by Emily Pritchard Cary
Diabetic children. Premature puberty. Learning disabilities. Thyroid disorders.
Uterine cancer. Reproductive problems. Weight gain. What is the common
“Milk Pails,“ Catherine C. Brooks’ nostalgic piece in the September issue of Chesapeake Style, emphasizes the joys of growing up on a farm in Mathews County, Virginia where rich cow’s milk, hefty chunks of butter, and clouds of whipped cream provided buoyant health and joy to all partakers.
Fast forward to 2004. Americans are beset by ailments seldom endured to this extent by earlier generations. Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, internationally respected nutritionists and directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation in Washington, DC, believe that the promotion of soy as a dietary panacea is the culprit, but their warnings are shouted down by those reaping a bonanza in the market place.
How did the lowly bean once regarded as a poisonous substance and used as a gasoline additive in the 1920s become the darling of health gurus and beauty advisors?
Blame the misinformed, the imitation food industry, the advertisers, and the American soy farmers who have leapfrogged economically over wheat, corn, and cotton farmers by boldly marketing soy to manufacturers in this country and exporting mega-tons of soy products to the rest of the world.
Exactly what is wrong with soy?
1. Soy is a phytoestrogen. In other words, it increases the estrogens in those who consume it. Is it any wonder, then, that children raised on soy formulas are entering puberty far earlier than previous generations? Or that women taking hormone replacement are more apt to develop breast cancer if they have a history of soy consumption?She emphasizes that the daily average soy food consumption in Asia is less than nine grams, or about two teaspoons. This compares with the 35 grams of soy protein per day recommended by the FDA. Studies show that the daily intake of 45 mg for one month can cause hormonal changes in women, and yet the average daily intake of children receiving soy formula is 38 mg, a shocking amount considering the difference in body weight between infants and adults. In December 2003, Fallon testified before the FDA’s Food Advisory Committee about the negative health impact of soy infant formula. No action has yet been taken by the government to warn consumers
When I began teaching in 1970, overweight, diabetic, learning disabled, and sexually mature children were rarely seen in a typical elementary school classroom. In contrast, today’s schools are overwhelmed by children requiring special attention for these, and related, physical and mental problems. A growing body of credible medical and dietary research suggests that these conditions may be traced to soy products consumed by children or by their mothers prior to giving birth.
Has this situation occurred because the FDA is in the clutches of the imitation food industry, which presses soy milk and tofu burgers as replacements for eggs, fish, meat, milk, and poultry?
From cereals and pasta to quasi-dairy products, grocery and health store shelves groan with hundreds of soy-based items touted as cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease preventives.
Contrary to unsubstantiated claims created by ad agencies, numerous scientific studies confirm that soy lowers thyroid functions and may cause goiters. In turn, low thyroid function contributes significantly to osteoporosis, heart disease, and menopause problems.
Expensive soy products hawked as health panaceas are a serious problem. Even more ominous, soy has sneaked in where it’s least expected, perhaps as a wheat or dairy substitute in noodles, soups, sauces, cookies, oven-ready meals, and low-fat elixirs. The cautious consumer must take time to read the ingredients in manufactured food products frequently purchased.
Total up the amount of soy Americans consume both with and without their knowledge and it’s easy to understand why the fields of soy spanning our heartland are the next killing fields.
To counteract the use of soy as a substitute for meat and dairy products, the Weston A. Price Foundation sponsors over 200 local chapters in the U. S., Canada, and overseas of farmers and other citizens who promote organic produce and milk products from pasture-fed livestock. Fourteen of them are in Virginia and Maryland. For more information, visit www.westonaprice.org.
Brief List of Products Containing Soy
Baby foods/Infant formula
Non-Edible Soy Products Causing Sensitivity
HVP (hydrolysed vegetable protein)
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