It is kind of ironic, that the only place that vegetarians can get required amino acids for proper brain function is from soybeans…
I just discovered a line in Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s jarring book, “The Whole Soy Story,” where she takes a break from her clear and sober discussion of the science to puckishly report, “A ‘value-added’ product made of animal waste and soy protein has been transformed into animal chow.” So far, chicken and pig manure have worked well as ingredients, though the more fibrous cow pies, she says, have “failed to pan out.” As a comforting aside for us beefeaters, she mentions that this (urp) “bean turd” product for livestock feed “is not yet widespread, though soy protein mixed with animal, fish and poultry carcasses was fed to animals for years.”1 Fears of mad cow disease have apparently put a stop to that. Not so for poop. That’s apparently an acceptable ingredient, provided it’s well-cooked, de-scented, dehydrated and sterilized.
Hold that horror for the future. Right now, the soy industry is flush with pride over soy protein – a waste byproduct of soy oil production. Years ago, people wanted to eat it about as much as they wanted to eat poop, so the industry redirected its efforts toward making it into animal feed. But years and years of USDA studies proved that there are limits to how much soy you can stuff into a cow, pig or chicken before it gets sick, gives birth to young with severe defects, or even drops dead before it’s fat enough for slaughter. (Soy’s side effect of fattening is appreciated, of course, until it causes an animal to drop dead before its time – especially if the animal happens to wear clothes and speak English.) The problem for the soy industry was that even when animals eat all they can take, there’s plenty of soy protein left over. That gave them the choice of either feeding it to the local landfill or finding a way to feed it to people. Given that option No. 1 costs money and option No. 2 makes money, guess which one won out?
I was shocked to discover that this waste product is being fed to you and me … illegally. You read that right. It’s against the law! Soy protein isolate has never received GRAS status from the U.S. government.2,3 GRAS means “Generally Recognized as Safe,” and the law clearly states that ingredients that weren’t in the food supply before 1958 must undergo safety testing.4
Soy protein isolate was rarely in the food supply back then, though it was in general use – as a binder and sealer in cardboard packages. In fact, that’s exactly what it was invented for!5-8
In 1979, a committee of top scientists came together at the behest of the government to investigate the safety issues involved in the manufacture of soy protein isolate. The concerns centered on the dangerous residues created during processing, carcinogens like nitrosamine and other toxins. The committee found the concern to be valid. It recommended establishing acceptable levels to “avoid future problems” and urged ongoing, close monitoring of those levels.9-12 These actions have never been taken.
In their wildest imaginings, that 1979 committee couldn’t have foreseen soy protein isolate as a big part of the U.S. food supply. Their concern was not about soy protein isolate IN the package, but minuscule amounts flaking OFF OF the package into your food! They considered 150 milligrams a day to be the maximum amount they could safely allow.13 Twenty years later, our beloved FDA approved a health claim for 25 grams a day of soy protein – 166 times more!14 How could they come up with a bizarre position like that? My guess: They were out in back smoking GRAS that day.
Today, soy protein isolate is a key ingredient in most of the foods that are processed or packaged. Most shocking of all is that it’s given to vulnerable little babies as an ingredient in soy formula, though it’s never been proven safe. Never. Top FDA toxicologists have warned about this to no avail,15 and foreign governments have told their citizens that soy infant formula should not be used except as a last resort.16-18. Yet here in the enlightened U.S., parents still don’t understand, their pediatricians don’t know, government watchdogs don’t care, and soy spokesmen don’t talk about it.
One final, shocking fact about soy: The same FDA that approved a health claim for this non-GRAS substance – and thinks soy baby food is just fine – keeps a Poisonous Plant Database. Guess what “health food” appears nearly 300 times? Yup, soy. It’s classified as a poison because of longstanding, incontrovertible evidence that it contributes to malnutrition, poor growth, protein deficiencies, mineral malabsorption, thyroid problems, reproductive disorders, birth defects, sexual abnormalities, cancer and on and on nearly 300 times.20,21
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