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SOY ALERT!


Commercial milk products have been linked to a number of disease conditions including allergies, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, auto immune diseases, childhood anemia, heart disease and cancer. Many have turned to soy products as substitutes for dairy products. A popular booklet describes soy foods as " . . . uniformly high in protein but low in calories, carbohydrates and fats, entirely devoid of cholesterol, high in vitamins, easy to digest, tasty and wonderfully versatile in the kitchen, [which] positions them as irresistible new food staples for the evolving
American diet. . . . with each mouth watering soy food dish," says the author, "comes a balanced, adequate and sustainable nutritional package."

Leaving aside the question of whether products like tofu and soy milk are really "mouthwatering" and "irresistible," those charged with providing nutritious meals for their families should carefully examine claims that newly introduced soybean products provide an easily digested and complete nutritional package, one that adequately replaces dairy products like milk, butter and cheese, which have, after all, provided nourishment for generations of Americans.

Just imagine. Farmers have been imagining. . . and planting more soy. What was once a minor crop, listed in the 1913 USDA handbook not as a food but as an industrial product, now covers 72 million acres of American farmland. Part of this harvest will be used to feed chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows and salmon. Most of the rest will be squeezed to produce oil for margarine, shortenings and salad dressings.

Advances in technology make it possible to produce isolated soy protein from what was once considered a waste product—the defatted, high-protein soy chips—and then transform something that looks and smells terrible into products that can be consumed by human beings. Flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned soy protein isolate, the food processors’ ugly duckling, into a New Age Cinderella.

Lately, this new fairy-tale food has been marketed not so much for her beauty as for her virtues. Early on, products based on soy protein isolate were sold as extenders and meat substitutes, a strategy that failed to produce the requisite consumer demand. The industry changed its approach. “The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society,” said an industry spokesman, “. . . is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society.”3 So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as a cheap poverty food, but as a
miracle substance that will prevent heart disease and cancer, whisk away hot flashes, build strong bones and keep us forever young. The competition—meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs—has been duly demonized by the appropriate government agencies. Soy serves as meat and milk for a new generation of politically correct vegetarians.

Yet here are some facts concerning this food which few are aware of:

* High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.

*Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.

*Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.

*Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.

*Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.

*Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.

*Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.

*Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.

*Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.

*Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys

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