Soy is a subsidized crop, which means that farmers have a financial interest in growing soy over other crops such as fruits and vegetables. And companies like Monsanto, a company that owns almost all of the seed companies, have a financial interest in selling genetically modified soy beans to these farmers. What does all of that mean? We have an overabundance of genetically modified soybeans and we know that GM crops cause allergic reactions because the body doesn’t recognize it as real food.
So as other countries are starving, we have too much of soy. What happens to it? It gets bought by companies like ADM and Cargill who turn it into soy by-products that go into all of your processed, preserved and packaged foods. Even if you thought you didn’t eat soy, if you eat any of these foods, you are. They are all of the unpronounceable, unrecognizable ingredients (corn and soy are two foods that make up 90% of the ingredient list).
Let’s assume for a second that you don’t eat packaged food, and you always make sure that your soy is non-GM, how good is soy now? If you’re eating non-fermented, non-traditional soy, it’s not so good either. Non-fermented soy contains a component that blocks a digestive enzyme from your liver call trypsin. Trypsin is THE enzyme that activates all other digestive enzymes. So you won’t digest your food very well with many soy products.
OK, so now you make sure that your soy is organic, non-GMO and fermented (miso, tempeh and natto). Is soy good now? Sort of. There is some concern that eating too much soy can shut down your thyroid gland, which is a huge problem here in WNY. One way that traditionally arose to eat soy is with seaweed. Seaweed contains a plethora of minerals found in the sea, including iodine which you need to make thyroid hormone.
Bottom line: eating soy in moderation is good if you get fermented, non-GM soy and pair it with seaweed. It has some phytoestrogenic qualities which help to mitigate problems associated with excess estrogen (fibroids, endometriosis, cancers, etc.) and deficient estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings). It is also a high protein source that can replace animal foods. But no one should eat any food all day, every day, including soy.