Many people who are interested in supporting their health and moving toward optimum wellness are confused about the ‘soy controversy’.  Soy is often the first choice when people decide to go towards a more plant based diet. That is because many animal product substitutes are based on soy, such as Soy Milk, Soy Cheese ,  Soy burgers and so on.

Using a small amount of fermented organic soy in the diet is probably a good choice for most people. However the majority of soy available is neither organic nor fermented.  Fermented soy is preferable due to the action of the fermentation process, which  removes “ trypsin inhibitors” that are found in non-fermented soy. Trypsin inhibitors can act to decrease nutrient absorption. Examples of fermented soy include tempeh, natto and miso. Since most soy products, such as soy protein isolates found in many ‘protein drinks’, tofu and soy milk, are NOT fermented, they have high levels of compounds such as oxalic acid and phytates, which can interfere with calcium use by the body, and have other unhealthy consequences.

Perhaps the most important issue to understand in terms of soy, is that a very high percentage of all soy used as food in the United States is genetically modified. (GMO), If you are using ANY product that is not specifically labeled as  ORGANIC, the soy it contains is very likely GMO. GMO Soy is referred to as Round Up Ready. That means it is specifically tailored to be able to grow under very high dousing of Round Up- a toxic herbicide. Since so much is liberally used on GMO soy, the end products can have a high pesticide residue, as well as causing adverse effects on the environment for plants, animals and people in the fields where it has been grown. Other problems linked to soy ingestion include goitrogens which can interfere with iodine use, phytoestrogens which can effect hormone levels, and substances known as phytates which may interfere with natural mineral metabolism in the body. With all this confusion and conflicting information, many health conscious individuals have decided to seek more compatible vegetarian protein sources, and leave out the soy!