By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Each year, I send an April Fools Day joke to
the readers of the NOTMILK column. Each year,
I get some very angry people, and generate
a lot of laughs. Who knows what I will think
up for pril 1, 2003? Here are links to the past
three years:


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___________________________________________________________ APRIL FOOLS 2001 Dear Friends, This will be my last EMAIL message to you. I am giving up the NOTMILK campaign. A very generous offer has been made to me for the rights to the NOTMILK site, and I've decided to accept. This past weekend I spoke before a few hundred people in Vancouver, B.C. I spent eleven hours in airports and flying home. I found myself waiting for a plane while on layover in Toronto. There was a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand next to a Ben & Jerry's ice cream booth. Confession is good for the soul. The smell of that chicken was irresistable. Like one of Pavlov's dogs, the odor of fried chicken flesh triggered my salivary glands and before I could control myself, I accepted a free sample. Damn, that was delicious. The hell with the animals, I thought. Seven dollars later, I had devoured a four piece chicken meal. Thirsty? Damned right! I looked around. The airport was nearly deserted. Nobody would be witness to my fall from grace. I walked up to the counter. "Black and white shake, please." It was delicious. So you see? I cannot in good conscience continue my campaign. I am giving up the NOTMILK movement, and have sold out to a very high bidder. I wish you all the best. Oh, yes. Happy belated April Fool's Day! ___________________________________________________________ APRIL FOOLS 2002 Silk Reforms WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE? On Sunday (3/31/2002), White Wave, the manufacturer of SILK soymilk and SILK chocolate soymilk issued a press release on the P.R. newswire announcing changes to their best-selling soymilk formulas. SILK'S Mission Statement: "To creatively integrate healthy, natural soyfoods into the American diet." SILK'S president and founder, Steve Demos, said, "We're interested in promoting foods the world is better off with, not without." The press release contained a surprise announcement. Based upon new research, future SILK products will no longer contain carrogeenen or artificial flavors. Demos said: "We pride ourselves in producing the healthiest soymilk product in America, using safe organic ingredients for our discriminating consumers. It has come to our attention that carrageenan may not be safe, so we've decided to replace carrageenan with organic agar-agar." Demos recently opened his new state-of-the-art processing plant, where SILK will control all phases of the manufacturing process of their soymilk, from grinding the beans to bottling the milk. Demos has also exercised his option to buy back the shares of White Wave stock that he sold to America's largest dairy processor, Dean Foods, in 1998. Demos now controls 100% of his original company. Demos also took the opportunity to comment about rumors that the cocoa in SILK chocolate milk is grown in nations in which slavery is legal. Demos said: "We will never knowingly purchase chocolate from any nation in which children are kidnapped and live in slavery. Ever. That would be unconscionable." HOW SILK SOYMILK IS MADE Soybeans are added to a vat of water just as you might soak beans overnight to make them softer and easier to cook. The beans are then ground and added to steel drums in which water is added to form a paste. This process of pulverization separates the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into a product that SILK refers to as "soy base." The soy base is shipped to a dairy processing factory in tanker trucks. Each truck contains 24,000 quarts of soy base. The soy base is unloaded into another vat where it is blended with water, artificial flavors (which SILK calls natural), and other ingredients (don't ask, they will not tell you). In order to kill the microscopic organisms and bacteria that have matured during this long grinding, storing, and shipping process, the entire product is then pasteurized. This kills the molds, yeasts, and bacteria. After heat treatment, SILK is then piped into holding tanks and filled into cartons. From start to finish, the SILK milk can take between two days and one week to reach your supermarket shelves. APRIL FOOLS! Most of today's column is not true. HOW SILK SOYMILK IS MADE: That part is true. SILK still refuses to condemn slavery. All it would take Steve Demos to do is pledge to not buy chocolate from the Ivory Coast, where children are kidnapped and enslaved. His refusal to do so is unfortunate. SILK still continues to process their soymilk with dairy manufacturers, and marks each carton of soymilk with the tiniest letters, DE (dairy equipment). SILK has not purchased back their stock from Dean Foods, and is in bed with the dairy industry, relying upon the milk industry for distribution and valuable supermarket slotting space. SILK has not changed their formula, opting to continue to use carrageenan, despite evidence that this substance that is removed from seaweed with powerful alkali chemicals may be hazardous to human health. Dr. Andrew Weil recently warned his readers about the dangers of carrageenan. He wrote: "Carrageenan can cause ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract." SILK still does not recognize your right as a consumer to know what you are drinking. While most companies list all ingredients on their packaging, SILK refuses to list their "natural" secret flavors. SILK is one very bad April Fool's joke. If you continue to drink their soymilk, the joke is on you.

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z

Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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