The Soy Bean – Healthy or Unsafe to Eat?

If you are consuming soy products, be certain you have a reliable organic source.

The Cornucopia Institute has just released their groundbreaking report Behind The Bean — The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry.

The Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Soy Full Report and accompanying Scorecard rates companies that market organic soy foods, such as soymilk, tofu and “veggie burgers,” based on ten criteria that are important to organic consumers—showcasing companies that are truly committed to the spirit and letter of the organic law while exposing those that do not rate highly or were unwilling to share their sourcing and production practices in our survey.

The scorecard sheds light on questions such as:

- Do the soybeans come from American organic farmers, or are they imported from China, India or South America?

- Is the company devoted to supporting organic agriculture by sourcing only organic soybeans and marketing only organic products?

- Does the company use loopholes in the organic standards to source cheaper non-organic ingredients even when organic ones are available?

Part I of the comprehensive report explores the reasons for asking these questions, including why organic consumers should be wary of Chinese imports, given the lax oversight by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) over organic certifiers working in China.

Part II of the report exposes the “dirty little secret” of the “natural” soy foods industry: the widespread use of hexane in processing. Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” such as Clif Bars®. Hexane is a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Both the report and scorecard highlight the good news in the organic soyfood industry: in every market and product category, there are true heroes, both national and local manufacturers, supplying ethically-produced organic food that are worthy of consumer support.

POSTSCRIPT: It would be interesting to do a Soy Bean DNA science fair project, wouldn't it?

18 Responses

  1. Ron@ Online Computer Science Degree
    To eat soy or not to eat soy seems to be the question on many of our patients' minds these days. On one hand, we have extensive studies acknowledging soybean as a miracle food with high nutritional value and a natural protection against a host of diseases. On the other hand, critics argue that soy protein isolates are dangerous, linking soy iso flavones with breast cancer, allergies, thyroid disease and infertility. Both sides of the story are heated and ironically well researched and extensively promoted.
  2. Jim@ GoChi Goji Juice Anti-Aging
    Thank you for shedding further light on a very controversial topic- soy. I have never seen one nutrition product receive so much of both condemnation and praise as soy. What does this mean. Obviously when any product gets trashed in studies and the media, look to see if there isn't some financial competing interest funding the negative studies, in this case the dairy industry. I myself am not totally convinced one way or the other. Part of me believes soy has some tremendous nutritional benefits, while at the same time I'm hearing the negative response to soy. So as the writer of this article states I believe the key is in the processing and how it's done. If done right soy has a lot of beneficial uses.
  3. Will @ Hypothyroidism Diet
    Here's some common problems with soy: - Depresses thyroid function - Disrupts sex hormone functions - Blocks calcium and other mineral absorption - Linked to diabetes, breast cancer, and leukemia
  4. sarah@yeast infection relief
    I think it's interesting to note that in Asian countries, soy is consumed but not how we think it is. We think they live on it, while in reality they only eat a small ammount. Plus soy is very estrogen forming in the body, which is not a good thing. If I were to eat soy, I'd ferment it but that's just me.
  5. arimbawa@pregnancy symptoms discharge
    Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
  6. Jeena@Beanie
    Thanks arimbawa, I didn't know that it contained haemagglutinin.
  7. Nick@ Pur3x Designer Beverage Energy Club
    I have heard both sides of the argument about soy. Some nutritionists praising its health benefits, others trashing its supposed health risks. The point I want to make here is a larger point that applies to much more than soy. Don't just take the results of a study for or against a product without first looking at who may be funding the study. Do they have a financial interest in building up or in tearing down a product? That is why peer reviewed studies are so important as they are typically 3rd party and unbiased. If at all possible look for a peer reviewed study to come to a more realistic conclusion.
  8. Susan@trying to get pregnant quickly
    Soy foods are so nasty but they do have a lot of good health benefits. I just can't get myself to eat soy foods.
  9. Mike@Allergies
    Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” such as Clif Bars. Hexane is a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with many organizations.
  10. Erin Gel
    I agree that every consumer must really check if the soy bean products have really come from a reliable organic source before consumption. A person's general health is at stake here, so everyone of us must exercise all necessary measures to make sure that all that we're eating are really safe to eat. Cheers, Erin of panic attack treatments
  11. What is cancer
    Gosh... it seems that the more we think about what is really healthy and what is not.. the more confused things get.
  12. Personal Air Purifier
    I thought soy was very good for fighting cancer.
  13. Economic Crisis
    Raw soybeans, including Edamame, should not be eaten by humans, swine, chickens, in fact, all monogastric animals.
  14. Brian@wireless laserprinter
    As per my research and understanding about Soy, I think there are more negative points of soy foods as compared to plus points that it has. I was reading a research on this topic by a renowned researcher in which he stated that soy foods have some bad effects on sexual health of males. Any how, this is a nice article with valuable information for students like me.
  15. Tami Walker@fitness
    What are soy nuts? I've seen them, I haven't tried them yet, but I thought soy came from beans.
  16. Ajmal@Hospital Doctors Queensland
    There is a lot of research going on about good and bad points of soy food and in my opinion it's immature to say any thing conclusively about soy food at a time when even researchers are not clear about it. Even if some of the researchers are of the view that it has bad affect on our body, we should not forget it's positive side as well which states that it helps to avoid disease like cancer.
  17. Teresa Edwards@gettingmyexbacktips.com
    I am a big fan of soy bean! Wouldn't mind eating it daily! Teresa of Getting My Ex Back
  18. abbasi@goatraveltips.com
    Nobody, no research, no doctor and nobody in this universe can stop me eating soybeans as I truly love soy food. Why I should stop eating my favorite food just because of those researchers who quite often nullify and prove wrong their own findings.

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