Isoflavones, genisteins, lectins, saponins, and phytoestrogens — don't these wonderful names signal a whole host of cancer fighting, heart disease preventing, cholesterol-lowering miracles?
Uh, no. They're anti-nutrients and toxins. Guess where you'll find them — some in pretty high concentrations? Meat? No. Natural fats? Wrong again. How about junk food? Bingo! But wait; junk food is processed, refined, shaken, stirred, emulsified, liquified, toasted, frozen, dried, baked, broiled, fried, fortified, vacuum packed, and spoon fed. So, then, what is it in junk food that's composed of all those toxins?
Ah, the chemicals: preservatives, coloring, flavoring, deodorizing, odorizing, texturizing, viscocitizing, right? Naturally…wrong!
Alright, enough suspense: soy. Yep, as "foods" go, soy is among the most toxic. Of course, soy never existed in our diet until some few thousand years ago. Lorette Luzajic has a very worthwhile article on the whole thing, if you'd like to know. You'll be shocked. More on the toxins here (and here, too). By the way, Asians don't eat a lot of it as is claimed (they never have), and also, what they do eat is in fermented form like tempeh, miso, tofu, sauce. Fermenting, soaking, and sprouting are wise techniques and traditions for breaking up toxins and anti-nutrients in grains and beans / legumes going back centuries and longer. I don't advocate eating grains or legumes, but if you must, ferment (like true sourdough) soak (like grandmother used to do for beans), and or sprout.
If you read labels, you'll find soy protein and/or soy oil in almost all processed foods. Here, allow me to stimulate your appetite.
To produce soybean oil, the soybeans are cracked, adjusted for moisture content, rolled into flakes and solvent-extracted with commercial hexane. The oil is then refined, blended for different applications, and sometimes hydrogenated. Soybean oils, both liquid and partially hydrogenated, are exported abroad, sold as "vegetable oil," or end up in a wide variety of processed foods. The remaining soybean husks are used mainly as animal feed.
And for dessert, how about some hexane?
Hexane is an alkane hydrocarbon […]. Hexane isomers are largely unreactive, and are frequently used as an inert solvent in organic reactions because they are very non-polar. They are also common constituents of gasoline and glues used for shoes, leather products, and roofing. Additionally, it is used in solvents to extract oils for cooking and as a cleansing agent for shoe, furniture and textile manufacturing. In laboratories, hexane is used to extract oil and grease from water and soil before determination by gravimetric analysis or gas chromatography.