Whilst the imminent peril of international biological war surrounds us daily, another, almost silent, biochemical warfare has been bubbling for some time. The threat of genetically modified foods has prompted many a good citizen to lobby for G.E. free items in this country. But is the awareness permeating the social consciousness effectively? Is the nervous urban consumer just doing their bit because it’s fashionable?
The oh so familiar cry of “double decaf soy latte thanks’ typifies the modern day health conscious consumer.
Crying over split milk
Those ethical vegans and lacto-vegetarians who subscribe to paradoxical panacea of patented soy are supplemented by the symptom-ignorant heavyweights desperate for that quick fix weight loss who insist on low fat, no fat, skim, skinny milk and its paler varieties.
The time has come to debunk the myth that the “low-fat, no-fat” dairy industry and the Multi-nationals driving soy production companies are the path-cutters to holistic healing and the dismiss soy as the darling of the vegan diet. So fetch yourself a little shot of something organic and green, sit back, buckle up and get ready to ditch those cardboard containers full of over processed chalky fluid masquerading as milk.
Spilling the beans
The Chinese say that the taste of tofu is the taste of a hundred things. Originating in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 -907) in China. Tofu or soy bean curd was developed by the Chinese to combat the digestive problems of the soybeans. It is important to note that the traditional soybean was quite different to the soybean being cultivated today. “Glycine soja, the wild soybean, is found in northern, north-eastern and central China, adjacent areas of the former USSR, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Glycine soja is the species of soybean that was consumed traditionally and is the ancestor of the modern cultivar, Glycine max”1, which has been cultivated to maximum economic potential. In addition, “It has been the cultivation of Glycine max coupled with mass production technology and incorporation of soy protein into numerous foods that has resulted in these compounds being almost unavoidable in the human diet. This mass exposure has only occurred in the last 30 years and it is still undetermined whether isoflavones are safe or not.”2
In traditional Chinese medicine, soy has a cooling and moistening nature and maybe used therapeutically in treatment of malaria, chronic dysentery and Tuberculosis, where its moistening action can have a lubricating effect on the lungs and intestines. However it is its excessive intake that leads to dampness in the body and weakening the spleen, causing an over production of fluid, typically mucous. In addition, all processed milk is hyper-processed and typically housed in aseptic packaging for longer shelf life, however lifeless products such as these tend to produce excess mucoid deposits that result in the Chinese conditions damp and lung infections, excess phlegm production.
In the early 1970’s the only soy product most Australians knew existed was the black sauce that we used to drizzle over our steamed dim sims at the local Chinese take away or the fish and chip shop. Soy products have since come a long way, is a now touted as one of the most disease preventing foods.
You can’t milk a soy bean
“One acre of land planted in soybeans produces over 20 times more useable protein than if it were used to raise beef cattle or grow their fodder.”1
The multi national corporation Monsanto will apply biotechnology to develop a soybean that will enable the production of a trans and saturated fat-free soy oil, the first natural oil that could make the claim of being saturated fat-free.
“Monsanto is committed to developing products that benefit growers, and to providing new products that deliver tangible benefits to consumers, including enhanced nutrition. Monsanto researchers are looking at ways to enhance soybeans so that they are healthier and, in turn, can reduce risks that lead to cardiovascular disease,” said David Stark, Monsanto’s Vice President of Global Industry Partnerships. Stark made the announcement today at the American Dietetic Association’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio. “It is our hope that these enhanced soybeans will provide economic and environmental benefits for growers, and healthier agricultural solutions for consumers who are concerned about their intake of unhealthy fats.”
Monsanto Corporation has 45 million acres of genetically modified soybeans growing in the United States. American law permits these crops to be mixed with a small amount of organic soybeans, and the resultant combination may then be labelled organic.2
Taking our hormones hostage
“Around the world, hundreds of millions of acres are devoted to its cultivation, providing a secure cash crop for millions of farmers who cheerfully pay a levy to the developers of their genetically-modified strains to help some of our biggest multi-national corporations spread the gospel that “Soy is Good For You”.3
The more processed foods we ingest, the greater the likelihood of inviting degenerative disease into our bodies. Soy contains high levels of the phytoestrogens (also known as isoflavones) genistein (a phytoestrogen that is highly carcinogenic) and daidzein, which mimic and can also block the hormone estrogen. Breast cancer is linked to estrogen imbalances therefore is it a coincidence that the phytoestrogens in soy mimic elevated estrogen levels the female body?
