What’s the deal with soy?


2013  saw tech entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart holed up in his apartment in Silicon Valley and trying to find the next big thing. When money ran low he researched the best diet he could put his hands on  cheaply and came up with a drink that sustained him for 30 days. See his blog post all about it here. 20million dollars later, he’s got  a real company that people are turning to as a food alternative. Coffiest, the newest offering,  “packs in 20% of the daily recommended values for all essential vitamins and minerals, plus roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.” The editors at Vogue and I’m sure others have high hopes for it and the Washington Post does a great weighing of the pros & cons.

This however boggles my mind bc we know that soy is a type of phytoestrogen. There have been conflicting reports put out there but I’m  of the type that would rather look at the conflicting FDA reports as opposed to what some rando on their site says about a given topic.

With that said The Israeli Health Ministry in 2005 “issued a public warning on soy, claiming that consumption of soy be limited in young children and avoided, if possible, in infants.”  And that warning lives on the FDA website. The oncologists, pediatritians, and nutritionists looked at the correlation of soy and disease and determined that the phytoestrogens found in soy protein products adversely effect on the human body, including cancer promotion and reproductive problems. Also they noted that soy food have well-known adverse effects on the thyroid, increase breast cancer risk, and reduce male fertility.


One might then wonder ‘well asian people eat loads of soy and they don’t have issues’. But what one fails to take into account is that for the most part in most of asia they eat FERMENTED soy which by the fermentation process  “removed toxins and phytic acid (which can interfere with the absorption of minerals) and made soy more easily digestible — all benefits that ordinary cooking could not accomplish.”

Read more of the history and a well researched look at soy and what it’s doing to us on SFGate.com What peeked my interest was:

“Daniel claims research proves that eating 45 grams a day (about three-quarters of a cup of tofu, for instance) in a month causes changes in the menstrual cycle of women. Eating as little as 35 grams a day (just 10 grams over the FDA recommended amount) has been proven to cause thyroid function suppression within three months in healthy adult men and women.

The problem lies in the isoflavones, a “phytoestrogen,” and goitrogen (a substance that may cause thyroid enlargement and formation of a goiter) that occur naturally in the soybean.”



Fun Fact: George Washington Carver and Henry Ford were big propontents of the use of the soybean for non edible uses. Henry Ford turned the bean into plastic and created a car and Carver did experiments at Tuskegee that excited Ford and a relationship developed.

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