Just a few decades ago, unfermented soybean foods were considered unfit to eat. even in Asia.
These days, people all over the world have been fooled into thinking that unfermented soy foods like soymilk and soy protein are somehow "health foods". If they only knew truth. The truth is that the soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, some time during the Chou Dynasty. The first soy foods that were fermented were tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce. Around the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth, pale curd, called tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to Japan and Indonesia. The Chinese never ate unfermented soybeans, because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or "antinutrients". First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes vital for protein digestion.
Most soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any of our foods. Got that. Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. Phytic acid is a substance that can block the uptake of the essential minerals, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc, in the intestinal tract. The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied, and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. The Japanese traditionally eat a small amount of tofu or miso as part of a mineral-rich fish broth, followed by a serving of meat or fish.
When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced. Know this vegetarians who substitute tofu or bean curd for meat, you can develop severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known, zinc is less well known, but equally as bad. Far far more healthy is to eat pure grass fed meats, organic cheese, and butter, all high in nutrients and protein rich. Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation, it's involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes. Zinc is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Grass fed beef is very high in Zinc in contrast to soy. Soy processors have worked hard to get these anti-nutrients out of the finished soy product, particularly soy protein isolate (SPI) which is the key ingredient in most soy foods that imitate meat and dairy products, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk. Soy Protein Isolate is an Industrially Produced Food. Far from Natural or Healthy!
SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fiber, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution. Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. The resultant curds are air dried at extremely high temperatures to produce a protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP). Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray-drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing. In feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased requirements for vitamins E, K, D and B12 and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid remaining in these soy products greatly inhibits zinc and iron absorption. The test animals fed SPI develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposits of fatty acids in the liver. Yet soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein (TVP) are used extensively in school lunch programs, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products. Just about anything that is in a package. Unless you're eating grass fed and finished beef, you're meet was fattened in a feed lot with soy. Soy is also heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food give-away programs.
Soy Protein Isolate was once considered a waste product, before they discovered they could make money promoting it to fool's as a health food. There have been advances in technology that make it possible to produce isolated soy protein from what was once considered a waste product. Defatted, high-protein soy chips. The industry then transforms something that looks and smells terrible into products that can be consumed by human beings, with flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients, and a lot of expensive marketing, they have turned soy protein isolate, the blender's ugly duckling, into a new age swan. "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." So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as a cheap, poverty food but as an elitist way to have your morning Starbucks, a miracle substance that will prevent heart disease and cancer, whisk away hot flushes, build strong bones and keep us forever young. At the same time, the competition, meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs, which have been building strong cancer free bodies for decades, have been duly demonized by the appropriate government bodies. Soy serves as meat and milk for a new generation of virtuous, nutritionally ignorant vegetarians.
According to Wikipedia raw soybeans, including the immature green form, referred to as edamame are toxic to humans, swine, chickens, and in fact, all monogastric animals. So, with all these negative facts slowly becoming known the soy industry actually hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to get more soy products onto school menus. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30% limit for soy in school lunches. The "Nu-Menu" program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagna, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30% of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates, but at what cost. With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat, so says the soy industry.
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