Most people are confused about soy. The soy industry and the media would have you believe that soy is a healthy alternative to dairy. They would have us believe that soy is a miracle food and that ingesting soy can help you overcome illness as well as enable you to obtain your optimal health. Furthermore, they want us to believe that soy formula is a good choice for infants. Unfortunately, all of these ideas are false.
The most widely available forms of soy (non-fermented soy) are not healthy for you and we recommend avoiding them. This includes soy protein, soybean oil, soy flour, and soy milk. The ingestion of large amounts of non-fermented soy products may lead to many health problems including thyroid and hormonal imbalances as well as cancer.
In many Western countries, including the United States, infants may be exposed to soy formula and adults ingest soy milk or take soy isoflavone supplements. In addition, there is no shortage of other soy items—soy milk, soy cheese, soy hot dogs, soy meats, soy energy bars— as well as many other food sources. Most of these “Western” food sources contain soy protein isolate which is a highly processed, devitalized, and toxic food source that needs to be avoided. The ingesting of soy protein isolate can lead to thyroid disorders and nutrient imbalances. Unfortunately, soy protein isolate is found in so many foods, we often don’t even realize we are ingesting it. Furthermore, most soy, unless it is organic, is genetically modified. Finally, as compared to other crops, soy has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any food.
It is important to point out that, contrary to popular belief, soy is not (and was not) consumed in large amounts in traditional Asian cultures; rather it is primarily used as a condiment and in its fermented form. Most Asian diets are not made up of soy milk, tofurky, and boca burgers!
The Chinese were the first to use the fermentation process to make soybean paste. Fermentation refers to the growth of microorganisms in food. Common Western foods and beverages are fermented such as beer, wine, bread, and cheese. Fermented soy products include miso, natto, and tempeh. The fermentation of soy significantly reduces the anti-nutrient compounds found in soy such as trypsin inhibitor and phytic acid.
The soy industry clearly has a vested interest in promoting wider uses of soy. However, there is an underside to the soy story that shines a different light on soy. The soy industry does not want the negative effects of soy exposed. Our book The Soy Deception will show you how we have been deceived by the media and the soy industry.