Soy vs. Hemp Protein: What's the Difference?

Soy vs. Hemp Protein: What's the Difference?

With plant-based protein growing in popularity and availability, how do you know which one is right for you, your horse, or your pets?
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If you feel like you’re seeing more plant-based protein options on grocery store shelves, you’re absolutely right.

According to a September 2021 NielsenIQ report, “Consumers are purchasing plant-based foods, especially protein alternatives in the meat and dairy aisles, in increasing numbers. Meat alternatives, in particular, have jumped 60%.”

With these increasing numbers, you’re also seeing an increase in options. One article from Eat This, Not That! named 17 vegan protein powders—that’s a lot to choose from!

With plant-based protein growing in popularity and availability, how do you know which one is right for you, your horse, or your pets?

While there are a number of options on the market, we’re going to look at two plant-based proteins. One is possibly the most commonly used in the marketplace and the second is a new challenger that is starting to turn some well-informed heads—soy and hemp.

To start, let's talk about the top-line protein amounts. Protein content for soy and hemp is about the same: 35 to 38% for soy and 25 to 30% for hemp. (source)

However, these popular plant-based proteins aren’t created equally.

There is more to choosing the best plant-based protein than just the amount of protein listed per serving.

At The Sturdy Horse, we believe hemp protein is superior. If you’re here because you want to choose food that’s as close to natural as possible for you, your horses, and your pets, we think you’ll agree. 

2 Reasons Hemp Protein is Better Than Soy Protein

1. Hemp is Not Genetically Modified (Non-GMO)

When it comes to soy, the seed is most often genetically modified to help it withstand environmental threats and make it herbicide tolerant. By modifying the plant this way, the major crop farmers are able to maintain their crop harvest numbers by spraying them with herbicides.

When you see soy, there’s a statistically good chance that it’s been genetically modified. The FDA released a report saying that GMO soybeans made up 94% of all soybeans planted in 2018. (link to FDA article).

However, the hemp we source is always from certified seed and 100% Non-GMO. Why may that be important? Because with hemp we have a real chance to produce—and you have the chance to consume—a plant-based protein that has not been altered to be “resistant to environmental threats.”

In the name of better commercial production, so many of the food sources in our diets (and our pets and horses) have been altered. This comes at a great cost, not only to the quality of our foods but the quality of our farm ground.

When we choose the product that truly is natural—in this case, the one that is least altered—you can rest assured you are feeding yourself, your pets, and your horses the food as nature intended for it to be.

2. Hemp is Minimally Processed

Both soy and hemp require some processing to get from the field to your plate, smoothie mix, or feed bin. However, they do not go through the same process.

In order to get the soy protein isolate, soy processors use alcohol or water to remove the sugars and dietary fiber. The defatted soy flakes are then dehydrated and turned into powder which is what becomes your soy protein powder and is used in numerous foods and beverages. (source)

On the other hand, hemp is very minimally processed, allowing you to skip the alcohol or water soak and maintain the nutritious value of the hempseed.

At The Sturdy Horse, our hemp products are processed using time-tested true cold processing techniques with no chemicals or solutions to wash or dilute the materials. This retains the natural nutrients as close as possible to their original state.

As a result, superior nutrition is provided from everything the hempseed has to offer.

When it comes to feeding your horses, pets, and yourself plant-based proteins that will help you thrive naturally, hemp truly is the natural choice.