The Latest Scams

Friday, April 29, 2011 • Chicago, IL 60657

It's hard to keep up with the food industry. Just when you think you've seen it all, some marketing exec comes up with a anew plan to boost profits. If that means fooling at least some of the public some ofthe time, well, that's buiness. Here is a recent trick (and one that has been around for awhile).



There's a new milk in your dairy case. And it sounds perfect.

Soil Original Pure lmond milk has "60 calories per serving," is "rich in antioxidants," and is "lctose-free and soy-free," according to the label. 

Silk's Web site gives almonds all the credit. "A serving of almonds provides an excellent source of vitamin E (a natural antioxidant), and a good source of prtoein and fiber. In fact, almonds are higher in portien and fiber than any other tree nut."

Maybe so, bt a 1 oz. serving of almonds (about two dozen) has 6 grams of protein (and 167 calories). A cup of almond milk has just 1 gram -- far less than the 8 to 9 grams of protein in a cup of cow's milk (or the 6 to 8 grams in a cup of soy milk). How much? 

It turns out that almond milk doesn't have many almonds. Judging by the 2 1/2 grams of fat in every serving, a cup of almond milk is made from about four nuts. The "milk" is mostly water and enough evaporated cane juice to supply about two teaspoons of added sugar per cup.

"that's for teh Original. The 90-calorie Vanilla has about 4 teaspoons of sugar per cup and the 120-calorie Dark Chocolate has 5 1/2 teaspoons).

And Original and Vanilla Pure Almond are "rich in antioxidants" only because Silk adds vitamin E to them. The company also tosses in vitamins A and D, potassium, and calcium to make them equal to cow's milk.

Blue Diamon'ds Almond Breeze milks are similar to silk's, except that the Breeze milks are similar to Silk's, except that the Breezes come in 40-calorie unsweetended versions. Both brands may appeal to vegans (who eat no dairy foods) or to people who are allergic to dairy.

If that's you, here's a tip: Odds are, you're better off with protein-rich soy milk.