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There Is No Such Thing As Soy Milk
Got Milk? If you are holding a carton of Soymilk you don't. Right now there is a battle over what can be defined as milk, and what can't be. With milk sales going down and plant-based beverage sales going up, it could be an all-out war.
The dairy section of your grocery story carries an array of “milk” options: whole milk, reduced-fat milk, low-fat milk, fat-free milk, lactose-free milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and more. If you are looking for a liquid to pour on top of your cereal, you have plenty of options.
But are they all milk?
No. There is no such thing as soy milk. The same goes for almond, coconut, hemp, rice, cashew, hazelnut, and oat. Milk comes from mammals and there are no lactating almonds. While plant-based beverages have sought to broaden milk's definition since the Chinese company Vitasoy entered the US market in 1979, the Food and Drug Administration still has a very specific, cow-centric, definition:
"Milk is the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows."
Comedian Lewis Black has been making this argument for years, starting with his bit from 2004's Black on Broadway:
I was in Los Angeles and I ordered some coffee, and they said, "Would you like whole milk, skim milk, or soy milk?" And my fist stopped right at his face. There's no such thing as soy milk. It's soy juice. But they couldn't sell soy juice, so they called it soy milk. Because any time you say soy juice you actually start to gag.
Consumers are certainly not gagging on the current crop of plant-based milk alternatives. According to Euromonitor, the worldwide sales of plant-based beverages more than doubled between the 2009 and 2015. Milk sales, on the other hand, have been going down (9% decrease in 2015) and are projected to continue decreasing into the foreseeable future.
The somewhat dire outlook for the dairy industry recently prompted 32 members of Congress to write to the FDA, arguing that plant-based beverage manufacturers are misleading consumers with the milk label. In the letter, the group concludes that:
While consumers are entitled to choose imitation products, it is misleading and illegal for manufacturers of these products to profit from the "milk" name. These products should be allowed on the market only when accurately labeled. We urge FDA to enforce this matter by requiring plant-based products to adopt a more appropriate name that does not include the word "milk".
So what should consumers call plant-based beverages? As Lewis Black so eloquently put it, Soy Juice would not sell very well. "Milk" works in the sense that it gives the beverage greater context. For example, calling a beverage Coconut Milk clearly indicates that it serves as a substitute for traditional dairy milk. Unfortunately, it also serves to confuse the consumer into thinking the beverage is a type of milk. It's not.
Consider how we treat meat-alteratives, which go by names such as faux meat, imitation meat, or mock meat. Restaurants like Chipotle, which has a faux meat option, lists their meats and their meat-alternative under the catch-all "Protein."
There is no such thing as Soy Meat, and there is no such thing as Soy Milk. There are, however, plenty of Faux Milk options at the grocery store.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.