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'Vegetarian' Soy Milk

Curt the Soi Hound Oct 31, 2008 06:44 PM

In adherence to their religion, Thais go vegetarian from time to time. Something I found peculiar is the appearance of 'jay', aka 'vegetarian', soymilk boxes on many store shelves.

I had always thought that soy milk was vegetarian, so I asked a local vegetarian to explain. I was told that regular soy milk is 'fortified' with dairy milk.

Is this a common practice worldwide, or is SEA an exception?

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    pickledtink RE: Curt the Soi Hound Oct 31, 2008 07:39 PM

    Hmm...I can't vouch for every label, but I haven't broken out in hives after drinking several US brands (Silk, Trader Joe's, Edensoy, Westsoy) so it seems they are dairy-free (I am allergic to dairy). I am pretty sure that if soy milk were fortified with dairy, they would have to say so on the label.

    1. ccbweb RE: Curt the Soi Hound Oct 31, 2008 08:33 PM

      Good grief, the things people will declare to be true. Your local vegetarian is misinformed. Unless it specifies on the label that there is some form of dairy in the soy milk, you can be sure that there is not. The exposure to lawsuits alone from anyone with a dairy allergy would be enough to deter a company from spiking their soy with dairy. Check out the website for Silk Soy Milk, for example for their answers to questions about whether soy milk is vegan (yes), Kosher (in their case, yes) and dairy free (emphatically yes).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ccbweb
        babette feasts RE: ccbweb Oct 31, 2008 08:38 PM

        Actually, Thai soy milk often does have milk fat added. It is listed on the ingredients and even advertised on the label, something like 'enriched with dairy milk', so I imagine Thai people know to check. I've seen it in local shops, imported from Bangkok.

      2. Emme RE: Curt the Soi Hound Oct 31, 2008 09:31 PM

        i wish i could operate under that assumption, but soy does not mean dairy free. the majority of soy milks are dairy free, but even just today, i was looking at some soy cheese in trader joe's, and it has casein as an ingredient... very disappointing... i wouldn't necessarily pursue soy products if i could tolerate dairy properly...

        6 Replies
        1. re: Emme
          lgss RE: Emme Nov 1, 2008 05:10 AM

          Most non-dairy cheeses contain casein as it's the factor which makes it melt "right".

          1. re: lgss
            Emme RE: lgss Nov 1, 2008 12:53 PM

            i understand the need for it, but man my stomach certainly resents it...

            1. re: Emme
              lgss RE: Emme Nov 1, 2008 03:20 PM

              We avoid all imitation cheese products. We're vegan. Instead of mac and cheese we make gf pasta with hummus! For pizza we used eggplant instead of cheese.

              1. re: lgss
                lagatta RE: lgss Nov 1, 2008 04:22 PM

                That is one of the reasons I could never be vegan (though I'm somewhat lactose-intolerant and don't digest cow's milk well). I love eggplant, and there are several authentic pizzas with no cheese at all, but I do like a bit on some kinds of pizza.

                Pasta and hummus doesn't appeal at all, though I like both of those foods very much.

                1. re: lgss
                  Emme RE: lgss Nov 1, 2008 08:48 PM

                  glad those work for you... myself, i don't like hummus...

                  im vegetarian and gluten free now, but really since dairy is giving me issues lately, my animal product that still remains in my diet are egg whites... and i couldn't imagine life without these...

            2. re: Emme
              lagatta RE: Emme Nov 1, 2008 05:24 AM

              I have never seen milk products in "Western" soya milks (those produced in North America or Europe). And I always read labels.

              Emme, there is vegan soya cheese - perhaps it doesn't melt as well.

            3. Curt the Soi Hound RE: Curt the Soi Hound Nov 2, 2008 03:54 AM

              So, I guess for all my vegan, strict vegetarian and/or lactose intolerant friends out there, if in Thailand, ask for "jay" soy milk (unless you can read Thai).

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