Tuesday, April 12, 2011
There is increasing concern that soy products may not be the super food that they were once heralded for, with high consumption being linked to thyroid dysfunction due the high presence of phytoestrogens (the same phytoestrogens are said to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers), and now even Alzheimer's is being tentatively linked to this little green bean. Not to mention its status as the king of GM crops, the patented GM RoundupReady Soy (courtesy of Monsanto) is responsible for increasing deforestation in the amazon, with environmental and health impacts that are far from responsible or sustainable.
So.. To eat or not to eat?
In regards to the health concerns of consuming soy I stick to a whole foods approach. Follow the mantra of everything in moderation, using the highest quality ingredients from environmental sustainable sources. Don't buy soy unless it is certified organic or biodynamic. You can almost guarantee it will be genetically modified if you haven't got the stamp of approval from a reputable body. GM foods do not have to be labeled in Australia yet, and buying organic is the only guaranteed way to avoid these unsustainable practices. Visit Gene Ethics - www.geneethics.org/campaigns - to learn more..
Choose fermented whole-food soy products over isolated soy, powders or cheaper soy products. Mass produced soy sauce for example is often made using a chemical hydrolisation process and is very different to Tamari, a product which is aged and fermented. Other fermented soy products include tempeh, miso, natto, tamari and shoyu. Asian cultures have been consuming small amounts soy for centuries, with the majority being from fermented forms and some tofu. We tend to move towards extremes in our culture, consuming larger portions of isolated soy products, and consequently end up with health problems as a result.