“100gr of soy protein has the oestrogenic equivalent of one contraceptive pill” Swiss Health Service
Phytoestrogens have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues, and drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month has enough of the chemical to alter a woman’s menstrual cycle. Soy is particularly problematic for infants, and soy infant formulas should be avoided. It has been estimated that infants who are fed soy formula exclusively receive five birth control pills worth of estrogen every day.1 Not only does it have profoundly adverse hormonal effects as discussed above, but it also has over 1000% more aluminum than conventional milk based formulas.2
‘The industry has known for years that soy contains many toxins. At first they told the public that the toxins were removed by processing. Then they claimed that these substances were beneficial.’ 3
Soymilk is a highly processed substance and is the second most common allergen.
Only 1 per cent of the population is truly allergic to cows milk and, of those, two-thirds will also be intolerant to soymilk. For those who have ever attempted to make their own tofu, you may have soon realised that it is not that simple. First you soak the soybeans in water overnight, and then they are then stoneground and boiled with water. The soymilk is then strained to remove the bean pulp and then soybean milk is coagulated with added ingredients containing magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, which turns the milk into tofu.
Modern processing of soy products, formation of at least two known carcinogens result lysinealanines and nitrosamines. In addition, commercial soymilk is high in aluminum as a result of the soy protein isolate it’s made from being acid-washed in aluminum tanks. Highly toxic to the immune system aluminum has since being linked to a plethora of disease, predominantly Alzheimer’s disease. Isoflavones in soy products can depress thyroid function, causing autoimmune thyroid disease and even cancer of the thyroid. As far back as the 1950s phytoestrogens were being linked to increased cases of cancer, infertility, leukaemia and endocrine disruption.4
The Japanese Paradox
Soybeans are ubiquitous in Japanese cooking and are the Nation’s culinary backbone. However it is imperative to note that soy is represented in many ways from the steamed whole bean in its pod (Edamame), fermented soy paste (miso), fermented soybeans (natto), fermented soy sauce (shoyu), the white milky curd is seen usually as Hiyakko tofu or fried as Agedashi dofu. Japanese cuisine features small tastes of dishes and it is rare for a large serve of tofu (220g as in the West) to be consumed at once by an individual.
The average daily intake of soy isoflavones in Japan 3 – 28 mg/day5. The Japanese do not consume soy milk as in the west and they eat less fatty meat, more fish and vegetables and fewer processed foods than in a typical Western diet. The long fermentation process counteracts the effects of natural toxins in soy; hence one of the most savoured foods is Natto, fermented soybean appetiser that is certainly an acquired taste. In China and Japan, soy is used as a condiment or flavoring, and not as a substitute for animal foods. The high consumption of Seafood and seaweed in the Japanese diet provide sufficient iodine sources, enough to negate the potentially toxic effects of the isoflavones in soy.
Soy funded studies suggest that Asian women have a much lower rate of breast cancer, however if compared to the SAD (Standard American Diet), one will identify that the Asian diet not only consists of more fermented produce, but a vastly higher amount of less processed foods and fresh ingredients.
“We really don’t know how phyto-estrogens act in the human body”.
Dr Saffron Whitehead of St Georges Hospital Medical School, London
Fighting off disease with phytoestrogens is like curing cancer with Marlboro Phytoestrogens are a class of chemical compounds that contain dozens of sub-classes, such as coumestans, isoflavones, lignans and sterols, each of which contains further sub-classes. Soy contains many isoflavones, including the sub-classes genistein, coumestrol and daidzein. Of all legumes and grains, soybeans contain the highest levels of a substance called phytic acid. Phytates block the body’s uptake of minerals; enzyme inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion; and haemaggluttin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen take-up and growth. Phytic acid impairs absorption of all minerals, especially calcium as it actually strips the body of calcium supplies. Soy blocks zinc absorption, essential for brain function, formation of protein in the body, assisting in wound healing, blood formation, and general growth and maintenance of all tissues. Zinc is a component of many enzymes and thus, is involved in most metabolic processes.
Additional clinical studies report the women who where given 60 grams soy protein containing 45 mg isoflavones daily experienced delayed menstruation after one month with levels of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones significantly suppressed. The effects were similar to those of Tamoxifen, an antiestrogen drug. Regular menstruation did not resume until 3 months following the cessation of soy protein consumption. A 1998 study depicted how women with malignant breast disease were randomly assigned a normal diet either alone or with a 60 gram soy supplement containing 45 mg isoflavones, taken for 14 days. The proliferation rate of breast lobular epithelium significantly increased after just 14 days of soy supplementation when both the day of menstrual cycle and age of patient were accounted for. Thus short-term dietary soy containing isoflavone levels found in modern soy foods stimulates breast proliferation. 1
CLARIFYING THE FATS
UHT Ultra High Temperature. UHT Milk 20-30% loss of B group and C. High temp preservation – above to 60 degrees
Pasteurisation – boiling at 145F for 30 minutes to kill off unwanted bacteria, which cause fermentation, Denatures the protein in milk and reduces bacteria growth. Pasteurisation may well kill off harmful bacteria; however, the process also removes vital nutrients and enzymes without which milk cannot be easily digested.
