SOY - Your opinion

pink_warm_mama_1May 4, 2014

We enjoy moderate use in the form of Tofu, and wonder how many others cook with soy. If you're against its use, please explain why. Thanks for your input.


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I'm not against it for anyone, but there seems to be increasing concern that it presents problems for folks with thyroid issues. So I use it sparingly. Not a big deal, though, as I don't care for tofu, miso soup, etc. I do like soy sauce with sushi and in a marinade for flank steak.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 2:55PM
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I do have thyroid issues, but they're well controlled and the small amount of soy in my diet doesn't seem to affect it. That's mostly soybean oil in products, a very little soy sauce and infrequent tofu or soy cheese. My bigger issue is the growing use of coconut products in hidden ways, which could potentially give me a serious allergic reaction.

I really have an issue with some of the kinds of GMO soybeans out there. Some aren't any different than a standard hybrid, but some are downright unnatural and aren't geared toward good stewardship, so I try for non-GMO/organic to put my dollars toward the idea of sustainability.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:31PM
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I avoid soy as much as possible. When I was on a Macrobiotic Diet I used a large number of soy products for the first time ever and ended up very ill. When I avoided soy and remained on the Macrobiotic Diet, everything was great. For everything good reported about soy, I found more information against it once I started studying the subject - plus my personal experience.

If I could make any positive recommendations for consumption, it would be to only use traditionally-fermented forms and to use them sparingly. Everything "good" they claim about soy, you can find the same benefits from most legumes, but without the draw-backs of soy. Soy products are some of the most highly-processed foods ever made. Most are made with chemical processes that you probably wouldn't ever consider "healthy" for a so-called "health food".

A friend, who was one of the healthiest people I know, did all the right things, taught a number of exercise classes several times a week, and was careful what she ate, decided to start drinking soy milk because it was "healthier". Within weeks she had symptoms of gallbladder attacks. Went from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialists for two years. A friend and I suggested it was a soy-related problem, but what did her friends know since we went through the same thing years ago. The physicians were stumped, but willing to take her money.

She finally convinced a doctor to remove her gallbladder and low and behold, it was healthy, not diseased. After surgery the symptoms were worse than ever, and after pleading and begging, we convinced her to avoid soy products for just ONE week, and the symptoms quickly disappeared.

If you haven't read "The Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN (she also has a web site), I'd suggest you check it out and also explore the many links and sources found in the book.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 7:16PM
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I can't stand soy milk, so I don't use that. I do occasionally eat edamame, I use soy sauce (although I prefer Bragg's Amino Acids), and I eat tofu occasionally.

I seem to have no problems or issues with it, and Amanda is lactose intolerant so she gets latte or whatever made with soy milk. Ashley uses soy milk a lot and I have several friends who eat quite a lot of tofu and use soy milk and none of us have any identifiable issues with it, nor does anyone else I know of.

If I read all the negative articles, I'd probably find something wrong with me caused by something I eat and enjoy, so I just don't bother to read them.

It works for me, since my doctor remarked at my latest "insurance company annual exam" that he hadn't seen me since my last "annual exam". I eat whatever I please, including gluten in the form of homemade bread, drink copious amounts of coffee, have eggs nearly every day, just rendered quite a lot of lard for cooking and I still seem to be obnoxiously healthy at 59 (in three weeks). The insurance company would like me to lose about 10 pounds, I'd like them to lower their rates, so we're at a standoff there, LOL.

I attribute my health to to the fact that I refuse to use convenience mixes or canned soups, won't eat margarine, bake and cook from scratch, can my own vegetables and grow my own beef, pork and chicken. I eat as I wish, but it's nearly all homegrown, organic and made from scratch.

I'm far more concerned about the GMOs, the preservatives, the dyes and chemicals I can't pronounce, the hormones and antibiotics pumped into our food supply, than I am about anything that's actually a real food substance.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I will use soy, but only rarely. Fermented soy is supposed to present less problems, but most of the soy in the US is unfermented.

I've been using quinoa milk as an alternative to regular milk instead of soy milk and it's not bad.

