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Those Soybeans

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Gallery 2-Page 2

Soy : Not The Good Food We Once Thought

By James Donahue

There has been a world-wide movement, mostly among the youth, to pursue a healthy life style through yogi, regular exercise, seeking spiritual enlightenment and eating healthy foods.

For many the quest for healthy food resulted in a vegetarian diet, without the consumption of meat, or such animal products as milk, eggs and cheese. This led to a scramble for alternative sources of protein, since our bodies require certain levels of protein in our diet so we can get the complex assortment of amino acids needed to keep everything operating properly.

The answer was found in the lowly soy bean, a high protein product long used as animal feed but rarely accepted as food for humans. That is because raw soybeans taste terrible. But human ingenuity being what it is, as soon as there was a perceived market for soy, it did not take long before ways were found to convert soybeans into a variety of tasty dishes and alternative meat products readily available on our grocery shelves.

We can find soybean products that taste exactly like chicken, beef, pork and a variety of other meats. We can get soy powders to mix with chili and other stews that make consumers think they are eating concoctions mixed with ground hamburger. We even have soy milk and soy ice cream. Soy has become such a popular food source that many of our packaged foods include soy. That is because soy, in addition to be a meat alternative, also is much cheaper than real meat to produce.

Today soy is a hidden ingredient found in many processed foods. It is extensively used in fast food restaurants to cut the cost of producing hamburgers and other meat products. It is added to most supermarket breads and can be found in dry pet foods. The stuff can be found in just about everything man and domestic animals now eat.

The rush to produce more soybeans became a boon to American farmers who were happy to have a new cash crop to grow. Soy quickly became the new health food. Or so it was promoted. And it was not long before big business interests got control of this exciting new product. Seed monopoly Monsanto Corporation developed genetically modified varieties of soy. These new hybrid seeds were laced with pesticide and other substances that consumers were quick to reject. GMO soy, which now dominates an estimated 95 percent of the U.S. agricultural market, has been listed with many other Monsanto GMO seeds as “frankenfood.” Some European countries banned its use. Yet most people in America now consume the GMO variety of soy.

Ian “Doc” Shillington, who makes a living promoting and selling natural healing foods, has written about how difficult it has been to find pure non-GMO soy on the American market. He said that even though his marketing source assured him that the product he was selling was unadulterated and pure, when he tracked its source, he found that it came from Dupont, another leading producer of GMO soy seed.

Shillington’s concern is that consumers are getting toxins added by Dupont or Monsanto in the soy they consume. But new research is beginning to reveal that Americans may have rushed too quickly and blindly into switching from meat to soybeans for their protein needs.

It seems that the Chinese first began eating soybeans about 2,500 years ago, but after the discovered that fermentation neutralized the toxins in the beans that can make humans sick.

For instance, tofu, a soy concentrate used in foods, was once introduced to monasteries in China to promote sexual abstinence. The Chinese found that Phytoestrogens in soy lower testosterone levels.

Researchers are finding that heavy consumption of unfermented soy can create a variety of other health issues in both humans and domestic animals. They include:

--Phytic acid in soy reduces assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. This can cause growth problems in children among other issues.

--Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. Tests with animals showed the inhibitors also resulted in stunted growth.

--The processing of soy as a food produces monosodium glutamate, a potent neurotoxin known to destroy brain cells.

--Soy reduces the body’s ability to absorb Vitamins B-12 and D.

--Soy phytoestrogens are antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may be a cause of thyroid cancer. They also disrupt endocrine function and may cause infertility and breast cancer in women.

--The processing of soy protein forms highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.

--Soy contains high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys.

The bottom line to all of this is grim. If you suffer from low testosterone levels, low sperm count, low sex drive, menopausal symptoms, pancreatic disorder, Crohn’s disease, Celiac’s disease, gluten intolerance, thyroid or adrenal imbalance, endocrine system disorders, low energy, forgetfulness, lack of focus, depression or low levels of Vitamin B-12, your consumption of soy may be the culprit.

There are other food substitutes that produce protein for the committed vegetarians, but none have the promise once offered by soybeans. Returning to meat mass produced on big corporate American farms is a solution to personal protein needs, albeit a troublesome one.

American’s big business interests appear to have done a good job of making a mess out of the mass-produced foods we consume. We suggest that it may be time for the people to return to locally produced foods, grown on the old-time mom and pop-owned neighborhood farms.