The WHOLE Soy Story
SO many of you know that my dad is a row crop farmer AND that soy is one of his major crops. (Jokingly, we talk about how I am allergic to absolutely everything he grows.) Despite my food allergy to soy, there's a lot you should know about this mysterious and often maligned plant.
*This is a collage from my combine ride with my dad this past harvest. I digress...
We take a lot of our ideas from other cultures who are healthier and leaner than we are. So, the story goes that we see Asia eating soy and think they've got it all figured out. As a result, we start stuffing ourselves with edamame and soy protein that touts itself to be a health food.
I RADICALLY DISAGREE....and here's why.
phytoestrogens (want man boobs gents?)
genetically modified organism (don't even get me started)
FYI soy constitutes less than 10% of the Asian diet (which otherwise, those studies, the diet consists of mainly plants and fish)
While many menopausal women might think this is a great benefit of consuming soy, the truth is that most of us are eating lots of it everyday. From little ones (dairy-allergic and drinking soy milk) to those of us trying to lose weight (eating protein bars or powders), it's EVERYWHERE! As an additive, a protein source, or a seasoning, it shows up in the most unsuspecting places--like chocolate (it was like taking a knife to the cut on this one). What's worse is how it can affect men's bodies, especially young developing boy's bodies.
Genetically Modified Foods
I like to use a lock and key paradigm to explain this one. We have adapted to the foods we currently eat (as a species) over time. As a result, we have developed enzymes that help us to recognize and digest foods properly. While plant pollination and breeding can alter the genetic makeup of a plant by a few genes over a couple hundred years, we have been able to add an additional 4 SETS of genes. When food changes so drastically in such a short amount of time like it has with soy and many other food crops, the food keys we're putting in don't fit our old internal lock system--it's too damn big of a key! So, it goes unrecognized and saved until those keys can be used later (which is most likely never). Additionally, the genetic modification process is done to increase a plants production of seeds or beans. In order to do this, we have to exaggerate the female characteristics of the plant and thereby increasing its phytoestrogens in a really big way.
She says in defense of farmer's like my dad:
Don't put it in your mouth, but don't kick the farmers under the bus. Instead, consider the alternatives!
Soy has been a crop in the good ole' U.S. of A. since WWII, when we found it was a great source of raw materials for making tires. How cool is that! However, the practical side of this didn't go into practice until 2007. With the technological advances made in this arena, soy oil can now make 900 pound tires.
And what about relaxing, long burning time candles made from soy wax? (we all need a little more relaxation in our lives, don'tcha think?)
Printed materials anyone? I'm all about a sustainable source for sharing information via books and such.
The jury is still out on this one, as it hasn't quite panned out, but the gears are still in motion to create a real cash crop out of them there franken-beans.
So why do I go to all the trouble to tell you this shenanigans about soy? Well, for one, just because I don't want soy in my body or anybody's, it doesn't mean that I don't believe that farmers shouldn't have the right to make a living for themselves. For every problem, there is a solution--sometimes we just have to wait for it to be invented.
For my family, their livelihood and their health!
Love always- Julianne