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SoyaMyth

Something that even wild cattle don’t like to eat, we are advised to eat for three decades now. Isn’t it irony of land known for her rich heritage of knowledge and wisdom? Poor Indians, not only common men but so called intellectuals, doctors, scientists and et all, all trapped in ‘Western-Research-is-always-true’ syndrome. They hardly use their discriminatory power to identify real food for living. Whatever health magazine or bookworm nutritionist says, accept it as truth! Sigh!

One more myth about healthy diet that needs debunking is soybean.

Global production of soybeans was 16 million metric tons in 1950. Since then, the industry has steadily built new markets: by 2005, production had risen to 220 million metric tons—nearly 14 times higher. [1]

After World War II, American govt started giving subsidy for soybean farming (Was it intentional or ignorance, I don’t know). American government subsidies for soybean farming have caused surpluses instantly then. Even today, these subsidies remain substantial, with the soybean sector receiving $13 billion between 1998 and 2004.

First they promoted surplus produce by giving subsidies to local farmer and then by aggressive advertising and marketing campaigns of soy processors and trade associations, established soy as a mainstream health food with universal appeal.

Soybeans are currently the world’s largest source of vegetable oil. Soy in some form is now found in a wide range of foods, including breakfast cereals, breads, noodles, soups, cheeses, mayonnaises, and sausage casings. Over 60 percent of processed food now contains soy in countries like Britain. The fast-food industry uses hydrogenated soybean oil for deep-frying, too. But, because soy contains toxins and plant estrogens, some researchers are now wondering whether, as with so many foods, too much soy might prove unsafe. Some experiments have linked high soy consumption to thyroid damage and disruptions in menstrual cycles. In 2002, a British expert committee reported on the risks of high soy consumption for some age groups. The increase in soy output, then, is changing patterns of global nutrition, directly by flowing into processed, fast, and even health foods, and indirectly by helping farmers to produce more kilograms of beef more cheaply and quickly—and causing them to alter the nature of that beef. Fattening cattle with grain and soybean meal, moreover, requires regular doses of antibiotics to keep the bloated and confined herds “healthy” and fast growing.

What is reality?

Soybeans contain high levels of phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Certain enzyme inhibitors in soy also interfere with protein digestion. Ironically, the soybean is reputed for its high protein content, and soy products such as tofu are widely used in vegetarian cuisine as substitutes for protein-rich meat and dairy.

Phytoestrogens found in soy act as endocrine disruptors and potent antithyroid agents that have been shown to promote hypothyroidism and other types of glandular disorders. They have been linked to infertility and breast cancer.

Soy-based infant formulas, too, are a poor substitute for mother’s milk. Blocking the absorption of minerals, and lacking the cholesterol which naturally occurs in breast milk, soy formulas put infants at risk for a deficiency of minerals, especially calcium and zinc, and deprive them of a substance which is vital for normal growth and development, particularly of the brain and nervous system.

Something that even wild cattle don’t like to eat, we are advised to eat for three decades now!

Solution?

Many a times, I reached to this conclusion: For food, go local. Empower locals to produce ethically pure food by traditional methods. Embrace Mother Nature’s localized nature and tendency. They are best suited for your constitution. Protect ethnological legacy with utmost care.

Be more vigilant about your food choices. Live life fully! Don’t accept life of a zombie! Take care!

[1] Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.

1 COMMENT

  1. ” Something that even wild cattle don’t like to eat, we are advised to eat for three decades now.” – Lol, good point.

    ” Soybeans contain high levels of phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc” – But the phytic acid problems persist even with grain (wheat,brown rice etc) and legumes that are predominant in Indian diet ? I think every seed food will contain some amount of digestion inhibiting quality ! What do you think?

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