Homogenisation is a Food Processing Method that involves the forcing of milk at high pressure through small holes so as to disperse and emulsify the Lipids (dietary Fats) in the Cream of Milk (preventing the Cream from rising to the top). Fat particles small enough to enter the blood stream via the intestines prior to homogenisation, particles too large to do so. Rather than the fat settling on the top of the milk, Homogenisation causes it to be evenly distributed in tiny globules. These are easily transported via the blood stream through the mucous membrane of the intestines.
Because the human system has no use or need for saturated animal fat, it will be stored – and create havoc – in such undesired storage points within joints, arteries and fat cells.
Neither desirable nor attractive! Skimmed milk does not contain the butterfat that complements the facilitation of nutrient absorption.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral within the human body.
However as a race, we are susceptible to calcium deficient diseases such as Osteoporosis. One contributing factor maybe that soy can actually block calcium and inhibit the bioavailablity of Vitamin D. Calcium works in synergy with Vitamin D, which is important for calcium absorption, metabolism and function. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood calcium levels. Milk (and commercial fruit juice for that matter) with ‘enriched” with Vitamin D may well be added but this is a toxic artificial replacement that accentuates the toxicity rather than facilitating the absorption of nutritious elements.
Thus soy has the potential to block calcium, causing a deficiency of vitamin D which is crucial for the development and maintenance of bone density. While lactose does help calcium absorption, it is the protein-fat combination that allows for the easy assimilation of the nutrient. Therefore, when the fat is removed or reduced the absorption potential naturally decreases. In addition, calcium absorption is sensitive and requires energy to transport it into the body, thus it is usually chelated with amino acids or proteins for enhanced delivery. Calcium requires Magnesium to balance for co-absorption and most of us living in the urban sprawl are hyper-deficient in magnesium, the anti-stress mineral.
The Lactose Factor
Lactose is the name given to the carbohydrate sugar or disaccharide that is found in milk. It is converted by the lactase enzyme into more simple carbohydrate sugars or monosaccharides, called glucose and galactose. Lactose is the only sugar derived from an animal product. While cow’s milk is rich in lactose, goat’s milk has lower levels and soymilk contains none.
Galactose is an essential for infants in the formation of the brain and central nervous system. Lactose levels increase after birth and decrease when puberty is reached. By then the lactase enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of lactose is no longer required. Thus adult may have difficulty in breaking down lactose. Our infatuation with the saturation of fat known as milk may have stemmed from a genetic aberration that milk became a food staple in northern Europe and North America. Typically we are weaned off mothers’ milk before the onset of adulthood, by turning down production in early childhood of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is needed to digest human milk as well. But an apparent gene mutation inherited by people of northern European descent prevents the production of lactase from being turned down. As a result, the majority of Americans can drink milk all their lives. The ultimate problem with cow’s milk is that nature concocts different formulas of mothers’ milk for different species. What’s good for baby calves isn’t necessarily good for human babies or adults. “Isn’t it strange that we’re the only species that suckles from another species?” asks Dr. Campbell.1
Humans must manufacture Lactase Enzyme in order to digest the Lactose present in cow’s milk. Those who are sensitive to lactose may tolerate yoghurt and fermented milk products as the lactose has been partially split by the lactic-acid bacteria. When milk is fermented the lactose is discarded with the whey, making fermented dairy products more digestible.
Lactose intolerance is a deficiency of the lactase enzyme, which could be seen as nature’s preventative measure, for excessive dairy intake has been linked with diabetes and heart disease.
1 Wholefood Encyclopedia Wood Rebecca New York: Prentice Hall Press
2 Soy Alert—Soy Isoflavones – Panacea or Poison? by Mike Fitzpatrick, PhD, MNZIC
3 Elaine Hollingsworth
1 Five “Health Foods” to Avoid By Dr. Joseph Mercola with Rachael Droege
2 Soy Formulas and the Effects of Isoflavones on the Thyroid By Dr. Joseph Mercola
3 . ‘Tragedy and Hype: The Third Soy Symposium’ – Sally Fallon, Mary G Enig published on http://www.nexusmagazine.com
4 Elaine Hollingsworth
5 2000 survey Dangers of Dietary Isoflavones
1 1998 McMichael-Phillips DF and others.
Effects of soy-protein supplementation on epithelial proliferation in the histologically normal human breast
Am J Clin Nutr 1998 Dec;68(6 Suppl):1431S-1435S.
1 “Worrying About Milk.” Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD