Soy milk is a popular non-dairy alternative that is made from soybeans. On this drink, plant-based-food dietitian Julieanna Hever told Everyday Health, “Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids [if fortified] and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. ”
Many brands add vitamins and nutrients to it to make it more nutritious, and it’s considered the healthiest among other plant-based milks. It’s also pretty popular, which could be why it harms the environment. A study by the University of Nottingham and the Sustainable Food Trusts says that large areas of rainforests are being cleared to make space for soy farming, with animals suffering from habitat destruction, which affects the ecosystem (via Food Ingredients First). Richard Young, Policy Director of the trust, told the outlet, “Soybean meal has a very high carbon footprint if derived from crops grown on land recently converted from forest or savannah.”
Soy milk might be healthy, but it doesn’t look like it’s doing the environment any favors.