1. Sluggish sperm in men that can’t break through to fertilise an egg
2. Alterations in the menstrual cycle in women
3. Young girls starting periods at ages as young as 5 or 6
4. Babies receiving hormonal equivalent of 5 contraceptive pills daily
Some toxic leak?
A pharmaceutical cock up?
These are just a few of the negative consequences of a so called superfood – soya
I have been asked to give a presentation on this prevalent legume and although I knew of doubts and misrepresentations surrounding soya, I was surprised to read about just how controversial it really is.
The Hormonal and reproductive disorders mentioned above are just one element of the problems associated with soy, there are many others which include:
The Problems associated with genetic engineering
Increased risk of certain cancers
So what’s going on?
Why do so many believe soya to be a healthy food?
The Eastern Promise and the Western short sightedness
Soya has been part of a healthy diet for thousands of years in countries like China and Japan. They manage to live longer, have reduced rates of cancer and far less cardiovascular disease than the west.
BUT: We don’t eat soya in the same way:
Eastern versions of soya:
Western versions of soya:
As an oil in Salad dressing
An ingredient to bind Low fat peanut butter together
Imitation bacon bits
1. Not a wholefood
Many of the soya products we eat are unrecognisable as soya. They are not wholefoods but heavily processed ingredients used to bind and emulsify. As with any food that has been heavily processed, all the nutrients are stripped away.
This is the key age old tradition that is vital to unlock the nutrition contained in the bean. Fermentation converts an element – called phytic acid which is inside the bean and can prevent nutrient absorption in the digestive process - into something else.
A 1998 study showed Japanese people ate an average 7-8g of soya in a day.
In 2008 the US Food & Drug Administration and the British Food Standards Agency issued a health claim advising that we eat 25g of soya protein a day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
This advice was met with criticism from the medical profession who demanded more evidence before such wild claims were made.
The food industry was already too powerful and lobbied hard for the health messages of soya to get out there.
That’s when the mass marketing began:
Soya is every food manufacturers dream – cheap and abundant and with new health claims attached to it!
Marketing got clever too– think about where soya milk is in the supermarket. Right next to the cows milk in the fresh foods section. But bean juice doesn't need refrigeration! hmmm
Ok – so lets just avoid it. No more soya lattes down at Starbucks!
Easier said than done - Soya is an invisible food:
70% of our supermarket products contain soya! Its in everything from chocolates to pork sausages and Worcestershire sauce to iced desserts.
So we just check the label then...
Well more often than not soya is given an entirely different name! You wouldn't recognise words lecithin as soya but that's exactly what it is.
Another thing - if you believe that you are what you eat then your meat is soya. 90% of the 200 million tonnes of soya produced each year goes into animal feed. Our meat is basically soya.
A final thought:
Soya is not intrinsically bad - how could it be? In its original state it's a wholefood. It's what we do to it, or don't learn to do to it (in the case of fermentation) along with the quantity of it that we consume in it's unhealthy processed form that can have negative effects on our health.
It always comes down to the same old story - just avoid processed foods as best you can and eat a fresh wholefoods diet...unless anybody knows of how soya might of made its way into our apples and pears, I think we'll live and perhaps go on to reproduce.
Alternatively - it all sounds like a very effective form of long term contraception! About time men took responsibility for this. Can we interest any of you boys into a lecithin cake? Great for sluggish sperm!
Interested in reading more?