Here is a link that might be useful: One article on soy

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:04PM
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I made a curry last night and substituted cow's milk (evaporated) for the dreaded furry-stickling-tongue-making, respiration-laboring coconut milk. I bet those cows probably eat some soy, though my store sells soy free eggs. :)

edit: typo

This post was edited by plllog on Mon, May 5, 14 at 1:02

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:39AM
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Another one here who believes that the way soy is eaten in the US--lots of soy protein in processed foods, soy milk, etc--is very different from the way it's eaten in Asia--mostly fermented products. I avoid it except for soy sauce and occasionally miso. And that's not even considering that most soy here is GMO.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 5:37AM
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I'm more concerned about eating foods treated with Roundup/glyphosate than soy in particular. Some folks I know have a real problem with fermented foods, so there you have it, it varies with individuals. I'm not a huge fan of soy but I do eat it some. A lot of things I seem to do OK with in moderation so that is my goal. The one thing I know does a number on you is processed foods. Just poor for digestion in general, seems to me. Without my fiber and the nutrients from whole foods I just don't feel very well. The only foods that seem to really bother me are tea, (to my great sadness), alcohol (darn it) and diet soda, which is positively the worst! And lots of sugar and processed carbs. I've tried eliminating other things like soy, wheat, dairy, etc. and there haven't been many positive results. That said, I try to limit dairy because I do notice a mucus-y feeling when I eat a lot of dairy. My brother is positively allergic to vinegar and soy and gets very mucus-y when he eats any type of soy, which is why he eats salad with salt and pepper only, I think he has had too many bad commercial salad dressing incidents. But I have no problems with fermented foods, or nuts so there you have it. But if I had to get on a bangwagon or soap-box, it would be to tell people to look into the science of "Roundup Ready" food crops. Not the popular stuff that is inflammatory and superficial, the real science that looks at the chemical's impacts comprehensively, and not the science provided by Monsanto, which is using a lot of influence to quell the discussion on this topic. So my ideas about soy would start with the question--are we talking about Roundup-ready soy or organic soy, what strains, how is it grown, etc. Plants are not all exactly the same any more than people are. They vary greatly in their chemical constituencies.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:00AM
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I have no qualms about getting a genetically modified soybean in my body ... but I have no eaten soy products since the mid 1970s because I have a "sensitivity" to most soy products - TVP, soyburgers, soy flour, soy milk, some tofu (made by the non-traditional process), and edamame.

It causes severe pain and suffering.

Soy flour is a widely used to keep things moist and "juicy" ... I have to read labels and check fastfood menus to make sure I'm not getting any soy flour or proteins.

Soybean oil is OK. Oddly, real tofu is OK. Whatever it is gets removed during the coagulation process or is killed by the salts.

Grainlady said A friend, who was one of the healthiest people I know, did all the right things, taught a number of exercise classes several times a week, and was careful what she ate, decided to start drinking soy milk because it was "healthier". Within weeks she had symptoms of gallbladder attacks. Went from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialists for two years.

Yup ... that's it! Feels like someone is sticking a large knife under the left shoulderblade and it's poking out the front.

The USPHS doc x-rayed and found no sign of any gallbladder problems - the pain was classically gallbladder, but the rest of the stuff didn't add up. So he had me keep a food diary. When the 2AM "chicken soup" the cafeteria served me (I was working nights in a hospital lab) did me in we had something to work with. The cubes of "chicken" were mostly soy. I avoided soy for a month, then did a test. Yup, it was the soy.

Apparently something in the soybeans causes the gallbladder to go into spasms - painful ones.

This post was edited by lazygardens on Mon, May 5, 14 at 9:30

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:17AM
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As far as I know, the only two food products that produce an allergic reaction for me are most artificial sweeteners and cellulose. I don't use tofu or soy milk because I have no reason to do so but I do use soy sauce in some recipes. When I need a flavor-neutral oil for something like a chiffon cake or sautéing, a soy oil like Crisco oil fits the bill.

My opinion on soy would be classified as neutral because I don't use enough to make it an issue.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:47AM
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A great substitute for soy sauce: Coconut Secret - Raw Coconut Aminos

Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, and 65% less sodium than soy sauce. A high source of liquid aminos.

