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The Controversial Soybean

February 27, 2014 By:

Yep... The boring soya bean is controversial! It's been a topic of much debate from all angles for a few years now. At first touted as the ultimate protein source offering a nutritional protein yield twice that of animal derivatives, low in saturated animal fat, no cholesterol. A dream come true for health nuts and vegans/vegetarians alike.

You'll be surprised to know that only 7% of locally produced soybean is for human consumption. Soybean meal, which is what you get after the oil (for vegetable oil production) has been removed, is used mostly for animal feed. We get most of our soy from America, Argentina and Brazil. I haven't found any data on argentinian and brazilian production methods. It is known, however that nearly 90% of soy production in the states is genetically engineered. That is, it's engineerd to withstand up to three herbicides.... "Round-up ready" soybean.

Furthermore, the oil is produced by heating the beans then solvent-extracting it with hexanes. Interesting! Ok, now we have this soybean meal. What do we get from this flour? It's further processed into soy protein isolate(spi), for products like low fat soy milk and as a pritein additive in lots of other products, or texured soy protein (TVP) for stuff like frozen meat substitutes.

The answer then should be organic wholefood soybeans? BTW:- They're poisonous when raw. Anyway, we know these legumes have been consumed in the far east for thousands of years. Not so in the west. This is one of the reasons why soy is an allergen. 

The eastern gut has evoved to produce the bacteria necessary to efficiently metabolise the bean. It takes the western gut much longer. Also, they mostly eat wholefood soy. We mostly eat the processed stuff which is not the same thing at all.

Whilst we are mostly familiar with tofu as an eastern soy product, which is produced with whole fat soy, they mostly consume fermented soy products. Fermented soy is much easier to digest and therefore much healthier. 


Sherry Dart

I've been in the health industry most of my life. Starting out in gyms, then working for myself as a personal trainer. My passion for the body and my relationship with it has led to my current profession as a massage therapist. I practice deep tissue massage from my home studio in Gordons Bay.

1 comment

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