Monday, April 28, 2014

Secrets of Soy


When someone mentions they're a vegetarian, most people flash right to the stereotypical vision of that person eating salad and tofu. But as many people know, there's a whole host of meat alternatives that vegetarians enjoy on a daily basis! 



From Boaca Burgers, to Tofurkey sandwiches, and Morningstar Chik'n nuggets, our food industry has done a great job at providing us with great tasting copies of meat products, made from wheat, vegetable protein and large amounts of soy.



But recently in the news, soy has gotten a bad rap. Not only is it beginning to have a negative environmental impact, but eating too much soy has been linked to negative health effects.



Because the soy business has been growing exponentially the past few years, a lot of the crop has been genetically modified and improperly fermented. Scientists found high amounts of natural toxins in the composition of the soy which are not particularly the healthiest for us.



Environmentally, soy is being grown in extreme quantities down in South America to feed to livestock. Increasing meat consumption in China and other Asian countries has led to a higher demand for this animal feed. Soy is therefore being grown in enormous monocultures and causing deforestation in dense biodiverse tropical areas.


So what does that mean to you? Eating soy is not going to kill you. Just as with many other foods, it's ok to enjoy soy in moderation! Especially organic soy products! Soy is packed with protein and a bunch of amino acids, which is why it makes a great substitute for the active vegetarian. Keep a look out for the non-processed versions of soy, which have proven to prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol.

So to avoid all the confusion and hype around eating soy based foods, I've done the research and here's the bottom line. Consuming too much processed soy-based products is not the healthiest, but eating organic or natural sources of soy (whether that's tofu, edamame, or soybeans) can be a great source of protein! ​

- Erika

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