Got Soy? Phytoestrogens, Low Thyroid & Weight Gain

Its 530am somewhere on the west coast and there is a blender spinning with soy milk, tofu chunks and pineapple right now.

Later on today, hundreds of thousands of soy joy bars, soy butter sandwiches and tofurkey will be thrown down the hatches of misinformed Americans who've read in the western medical doctrine handbook that soy is a “miracle.” Don't get me wrong, miracles do happen and I believe in hope, health and the pursuit of happiness- just not at the expense of my integrity. This is something that sadly the USDA and FDA have long since forgotten.

“Thanks to farm subsidies, the fine collaboration between agribusiness and Congress, soy, corn and cattle became king. And chicken soon joined them on the throne. It was during this period that the cycle of dietary and planetary destruction began, the thing we're only realizing just now.” –Mark Bittman

THE REALITY

In the majority of our American food system, Grains sadly are king and soy is most definitely queen. Approximately 2.8 billion bushels of soybeans were harvested from almost 73 million acres of cropland in the U.S. in 2000. That was over 11 years ago and the concentration of soy in our foods has exploded since then! This acreage is roughly equivalent to that of corn grown for grain. Over 350,000 farms in the United States produce soybeans, accounting for over 50% of the world’s soybean production and $6.66 billion in soybean and product exports in 2000.

In this land of the free we call home, our food choices remain tyrannical. We sit idly by consuming tons of toxic soy cheese, soy butter, soy milk and soy everything while the policies lobbied by major food corporations push our government to levy the mono-crops of literally millions of tons of soy into our marketplace. You'll find soy in everything from dog food to baby formula, never stopping short of becoming a money saving filler, a preserver and a nutrient transparent “food.” Businesses cut costs by using soy as a fat-free (defatted) soybean meal. This is a primary, and very low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds and most prepackaged meals; soy vegetable oil is another product of processing the soybean crop. By eating soy you also are helping to run CAFO's. These operations are inhumane slaughterhouses for sick cows laying in feces and killed after they are too sick to stand. Have you ever driven up the 15 north freeway and smelled the air by Norco, Ca? It's a sweet smell of death and malnutrition. Oh yeah and then we eat it. All the result of soy and corn feedings to sick cows. YUM! (insert sarcasm here)

Much like most promised miracle foods, soy not only falls short of being amazing, but slams right in the middle of toxic street. The reports have all come in- Soy is what feedlots push on cattle and what you might feed your lawn, never your mouth. So what should we use soy for you may ask? Let's go back to the roots of what soy meant to the agricultural revolution >>

HISTORY

Soybeans were a crucial crop in eastern Asia long before written records. They remain a major crop in China, Japan, and Korea. Prior to fermented products such as soy sauce, tempeh, natto, and miso, soy was considered sacred for its use in crop rotation as a method of fixing nitrogen. The plants would be plowed under to clear the field for food crops.[Soy was first introduced to Europe in the early 18th century and to British colonies in North America in 1765, where it was first grown for hay. Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter in 1770 mentioning sending soybeans home from England. Soybeans did not become an important crop outside of Asia until about 1910. In America, soy was considered an industrial product only, and was NOT used as a food prior to the 1920s. Soy was introduced to Africa from China in the late 19th century, and is now widespread across the continent.

The majority of the soybean is used to make soybean oil. The soybean seed contains about 19% oil. To extract soybean oil from seed, the soybeans are cracked, adjusted for moisture content, rolled into flakes and solvent-extracted with commercial hexane. The oil is then refined, blended for different applications, and sometimes hydrogenated. Soybean oils, both liquid and partially hydrogenated, are exported abroad, sold as “vegetable oil”, or end up in a wide variety of processed foods. The remaining soybean meal is used mainly as animal feed. Are you getting hungry yet? Hexane is tasty!

In a 2005 study in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers comparing soy to casein concluded that “the biological value of soy protein must be considered inferior to that of casein protein in humans.” Among other disadvantages, the researchers found, a significantly larger portion of soy is degraded to the waste product urea. Moreover, it contributes to less protein synthesis in the body. Allergy to soy is common, and the food is listed with other foods that commonly cause allergy, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish. The problem has been reported among younger children and the diagnosis of soy allergy is often based on symptoms reported by parents and/or results of skin tests or blood tests for allergy.

USES FOR SOY

-Fertilizer and healing dead fields. Soy protein is an excellent fertilizer and has the ability to provide new life to GMO destructed and abused soil.

-The manufacture of soy based plastics and hard goods

-Feeding directly to Monsanto executives

DANGERS OF SOY

35 percent of bottle-fed babies in the United States receive at least some of their protein from soy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is taking steps to change this: It recommends that all infants who cannot be breastfed be given cow's-milk formulas as the first preferred alternative. Healthy full-term infants should be given soy formula only when medically necessary, the AAP's 2008 report states. Babies with an extreme form of lactose intolerance fall into this category, but many others who suffer from colic and excessive crying are switched to soy formula despite a lack of proven benefits. For now, at least, the United States is gambling that widespread use of soy formula won't lead to long-term consequences. In 2005, Israel's health ministry recommended that soy products be limited in young children and, if possible, avoided altogether in infants. In issuing such a caution, Israel joined France, New Zealand, and Australia in officially embracing a better-safe-than-sorry approach for the next generation.*

Soy contains Goitrogens. These are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function. A diet low in iodine and high in soy will block the T4-T3 hormone conversion.

91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.*

Soy causes infertility by disrupting hormone levels in both men and women. Many infertile couples have eaten soy 2-3 times per week and reported high conception rates after eliminating soy from the mutual diet. Because of the phytoestrogen content, studies have suggested that soybean ingestion may negatively influence testosterone levels in men.

Soy can trigger auto-immune symptoms via food intolerance, a situation where no allergic mechanism can be proven. One scenario is seen in very young infants who have vomiting and diarrhoea when fed soy-based formula, which resolves when the formula is withdrawn. Older infants can suffer a more severe disorder with vomiting, diarrhoea that may be bloody, anemia, weight loss and failure to thrive.

Soy can cause inflammation- Inflammation from a soy allergy can develop anywhere in the body where there's soft tissue. The most common places, besides in the gastrointestinal tract, are in the nose, the lungs and the skin. You might experience nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, postnasal drip and sinus pressure pain from nasal inflammation, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The lungs can swell, leading to asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. Hives, eczema and general itching are common skin inflammations from a soy allergy.

THE WRAP!

Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, soy has always been, and is becoming to be more recognized by both west & east, as the inflammatory, auto-immune causing and thyroid disrupting monster it really is. But what about the claims from the AMA that soy can fight heart disease? Soy can make up a strong vegan diet and add nutrient density to vegtarian babies, right? What about raw soy flour? Sorry, it's known to cause pancreatic cancer in rats. Edamame? A small bowl won't kill you but bags every week from Trader Joes might hurt your chances of optimum vitality.

If you must consume soy, do it in moderation and ONLY if it is fermented such as wheat free tempeh, natto, and miso. This fermentation process breaks down the anti-nutrients and clears the majority of the phytates and trypsin inhibitors so you can rest at night. The next time you are at the store, walk around the edges and stick to the real foods, slow foods and nutrient dense wholesomeness that have no labels, no GMO's and extra love. Share this, eat, move and repeat.

We vote with our fork. Stick it to the man and live with vibrance.

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