What to look for when buying milk replacement drinks
Vegetable milk drinks made from cereals, nuts and legumes are currently more popular than ever before. Many products are also very healthy, and some also contribute to climate protection. A recent test showed that oat drinks in particular paint a good picture. In general, many products from this area are recommended. However, there are exceptions in the soy milk division. Here several products performed poorly. Including Edeka's own brand "Bio + vegan Soy Drink Classic".
Plant drinks are popular and delicious. They are available, for example, as almond, oat or soy milk. Öko-Test had 18 known plant drinks analyzed in the laboratory. The category of oat drinks was the most convincing here, there was nothing to complain about about the oat drinks, both from an environmental perspective and from the point of view of the ingredients. The situation is different with soy drinks. Here, many manufacturers use soy with genetic impurities and some drinks show increased heavy metal values. The full verdict can be viewed on the Öko-Test website: "Plant-based milk substitute in the test: we recommend these alternatives to milk".
How was it tested?
Öko-Test sent 18 well-known brands of milk substitute products to special laboratories, which examined the ingredients of the drinks down to the smallest detail. Among other things, the drinks were checked for glyphosate, residues of cleaning agents, genetic changes and toxic heavy metals. Most products were convincing. Öko Test rated nine of the 18 articles with the grade "very good" and two with "good". Five drinks were placed in the satisfactory area. The remaining two milk substitute drinks scored “poor” and “insufficient”. Both products from the soy milk division.
Organic or organic waste?
"The Edeka Bio + vegan soy drink Classic is one of the products that were noticed negatively in the test", Ökotest writes in a current report on the test result. The soy milk of the supermarket chain is the second worst product in the test. Genetically modified soy DNA was found in the laboratory and the levels of the harmful heavy metal nickel were too high compared to the other products. Test verdict: poor! Even worse: "Alpro Soya Original + Calcium". This soy milk was the only product in the test to be rated "insufficient".
Nickel can damage fertility
According to the European Food Safety Authority, an adult should not consume more than 168 micrograms of nickel a day, otherwise there is a risk of impaired fertility. As Öko Test showed, half a liter of Edekas Soy Drink Classic is enough to reach this value.
There is another way
As Öko Test reports, around 80 percent of all soybeans grown are genetically modified. Here the manufacturers have to take a closer look. The soy milk "Berief Bio Soja Drink Naturell" shows that this is possible. She was the only soy milk to score “very good”. Neither pollutants nor traces of genetic contamination were found here.
Better use oat milk for the sake of nature
Overall, Öko Test named the oat drinks the test winner. Many of the ingredients in the drinks come directly from German organic farming without pesticides. In addition, nature is relieved by short transport routes. The almond drinks came out second best. From an environmental point of view, however, these milk substitute drinks have the disadvantage that huge amounts of water are required for production. According to the Öko Test, more than 10,000 liters of water are used to produce one kilogram of almonds.
Genetic changes in soy uncontrollable?
Öko Test detected genetically modified DNA contaminants in three soy milk products, even though some of the soy used comes from countries such as Austria, France or Italy that officially do not grow any genetic plants. "The evidence shows that genetic engineering cannot be controlled," says Öko Test. (vb)