My editor asked why I nixed soy in Wildly Affordable Organic. I cited the influential 2009 article in Men’s Health that made a case for soy being the “most dangerous food for men.” The story cited peer-reviewed papers, which I read to verify my stand, checking for financial interest on the part of the authors. The anti-soy warning rang true, because my Taster lost his strength and energy during a period when I cooked a lot of mock-meat soy products. (I was fairly new to cooking all plant-based, and finding ch1k’n was a relief.)
He returned to normal within a few days after I switched back to our normal diet of beans, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds. We dropped the mock meat, tofu, and soymilk. My Taster avoids soy to this day. We’ll never know if it was the soy, some other ingredient, or even something he wasn’t eating while we ate so much b33f and p@rk instead.
Soy is Back and It’s Delicious!
Fast forward to the present. Men’s Health now says this about tofu: “the soy-based food is now totally okay to eat and actually really delicious.” They own up to tarnishing the super-legume’s reputation:
Back in the 2000s, a few small studies and rodent research suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. Several news outlets (including this one—our bad) may have overblown those findings.
My bad too. I’m sorry that it took me so long to realize that the widely reported problems with soy were of people who consumed ludicrous amounts. Three quarts of soy milk a day? Ai yi yi! I know more about understanding research articles now too. On the other hand, some people have an allergic reaction to soy. If any food makes you feel bad, quit eating it.
Now I wonder why more school cafeterias don’t serve more soy products, especially the whole-bean edamame or minimally processed products like tofu, miso, and nattō. Even Soy Curls! The protective effect of soy is most powerful for girls and young women.