Got Soy?
Soy milk an alternative for cow milk

By Jennifer Lassiter
Star Staff
The fear of mad cow disease has resulted in overall cost of dairy rising within the past few months. The U.S. purchases cows from Canada and with the scare of mad cow disease, those purchases have dropped significantly, resulting in higher priced dairy products. It's predicted by economists that prices will continue to rise over the summer, putting a damper on traditional summers of cones stacked high with dripping ice cream.
Since the U.S. cow herd shrank, consumers and business owners have absorbed the cost. Fewer cows mean less milk, and higher prices; a classic case of supply and demand.
Soy milk has traditionally been significantly higher priced than cow milk, but with prices climbing to $4 a gallon in some areas, prices between soy products aren't that much different. Although consumers haven't stopped purchasing dairy, soy products are becoming more appealing to some consumers.
Soy milk is the creamy milk derived from whole soybeans, and has been in the daily diet of the Chinese and Japanese for many centuries. It has a nutty flavor and comes in a variety of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, plain and almond. A number of "lite" soy products are offered for those on low-fat diets.
Soy milk can be used in practically any way that cow milk can. It can be enjoyed as a cold beverage, in cereal and shakes. Soy milk can also be substituted in recipes that call for milk.
Soy products can be stored at room temperature, unopened, for several months. They must be refrigerated after opening, and will stay fresh for about five days.
There are health benefits to soy milk products. Soy milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein. Soy foods and soy milk are well known for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
In Carl Germanois's article, "Soy Isoflavones: Novel adjunct in treatment of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease," he explains the Isoflavones and their presence in soy foods.
Germanois writes, "It has been shown that populations regularly consuming soybeans have reduced rates of breast, colon and prostate cancer."
According to Anthony Stump, who works at The Natural Foods Store in Johnson City, soy milk is good for people who have an intolerance to dairy products. It contains Isoflavones which help lower cholesterol and build the immune system. "It's the best tasting alternative to milk with a great variety of choices," Stump said.
Soy milk is available in local supermarkets and health food stores. It is most commonly found in the dairy section of the grocery store, beside other milk products.