Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Soy Story

As I sat at the lunch table yesterday drinking my soy chocolate milk, eating a whole wheat English Muffin coated with soy cheese, nibbling on some soy beans, I began to wonder,"How much soy is too much?" Well, how difficult would that be to find out, right? A simple Google search should easily return an answer.
As usual, I got distracted with life, and by life I mean my almost two year old who spends the day training me how to best care for her. It sounds something like this,"Apple pease", "wa wa pease", "cheese pease", "Gabba Gabba! Gabba Gabba!" which is soon followed by "No Gabba Gabba!, Barney!" then after seeing the back door it becomes, "Ouside". All day long we move around from one location to another based on whatever she happens to see, and any independent thought I once had is quickly replaced with how to appease the ever active child.
This morning however the thoughts I had regarding the consumption of soy returned. I ran my simple Google search and found an answer. Soynutrition.com made it easy for me. There is nothing dangerous about soy. People eat it, some eat lots of it, and no one ever suffered any negative effects. Cool! Good to know.

Wait a minute. Having had all that college education, including that one semester when I was a journalism major, I remember that maybe it would be a good idea to check another source. So I look at some other articles online to see what the consensus is. Here is what I now know. Soy is an inflammatory word. Being one of the foods that is subsidized by the government, the soy industry has a lot of powerful people supporting it. Any industry that is powerful also has a lot of people against it. Which meant that the search found huge amounts of data with facts all over the place. In all honesty after reading articles on both sides for nearly an hour I only come away saddened by the lack of ethics in our society. Money seems to buy scientific research supporting your side of the argument. So everyone has a study that supports their side.
In an effort to think for myself, at least until my daughter tells me what I should be thinking, which should be any minute now, I have come to a few of my own conclusions:
- More evidence seems to say it is healthy for you than says it is not (when eaten in moderation).
- People with hypothyroid problems can eat soy, but need to let their doctor know if they have it regularly so that they can be tested and have their medicines regulated to adjust for the effects soy has on them.
- It seems safe to say that even if you are a vegan, your diet should not be primarily one food source such as a soy based diet. We were meant to eat a variety of food to satisfy our nutritional needs. So, mix it up a bit.
- Finally, I learned that when gathering information, always check with a few sites, and then determine which ones are more likely to be biased because of a financial incentives. It is a crazy world out there and a lot of people could care less about your health if it meant they could own a bigger house and faster car. Oh man. I just realized I am going to be one of those people with tin foil hats soon. How does the saying go? "The TRUTH is out there."

Here are some links to check out if your interested: