Friday, November 20, 2009

Soy What?

I came across this blogger's posting today at lunchtime and found it to be an excellently summarized counter argument to the typical health claims buzzing around in the frenzy of Soy product marketing.

For the full article, please visit Dawn's blog: Small Footprint Family. Here's a quick summary of the author's subtitles and a few quotes(...but I say it's definitely worth the full read!):

Soy is Not a Health Food

Brief History of Soy
"Many restaurants and food manufacturers are now replacing their hydrogenated soybean oil with palm oil. Consequently, soybean oil sales are declining. In an effort to protect their profits, the soy industry has resorted to two strategies: 1) diversifying their market with new soy products like margarine, soymilk, “nutrition” bars, protein powders, livestock feed, biofuel, and more, and 2) returning to demonizing the competition in order to make their products more acceptable."

Soy and the Environment
"Desperate to find an alternative means of attack, the soybean industry has found a new ally in highly vocal, politically active environmental groups. Fueled by financial support and misleading data from the soy industry, some environmental groups have now waged a war against palm oil on the grounds that palm cultivation is destroying the environment. They claim that rainforests are being leveled to make room for palm plantations, destroying the ecology and bringing endangered species, such as the orangutan, to the brink of extinction.

"Anyone with any sense of responsibility for the environment would be swayed by this argument. The problem, however, is that while palm oil plantations are responsible for some deforestation, the soybean industry is causing more destruction to the environment than probably any other agricultural industry on the planet."

Soybeans and Health
"According to a British toxicologist’s calculations, a baby fed exclusively on soy formula would be consuming the estrogen equivalent of five birth-control pills a day. Thirty to 40% of babies in the United States are fed soy formula. If the hormones in soy are strong enough to relieve hot flashes, why would we feed it to children?"

Soy Processing
"The process of making soy protein isolate (SPI) begins with defatted soybean meal, which is mixed with a caustic alkaline solution to remove the fiber, then washed in an acid solution to precipitate out the protein. The protein curds are then dipped into another alkaline chemical solution and spray-dried at extremely high temperatures. SPI is then often spun into protein fibers using technology borrowed from the textile industry. These refining processes improve taste and digestibility, but destroy the vitamin, mineral, and protein quality, and increase levels of carcinogens such as nitrosamines. SPIs appear in so many products that consumers would never guess that the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) decreed in 1979 that the only safe use for SPIs was for sealers for cardboard packages."

Soy and Allergies
"Soy allergies are on the rise for three reasons: the growing use of soy infant formula, the increase in soy-containing foods in grocery stores, and the possibility of the greater allergenicity of genetically modified soybeans."

Soy and Hormones
"Most of the fears concerning soy formula have focused on estrogens. There are other problems as well, notably much higher levels of aluminum, fluoride, and manganese than are found in either breastmilk or dairy formulas. All three metals have the potential to adversely affect brain development. Although trace amounts of manganese are vital to the development of the brain, toxic levels accrued from ingestion of soy formula during infancy have been found in children suffering from attention-deficit disorders, dyslexia, and other learning problems."

The Right Soy


Again, for the author's full article, please visit her blog: Small Footprint Family: Soy is Not a Health Food.


Food for thought: Ever notice how when we were kids, we weren't popping edamame like wonder pills and drinking soy shakes and lattes?


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