Soy milk, also known as soya milk or soymilk, is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out remaining particulates. It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein. Its original form is a natural by-product of the manufacture of tofu. Originating in East Asia, it became a common beverage in Europe and North America in the later half of the 20th century, especially as production techniques were developed to give it a taste and consistency more closely resembling that of dairy milk. Along with similar vegetable-based "milks", like almond and rice milk, soy milk may be used as a substitute for dairy milk by individuals who are vegan or lactose intolerant, while others may consume it for environmental or health reasons.