You do know that soy [whatever] is NOT real food, right?

by Andrea on August 5, 2009

in Wellness

I know they sell because they take extensive shelf space in health food stores and – more and more — supermarkets, but I simply can’t understand how something as far removed from being a real food as all these new-fangled soy products is becoming an increasingly important part of the American food basket.

Soy is a complete protein that contains all essential amino-acids, they say. It’s been used forever in Asia. It has little saturated fat and will help you lose weight. Buddhist monks and nutritionist alike recommend it. It most be good!

Well, not this nutrition counselor. All you are going to hear me say if you bring it up is this: “You do know that soy [whatever] is NOT real food, right?”

The soy yogurt, ice cream, protein bar or fake meat you regard as healthy food very closely resembles junk food. People! This is the biggest scam in the history of “health food”!!! Hurray! for the food corporations and PR companies that put it together. They are making fortunes and we are paying with our money, our health and the health of the environment.

Yes, soy does contain a good — by no means complete — protein profile… but it’s pretty unavailable to the human gut because it comes nicely locked up by enzyme inhibitors and antinutrients.

Yes, it’s been used forever in Asia… as a condiment in the form of soy sauce, miso, tempeh or nato, which are fermented foods that take an awful long time to make.

Buddhist monks do use it… and I hope they know that it affects testosterone levels and reduces libido.

And let’s not even get me started on the saturated fat. Seriously, that one is a whole other hefty issue of its own.

What they don’t tell you is that the soy protein isolate they use to make this stuff is the waste leftover from making soy oil.

They don’t tell you that there is some mounting evidence about the relationship of estrogen-dependent tumors and increased consumption of soy products. Two victims of this have passed through my practice. One of them lost the battle. What do the doctors say? No more soy for you… I mean, we don’t know for sure it’s dangerous, but just in case.

They don’t tell you that soy formula — the number one breast milk replacement — messes up protein digestion, burns up much needed vitamin D as well as iron and zinc, stimulates premature sexual development in girls and late development in boys and more.

And of course they don’t tell you that growing soy in developing countries not only wreaks havoc in their ecosystems but also destroys local economies by transferring the power to huge companies that pay a miserable wage to their workers so that we can have neatly packaged soy foods in the supermarket aisles. Are they going to eat these soy foods? Not in a million years… unless the big corporations don’t leave them another option.

Oh yes, there’s a lot more. And it’s out there readily available for you to learn if you care. That’s why I can’t believe this is still an issue. Interested? Then start here. Or enjoy this succulent article by my friend Douglas Buchanan. And next time you are going to reach for the fake chicken nuggets at least you can do it in full awareness of what you are doing to your body.

For Audrey.

This post is part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays.

What do you think? Share your experiences and questions about soy products and win a 1-month FREE membership to the True Nourishment Inner Circle!

{ 4 trackbacks }

(Green)Grounded » Blog Archive » Soy is Bad? What’s a Veg to Do?
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True Nourishment | The Guide to Carbohydrates for Health
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy 08.06.09 at 10:37 pm

Wow, thanks for all this info. I’ve been putting organic soy milk in my coffee for years, and I love cutting the Tofurky Italian sausage into soups and other dishes. I will definitely reduce this now.

BTW, what about steaming/boiling edamame and eating it in its natural state? Does it have the same bad effects?

Thanks again, Andrea! Wow. I’m really blown away!


2 Kimberly Hartke 08.08.09 at 3:09 pm

Hi, Andrea, thanks for posting this link on my blog. It is an excellent article. I wonder if you’d like to be a guest blogger on my site sometime?

I am going to tweet and facebook this post, it is so important that mom’s know what this food can do to growing children.


3 ChrissieGirl 08.08.09 at 6:43 pm

Thanks for this wonderful post! I have been looking for a simple, concise way to explain this and you have done it!
Thanks again, and I will pass this on!!


4 Sarah 08.10.09 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for the article. It seems that the use of soy as a replacement to meat and other produce in “health foods” is as bad as the use of corn for the same purpose in standard packaged food sold in big supermarkets. Any time we restrict our diets to a small number of whole foods and fill it instead with soy or corn by-products we are not getting the full nutritional spectrum we need for true health. I wish there were more discussion of this in the mainstream (fat chance) but I’m sure Big Soy wishes to suppress this information as much as Big Corn does their contribution to the obesity epidemic in the US and increasingly more in other industrialized countries.


5 Jeff Haebig 08.10.09 at 3:19 pm

Interesting article. Do you have any research supporting your thoughts. If so, I would like to see the bibliography.

Thank you Andrea,

Jeff Haebig


6 Shea Jacome 08.10.09 at 4:40 pm

This is great information – If it’s accurate. I am going to repeat what Jeff Haebig wrote – If you have any research, please share your sources.


The True Nourishment Diva Reply:

I’d love to be a guest blogger in your site sometime :-)

Right on :-)

@Jeff & @Shea,
The Weston Price foundation has a nice index of studies:
This is another great resource
Kaayla T. Daniel PhD, CCN, wrote a great book about this.


7 Carlos Lawrence 08.10.09 at 7:07 pm

Nice job- I am always ribbing people about what soy shrinks and grows in real men, including shrinking the brain according to one study.

It is not evil food anymore than anything else in excess. The trend to replace everything with Soy or Corn is definitely the wrong way to go for many reasons.



8 Ashley Sue Allen 08.12.09 at 11:43 am

All things in moderation.

I agree, big soy is the next big corn, but I do not think soy is evil. The tendency to rely heavily on these products, particularly when going veg, is a human error because we are not educated about the true effects. As Carlos said, it isn’t any worse than anything else. Frankly, doctors and media do not educate the masses well regarding any of these foods. It is not their fault, however, that we are uneducated. It is our own. We hold our own responsibility to eat well and learn what that ingredients list means. Therefore, food in its truest form tends to be the only reliable health food.

I do consume some soy foods, however, because I still believe that Soy Delicious ice cream is healthier than, say, Edy’s. I make these choices selectively and know moderation is fine. Dairy is no option for some of us, so soy milk goods, rice milks, almond milks, and coconut milks become our options. However, I do not consider them as being marketed as “health foods”. Just alternative foods.

Great perspective. Thank you for putting this out there. People *need* to consider this side more.


9 Jonna 01.28.10 at 1:55 pm

What is a concerned mother to do??? I’m blown away!!

My 5-year-old daughter has been drinking 2-4 boxes of Vanilla Silk Milk since she was about 18 months old. I breasfed her for 10 months and when she was ready to have cow’s milk we discovered that she was lactose intolerant so we started giving her Lactaid. Then I discovered the handy juice box sized Vanilla Silk milks and started buying them in bulk from our local wholesale club. They appealed to us, because they fit in her lunchbox easily and I thought it was healthy. What would be a good replacement for the the soy milk that she has been drinking all this time? What about Lactaid?

I’m also really alarmed about the potential effects of the soy that she has been getting all these years. Should I run to the doctor and have her hormone levels tested?


Andrea Reply:


It’s normal to freak out when you just find out this information for the first time. Now, just take a deep breath :-). You do need to take action, but running to the doctor is just going to contribute stress right now.

The first thing is to transition out of using soy milk and into something more wholesome. A lot of children outgrow their allergies and intolerances, so you might want to try giving milk a second chance. Raw milk is best when possible, second best option organic pasteurized — not ultra-pasteurized — milk. Always full fat! You could also try goat milk, you could try cream mixed with water. If milk is a definite no, then you need to start examining other options, depending on your resources and time. There’s always a solution! You are welcome to email me if you want to elaborate more.

Good luck!


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