Ingredients: coconut sap aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich, sea salt

Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Secret - Raw Coconut Aminos

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 10:59AM
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LOL, a tip, when you first use coconut aminos, don't shake it vigorously and open immediately, it's kinda messy that way.
Exactly, lpinkmountain, there is plenty of research of glyphosate residue found on soy. I stay away from it. If I were to consume, I would stick to organic, which you most likely won't find in any processed goods, which is fine as those are kept to a bare minimum for us.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Interesting that this topic came up. I made the soy chocolate mousse for dessert on Fri night and I was sick as a dog all night long, but I attributed it to eating all kinds of stuff and too much that I ate that I wasn't used to.

So this a.m. I made my smoothie with the choc soy milk I had leftover instead of water and now my tummy is at it again. Normally I feel great after my smoothie, but not today. I'm betting it's the soy milk....

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:51PM
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L, I agree, I'm more worried about glyphosphate use, a recent test of breast milk by an independent lab in Minnesota found high levels of glyphosphate in 3 of 10 samples. A small sample, of course, and a lot more testing is necessary, hopefully done by other than Monsanto minions. The problem is that if it's found in breast milk, in urine samples, etc. then it's possibly bio-accumulative, which Monsanto has adamantly insisted it is not. (sigh)

I agree, it's somestimes hard to find non-GMO tofu, but it's possible, Nasoya is sold here at the local Meijer and I live in the sticks. Kikkoman sells KF Soy sauce and Organic Soy Sauce, both labeled "non-GMO". I still prefer Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which are also labeled "non-GMO".

As I said, I'm far more worried about the GMOs than I am the food itself.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:43PM
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We eat a fair bit of tofu, edamame, and soy sauce. We don't use soy milk, no particular reason except that we like cow's milk. There is no sensitivity to soy in our family.

This post was edited by johnliu on Tue, May 6, 14 at 10:50

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:56AM
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I somehow missed the soy thing. Maybe it was after building the garden years ago and we started eating seasonally and nothing processed. Secondary friends, (friends of friends), would bring little over-priced, pre-seasoned packages, to gatherings stacked next to the grill and we would have to find room, then they would not eat it. We had plenty of fresh salads and veggies.
The recent bashing has some strong legs to stand on. Hard to avoid the over processed, speed processed, 'man-made' intervention. It is in everything. Not properly fermented, etc.

I've not kicked it out of the pantry for certain things...MisoMaster, Bragg's amino, an organic soy sauce i can't remember the name of, (i'm out of it). RedBoat fish sauce seems properly fermented for giving that kick of flavor. Those things cover the winter Thai dishes we love and not about to give up. Always have organic edamame in the freezer.

I have to agree with this,

"...The Solution? Limit your use of soy to fermented and organic soy products only, like tempeh or miso. Purchase soy that is grown and processed "properly", primarily from select foreign and specialized organic sources. Avoid GMO and domestically mass-produced soy products. Limit your daily consumption of soy, just as you limit your consumption of meats, dairy, and other foods. Treat soy consumption in Westernized nations with scrutiny, just as you do with tuna, farm-raised salmon, GMO grains, and highly processed dairy...."

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:47AM
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I have a mild allergy to soy, and so I try to limit what I consume of it, but I have never given up soy sauce or fish sauce. I went to a Tofu Festival in Little Tokyo (downtown L.A.) before I found out about my allergy, but I found that I could not eat that much tofu.

In general, I prefer other beans/legumes, and so I never buy soy beans themselves.

Another substitute for soy sauce that I like is Japanese black rice vinegar, but it only works in certain dishes, and I haven't tried it with sushi. I have not found a Chinese black vinegar that I like, but the Japanese version has a much different taste. It is a bit difficult to find unless you have a specifically Japanese market (several close my house), and the Chinese markets will not carry it because it costs as least twice as much as the Chinese vinegars. So a bottle of Japanese vinegar might cost $6 instead of $3. UCHIBORI JOZO Uchibori Jozo Ringosan black vinegar from Japan is my favorite, and it might cost $8 a bottle.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 6:49PM
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