Vegetarian + Vegan Whole Foods

Published on September 23rd, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

16

Whole Foods Pulls Silk Soymilk after Organic Switcharoo

Whole Foods, Austin, Texas

Advertising, as we all know, often employs misleading tactics to sell products. We don’t always look twice and read through the illusion. Cornucopia Institute, an organization with the mission of helping us break through the misinformation and the “blurring” of lines between organic and natural, recently caught some sketchy activity by Dean Foods, maker of Silk soymilk, and reported the issue to the USDA for correction.

Thank you, Cornucopia! And thank you to the grocery providers, such as Whole Foods Market, who noticed that and responded in favor of honesty to the consumer and support for hard-working organic soy farmers in the US as well.

Silk Soymilk, Dean Foods Try to Pull a Fast One on Consumers

Silk, which I think has become the leading manufacturer of soymilk in the US, shifted from using organic soybeans last year to only using “natural” soybeans. However, they continued to use a picture in their ads of a carton of organic soymilk. This is like talking out of both sides of your mouth and amounts to nothing short of visual propaganda.

For the consumer who is simply trying to buy a clean product in the middle of their busy day, the blurring of lines is easily done in regards to organic vs. natural. With tricks like this and similar packaging, the differences can easily go unnoticed.

Whole Foods Stands Up to Silk, Dean Foods

Customers want integrity and do not want misinformation. Thankfully, some stores have now dropped Dean Foods from their stores, making the whole thing easier to decipher for the consumer. The entire chain of Whole Foods stores is the biggest player to have done so.

So, even though Dean Foods has jumped the organic ship, its customers won’t go down with it.

Of course, we always love to encourage you making your own wholesome foods, and you can always make organic soymilk yourself to ensure integrity, (but I have to say I’ve never tried that myself). At the least, at Whole foods, you have plenty of alternatives to Silk.  Earth Balance’s new organic soymilk products look like they’re worth a try, and they are even made strictly from soybeans grown in the US. (Another thing Silk did recently is switch from US-grown soy to soy from China.)

Other good options are old bastions like Edensoy and Organic Valley, also with products made from organic beans grown on American family farms. And you can always try organic almond milk and oat milk, some of my favorites.

The High Price Companies Pay to Fool Their Consumers

How much money was spent by Dean Foods to keep the lines between organic and non-organic blurred? The NY Times reports that Silk spent $29.1 million on advertising in major media last year.

But it is likely to lose much more than that by trying to cut it cheap on the quality front and trying to fool its previously loyal consumers.

Photo Credit: That Other Paper via flickr



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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • http://Web David G.

    I stopped buying Silk products in the Spring after I realized they were bogus. Thanks Whole Foods.

    • http://Web jenn

      im really shocked about the whole situation. i just went on silksoymilk.com and it STILL SAYS that they are non-GMO.

      what is the truth, and how can they still advertise on-line that they are non-gmo when they aren’t?!

      http://silksoymilk.com/content/faq

      • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zach

        i think they may have switched back recently — but not 100% sure about that. feel like i read it somewhere recently

  • Pingback: Whole Foods dumps Silk Soy in favor of organic brands. | elephant journal

  • http://Web lindsey

    I realize that their usual carton is no longer organic, but Silk does offer an organic formula in addition to their “natural” formula.

    I still don’t buy it, but thought I would clarify.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      Thanks, Lindsey! That’s definitely an important clarification.

  • Pingback: Waylon Lewis: Whole Foods dumps Silk Soy. | Ecomentality@LifeDrop

  • http://Web Karen Bailey

    Same on Silk Soy milk for using palm oil in their creamers! Palm oil plantations are ruining Indonesia and destroying the homes of Orangutans, Sumatran Tigers and many other creatures. No more Silk creamer for me. It’s organic half & half in my coffee.

  • http://www.naturalkidsphotography.com Sarah

    Thank you Whole Foods!! So great that there are companies that you can trust.

  • Pingback: Whole Foods Stops Selling Silk Soymilk! | Eco-Cupscious

  • http://Web Andy

    Our market has just added the Silk Soy “Natural” milk, but they also offer the Silk Soy Organic Unsweetened Milk, in a green carton.

    Does anyone know if this is truly organic – the carton label on front clearly states it is.

    Are all their soybeans now from outside the US?

  • http://www.southeastgrind.com Kacey

    We use Pacific Soy Milk that’s from the NW. Organic and my own taste buds tell me that it tastes the best too. They offer the Soy Blenders which makes a wicked soy latte because it heats and foams to perfection. Delicious!

    Cheers

  • http://Web deedee

    Thanks Whole foods. Soy milk is also processed and causes the liver to work harder then causing unwanted fat to be stored. I think organic milk and cream is still the way to go!!!

  • http://Allergencontaminationisnew Laura

    Just borrowed some Silk soy milk from my housemate, thinking it would be safe with my food allergies. It is packaged differently; it’s in the special packaging where you don’t have to refrigerate until you open it. I didn’t check the label because I always use Silk without problems. But 4 1/2 hours after using this product, I’m having a migraine. So half-blind, I carefully read the ingredient list, and it says this one could be contaminated with almond or coconut! So that’s why the migraine. They need to be consistent!

  • Pingback: 5 Soy-Free Milk Alternatives | Organically Speaking

  • http://Web paul

    thanks WF, GMO’s may be the death of us all. It’s amazing how human greed and American politics run hand in hand.

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