Why do we believe soya beans are bad for us?
The Asian and Eastern nations have proven over thousands of years that the soy bean as a staple protein is extremely efficient and healthy – their general wellness, which far outweighs that of western societies, is enough proof of that. Dishes and products like tempeh, tofu, miso, nattō, soy sauce, fermented bean paste and many more have been on their everyday menus, supplying not only an immensely high protein content, but also many other nutrients like copper, manganese, phosphorus, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin K and potassium. (Source – The World’s Healthiest Foods.)
I sat in a nutrition class more than 40 years ago, learning that the soy bean is the ultimate answer in finding a solution to worldwide famine – human hunger that is. Yet today the bulk of all soy beans is fed to animals in factory farms, producing meat for human consumption. What a long and tedious way around! Even worse is the fact that the people who are truly hungry can’t afford the ‘luxury’ of eating meat. How sad is that? And even worse, part of the population that can lavishly afford to eat meat now only wants to eat ‘grass-fed’ animals after all. How bizarre is that?
So why do we believe soy beans are bad for us? Because soy bean production had to be fast-tracked to supply the immense volumes required to satisfy the meat industry. Animal feed is the largest money spinner in the world (read Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma to understand more), therefore it is tampered with, injected into, spliced with, processed to grow faster, be more pest resistant, have higher yield, etc. All these unnatural changes pose health risks, as there is no evidence as yet to prove otherwise. In many discussions I’ve had with professionals in the field it seems that less than 5% of all soy beans in SA has not yet been genetically modified. That is a very small part of the total harvest that is still ‘clean’. What guarantee do we have that we are indeed ingesting soy from this very small portion when we eat soya products? There is none, but at least we can stop eating meat which carries all the modifications into our food chain, and we can look for soya products that state they are non-GMO.
It is interesting that China and Japan have become amongst the world’s largest consumers of beef in recent years. The ease of shipping and faster cheaper soya bean production has made meat just that more attractive as a protein. Follow George Steinmetz IG account @feedtheplanet – he photographs the challenge of meeting the rapidly expanding food demands of humanity, creating an aerial perspective on climate change and global food supply and has incredible evidence of how the Amazon jungle is transformed into soya fields for export to China’s meat producers.
Read about the misconceptions and myths around the use of soy products.
Please let us know if you are interested in buying our fresh non-GMO tempeh.