SILK Soymilk is Made

SILK soymilk is the best-selling cow's milk
alternative in America.

SILK is owned by Dean Foods, America's largest
processor of dairy products. The wholesale cost of
filling a one-quart container of cow's milk is about
35 cents. The wholesale cost of filling a one-quart
container with soy milk is less than one cent. Dean
Foods charges more for that container of soymilk than
they do for a container of cow's milk.

To manufacture SILK...

Soybeans are added to a vat of water just as you
might soak beans overnight to make them softer
and easier to cook. The beans are then ground and
added to steel drums in which water is added to form
a paste.

This process of pulverization separates the fats,
proteins, and carbohydrates into a product that SILK
refers to as "soy base." The soy base is shipped to a
dairy processing factory in tanker trucks. Each truck
contains 24,000 quarts of soy base. The soy base is
unloaded into another vat where it is blended with water,
artificial flavors (which SILK calls natural), and other
secret ingredients (don't ask, they will not tell you).

One additive they will admit to is carrageenan, a
thickening agent. Many people suffer stomach discomfort
after eating carrageenan and unfairly blame their
common reactions on soy beans. For more on carrageenan:

http://www.notmilk.com/carrageenan.html

In order to kill the microscopic organisms and bacteria
that have matured during this long grinding, storing, and
shipping process, the remaining product must be pasteurized.
This kills most of the molds, yeasts, and bacteria. After
heat treatment, SILK is then piped into holding tanks and
filled into cartons. From start to finish, the SILK milk
can take between two days and one week to reach your
supermarket shelves.

How to make your own soymilk.

Own a SoyToy.

Add one-half cup of beans and two quarts of water
to your SoyToy soymilk making machine. Press the
start button.

In 28 minutes, you will have two quarts of steaming soymilk.

Cold Weather Recipe

Take one cup of fresh soymilk and add semi-sweet (non-dairy)
chocolate bits (1-2 Tbs more or less, to taste).

Add the soymilk and chocolate bits to a food processor and
blend for 15 seconds. You will now have the world's best
hot chocolate.

To order a SoyToy, call toll-free: 1-888-668-6455

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk./com
i4crob@earthlink.net

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Wow, thanks for all that info Little2Ant.  Now I really want to go buy a soymilk maker!

It is just so convenient to buy milk from the store.  I worry that I might get tired of cleaning up the soy milk machine all the time...

For those of you who own these, how hard are they to clean?  I don't have a dishwasher so I would have to wash the whole thing by hand.

And does the soymilk taste like that from the store?  I always buy the "Silk Unsweetened" in the green container, would homemade milk compare to that? 

Also how do they work?  By chopping up the beans really fine?  Or are you left with the "beans" after the soymilk is made?

Thanks!

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We ordered a soyquick machine last night with our tax refund $. I can't wait to try it!! I also buy the unsweetened silk soymilk and I'm wondering how different the homemade will taste. Also, I'm wondering what I should store it in so that other flavors don't invade--glass?

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baypuppy, how much sweetner do you have to add for it to be a tad sweet. I guess its personal preference...but a lot> could i add maple syrup or agave? Thanks!

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Sorry to be stupid but I don't understand the OCA article... it seems like is mostly about the standards of organic dairy milk...
They aren't saying that Silk is possibly GM-soy tainted, right?

"Additionally, its been revealed that much of the soy for Dean Food's White Wave tofu and Silk soymilk products are sourced abroad, primarily from Brazil and China. Environmental standards and workers' rights are routinely violated in these two countries."

Environmental standards are routinely violated... what are those standards specifically? They are saying they are routinely violated but not necessarily by Dean Foods.

I mean, I'm not happy about this but it seems the article was more about dairy milk and just threw some soy on the band wagon.
I don't use Silk exclusively, but it's my go-to for chocolate milk. I have also been interested in getting my own soymilk maker.
I'd just like more info on this topic.

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rhetcompgirl, please let us know how your soymilk machine works when you get it...  I am really interested to know if the milk that it makes tastes comparable to Silk Unsweetened.  If so, I might just have to order my own pretty soon!  :)

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I have a question! I asked this to someone earlier.....Is the vitamin B-12 that is added to soy milk from a vegan source? If so...where is it obtained from? Something I have been curious about....
-dave

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I have a soymilk maker myself, I have had for a couple of years.  Guess what? I HATE the product!

As for Silk, I don't use it.  I got to looking at the calories versus something like Soy Dream or even Safeway's own brand and it has like 50 MORE calories than the others.  Upon closer inspection, the calories appear to come from sugars of various sorts.  Silk is thick, very sweet to my palate and I have always thought it to be over hiped. 

I remember when White Wave tofu started out making Silk over the hill in Boulder, CO.  SIlk is a far cry from the initial product I tried.  It is not better.

If you make your own soymilk, however, you come up with okara, which is ground soybean pulp.  It has all the fiber and quite a bit of the good things of the whole bean.  Okara is versatile.  Somewhere in this mess I have a recipe for carrot okara muffins that we really liked.

As for making tofu...you'll only get a little dab of it unless you run your maker for several batches and mine you have to cool completely before you can run more than 2 batches sequentially.  Tofu is not hard to make, or I should say soymilk is not hard to make without a machine.  You need a blender with a glass pitcher and a couple of large stainless steel pots that'll hold about 8 quarts each, a collander and several clean flour sack type of towels.  The trick to no beany taste is to use boiling water poured over the beans as they are blended.  That sounds hard, but it isn't.  Before there was a tofu factory in Denver I made tofu at least once a week for years.  We went through 50# of soybeans about every 4 to 6 weeks.  You can even use cheap old Epsom salts for the coagulant and skip the expensive alternatives. 

Make sure if you buy a soymilk machine that you buy one where you can make rice and nut milks as well as soymilk.  That way, you can do some fun stuff like make soy and brown rice milk in one go and make a complete, rich, high quality protein product, not to mention that a combination gives you a better taste and you need less sweetner in the finished product.  Imagine soy, rice and almond milk mixture...the best of all worlds!

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My kids were raised on Edensoy Extra, but then my oldest revolted and now he uses Silk on his cereal (sometimes I'll get Organic Valley instead).  At any given time, we'll have about four different kinds of milks in the fridge, which is a tad bit over the top I think.

While you might have misgivings about Silk being owned by a huge company like Dean Foods, the fact is that you can walk into a grocery store pretty much in the middle of nowhere, USA and still pick up a quart of soymilk.  And that is directly due to the marketing muscle of Dean Foods and its ability to demand a place for Silk on the refrigerator shelves, where space is at a premium.  It's almost always a mixed blessing when these little organic brands get snapped up.

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My kids were raised on Edensoy Extra, but then my oldest revolted and now he uses Silk on his cereal

;D :D ;D I magine if all parents had these kinds of problems. The world might be a better place.

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