Thursday, April 1, 2010

Soy, and why it should be avoided.

Soy has been used for thousands of years in the Orient, and is considered one of the five sacred grains, along with Barley, Wheat, Millet, and Rice. While the last four grains were used as a souce of food, though, it wasn't until the Chou dynasty that soy was actually consumed. Until that point, Soy was of extreme value to the kingdom not as a food staple, but as an essential component in crop rotation. In the soy plant's roots a process known as "Nitrogen Fixation", in which Nitrogen in the air is converted into a usable compound by bacteria, takes place. Subsequently, the soy plant was tilled into the soil as a manure to aid in the growth of next season's crops.

Soy was used as a food around the time when fermentation was discovered. At this point, a previously unusable source of protein becomes liberated, and is not only digestible, but beneficial. Much research has been done into the beneficial properties of Natto, Miso, and Shoyu (soysauce), and links have been found which suggest that fermented soy may enhance enzyme content, provide increased absorption of vitamins and minerals, promote intestinal health, and even possibly prevent or partially reverse cancer.

If all of this is true, then why am I encouraging the avoidance of soy? Key word: FERMENTED. Fermentation is a slow process, in which certain compounds are broken down by bacterial action and transformed into beneficial compounds. In soybeans, specifically, phytic acid , protease inhibitors, and other antinutrients are broken down and deactivated. In its fermented state soy is great. However, the overbearing majority of soy is not fermented because of time and expense issues.

What are the dangers of unfermented soy? Let's start with Phytates.

Pytates are present in some degree in most grains as phytic acid, and reduce the digestibility of minerals by binding them into compounds which the body can't readily digest. This is to the benefit of the plant, and is one of its natural defenses. It is to the detriment of consumers, however, and leads to mineral deficiencies if the phytates are untreated. The phytic acid can be reduced and even eliminated by long-slow cooking, soaking the grain in an acidic medium, and sprouting. Unfortunatley soy has one of the higher contents of phytates, and the phytates are largely heat resistant. This means that methods which work for other grains do not work for soybeans.

Protease inhibitors continue the detrimental effects of soybeans. They inhibit essential functions in the body, and can lead to hypothyroidism, enlargement of glands, pathological conditions of the pancreas, and clumping of red blood cells. Rats who are fed high soy diets often develop goiters and various cancers.

Additionally, in processing to remove the antinutrients from such highly processed items such as "Textured Vegetable Protein" (TVP) and "Soy Protein Isolate" (SPI), new toxins known as Nitrites are developed. In the processing plants, high levels of Aluminum are used, some of which enters the final product, and the entire process is completed at a temperature so high that the initial proteins are denatured, and rendered essentially unusable by the body, making a final product that a consumer must internally struggle to digest. TVP is further processed, due to it's bland flavor, and is often packed full of artificial flavors and MSG. SPI is used widely in protein shakes and baby formulas, exposing countless people to high levels of aluminum and mineral inhibitors. It is made from defatted soy chips, a product that was originally a waste product due to its horrible smell and taste, and the fact that it isn't food.

I can't even begin to express how SPI affects the development of children.


Children raised on Soy are thin, scrawny, have stunted brain development due to zinc deficiencies, and may possibly have behavioral problems in adolescence. It is a bad move all around.

The manner in which soy became FDA approved is a toned down version of the fiasco with Aspartame. Soy would have been rejected outright if not for several changes to its original premise. Many toxins were intentionally unmentioned, such as isoflavones.

Soy is cheap to grow, cheap to produce, cheap to process, and versatile. In our age of plastic food, soy is a veritable rubber band stretching across the globe. While once not even listed as a food, it is now almost inescapable in breads and tortillas, in fried foods, even in chocolate! It is hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, acid washed, pressurized, sprayed at high temperatures, and somehow promoted as a health food. Soy is so cheap to produce that its profits have made marketing and lobbying child's play.

Fermented soy is a beneficial food. I don't hesitate to say that in my opinion any other form of soy is a poison. Soy milk isn't food, soy protein shakes aren't food, soy lecitan isn't food. Furthermore, the cattle and chicken raised on soy waste products aren't fit for consumtion either, but that's another post.

Please, do yourself a favor and cut unfermented soy out of your diet. The reseach I did to produce this article (shown below) shocked and disgusted me often. Most of this disgust is attributable to the processing of soy, and I'm against most processing in general, so use your own mindframe to explore as it took me some time to develop mine. Rest assured, I'm sure that these articles contain something to turn off anyone.

As always, thanks for reading.

I am not a liscensed pysician, or liscensed anything for that matter (driving excluded). I research and present my opinions for anecdotal purposes. If you get hurt listening to me I will laugh at you, but kindly.

1 comment:

Starigazers said...

Good job Andrew! I'll never look at soy milk in my Cheerios the same. :) Dbl R

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