Soy, the “healthy” enemy

Soy — you may or may not consciously know that you’re consuming it. And there’s a good reason why the food industry has been pushing it as a healthy alternative to dairy and numerous other meatless products. It makes money. And with all the surplus of government-subsidized crops of soy just laying around this country, why not come up with a brilliant scheme to fool the public into thinking it’s healthy for you, and add it secretly to almost every processed food found on grocery stores’ shelves today. If you don’t believe me, pick up a box of cereal, a bag of corn chips, or a pint of ice cream, and read the label. You might just find yeast extract, soy lecithin, soy flour, or soy protein, listed as an ingredient. These are all ingredients derived from soy. And since soy is one of the most prominently grown GMO crops in the U.S., you’re also consuming a GE product, perhaps without even knowing it.

As a mother, the statistics regarding soy-based infant formula are truly horrifying to me. We all want to give the very best to our children, never imagining that we might be pumping our babes full of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound similar to human estrogen. That means that a baby who is fed soy-based formula is digesting the equivalent of five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen on a daily basis. That’s 20,000 times the amount of estrogen put into a baby fed other types of formula! Phytoestrogen also blocks the production of the body’s natural estrogen and disrupts endocrine function, which is believed to promote breast cancer and infertility. It only takes drinking two glasses a day of soy milk for one month to disrupt your menstrual cycle. (Awhile back we wrote a piece about milk, which you might like to read, or re-read, in case you are on the hunt for optimal sources of dairy for you or your family.)

The difference between the majority of the soy sold in the U.S. and Asian countries, such as Japan, is that the U.S. soy is typically unfermented. When left to ferment for long periods of time, the phytic acids contained in the soy are diminished greatly, and the healthy vitamins, such as K2, which protect against osteoporosis, dementia, and cardiovascular disease, become readily available for absorption in the body. For those of you, like me, who don’t know why phytic acids are bad, here’s the answer: phytates bind to metal ions, which block your body from absorbing minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are vitally important to maintaining our health.

Soy is one of the top eight allergens in the world today, causing severe, even fatal responses in the human body. Thyroid disorders, infant abnormalities, kidney stones, and impairments of the immune system have all been linked to soy consumption.  It blows my mind that the U.S. soy industry has so successfully duped the American public into believing that soy is actually healthy for you. And I will admit to believing that myself, once upon a time. Tempeh, natto, miso, and even soy sauce can be good sources of fermented soy in your diet should you choose so.  Just make sure that the soy products you consume are non-GMO or organic, since 91% of all soy grown in the U.S. is genetically-modified, and, thus, there are potentially harmful effects associated with its consumption.  Since soy is one of the top allergens, it’s usually easy to determine whether or not it is contained in a food without having to scour the ingredients, as the label is required to say something along the lines of “Contains Soy”.

I’ll close this post with an interesting quote by Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks-Simon, from the Blogger News Network:

“To make soy more appetizing, the manufacturers added sugar, synthetic sweeteners, genetically modified high fructose corn sugar, refined salt, artificial flavorings, colors and MSG. So the soy isn’t really soy. It is a Frankenfood created for the sole purpose of making a profit from health conscious people trying to live a healthier life.”

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  1. karliin

     /  June 5, 2011

    This is all big ag propaganda. Soy has the highest concentration of isoflavones of any plant food which are are a class of phytochemicals – compounds found only in plants and serve to prevent illness and promote good health. Soy isoflavones have antioxidant properties which protect the cardiovascular system from oxidation of LDL (the bad) cholesterol. Isoflavones also maintain strong and healthy bones and increase bone mineral content and bone density. They are also a fantastic natural alternative to estrogen replacement therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms and offset estrogen drops that occur at menopause. Gary Null reported that 98% of all studies on soy have been positive. The Ag Industrial Complex ran with the 2% of negative soy studies for a full court press smear campaign against this legume with highest concentration of protein – soy! The irony is the very people that most ardently rally against the wonder legume consume it most – omniovres! Animals raised on factory farms, which account for over 99% of meat products in the US are fed a diet of soy and corn. Go figure!

    • We totally agree that soy, when consumed with organic standards, is extremely beneficial to one’s health. However, a majority of the population consumes un-organic soy, and we thought that people needed to realize that. Many times people unknowingly reach for a product that claims to be healthy for them, without knowing all the facts. We also preach to our readers the importance of eating animals humanely raised and slaughtered if they so choose to eat meat. The same holds true in every area of food and food consumption. We really did not have intentions to completely turn our readers off to the idea of soy consumption. One of us consumes soy regularly, and we have even posted a recipe including soy on our blog. Thank you very much for sending in your comment. We would love to hear more. We are always looking for more education, and I’m sure our readers would love to have more insight on the topic!

      • (From the other TDB): “A bit of additional information regarding this post — one of the main intentions of this article is to bring awareness that not all soy is of equal quality. Many people equate the word “soy” with goodness, however, most of the soy found in today’s food markets is non-organic and genetically-modified, which causes us, as consumers, concern. Organic soy can provide many health benefits, including some of those mentioned in a previous comment. The same can be said about consuming certain kinds of meat and fish, depending on their sources and how they are grown, processed, or caught. Please share your thoughts on this topic. We love the discourse!”

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