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