“Spilling the Beans”

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.

Mmm. Yummy.

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  1. Monica on January 5, 2009 at 17:57

    Yup. Soy sucks.

    They grow it because it has nitrogen fixing nodules in the roots, and our soils are so depleted of nitrogen. Problem is it has a shallow root system so it encourages even more erosion.

    They have to sell the crap somehow. Perfect solution: market it as health food!

    Yuck. Thanks for the post. I've been bitching about soy for awhile now.

  2. Lute on January 5, 2009 at 17:29

    Soybean oil is also used to make mayonese

  3. Christian on January 5, 2009 at 23:38

    While I agree that unfermented soy products aren't fit for human consumption, three of the horrible toxins you've listed are the same. Genistein is a major isoflavone component of soy, which acts as a phytoestrogen in the human body.

  4. Pam Maltzman on January 6, 2009 at 01:02

    Soy is everywhere. They even have soy oil in many brands of fish oil capsules!! Argh–I'll be changing my brand of that soon.

    Regarding mayonnaise, there are several recipes out there. Monica has one at her blog that I've seen which uses, I think, light olive oil. I think that Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have at least one recipe in "Nourishing Traditions." You can also use coconut oil to make mayonnaise (but haven't tried it myself yet). Apparently a lot of people find olive oil too strong a flavor for mayonnaise.

    Also, for frying, Mary Enig recommends using a blend of olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil (equal portions). The coconut oil will stay liquid once melted and blended.

  5. Pam Maltzman on January 6, 2009 at 01:04

    We eat a lot of chicken (and now turkey, on-sale after the holidays). And although I buy a brand that's supposedly locally grown in California, and although it does taste better than chicken that's traveled half-way across the country to get to my table, I bet they're feeding soy in some form. So, eating the chicken's fat isn't as healthy as it otherwise might be.

  6. Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2009 at 17:55

    I think you can find some that's mostly canola — better but not good. I stay away from mayo, now. I tried & failed to make some homemade with olive oil, so I'll have to try again. Jennifer McLagan, author of "Fat," has a recipe for mayo made with bacon drippings. Gotta try that.

  7. Monica on January 6, 2009 at 15:23

    As for mayonnaise, Pam, thanks for noting my recipe. It's very similar to the Nourishing Traditions one. However, I'm sorry to report, after learning on wholehealthsource.blogspot.com that light olive oil may be cut with cheaper vegetable oils. So it may not be real olive oil after all.

    Pam, do you have any advice on coconut oil mayo? Bacon fat mayo… that sounds absolutely delightful! YUM!

  8. Anna on January 6, 2009 at 09:23

    I really like mayonnaise and find it very useful for homemade salad dressings, hard boiled eggs, etc. I make a weekly batch of mayonnaise using "light" olive oil to avoid the overly strong flavor of extra virgin olive oil. It's the only thing I make with any refined oils. I do need to take a look again at that Fat book recipe for bacon dripping mayo, though – thanks for reminding me about it. I have the book (great book!) plus a big can of bacon drippings in the fridge.

  9. Dana on January 6, 2009 at 11:53

    Yes, I have struggled with this very thing you mention in trying to eat low-carb. I think I'll be using artificial sweeteners for a while because I can't stand stevia, but otherwise I'm trying to move things in a more paleo direction. I still need to monitor carb intake, though, because I think I'm prediabetic. (I have a lot of belly fat that I didn't have four or five years ago.)

    As for sourdough, I found out something really interesting the other day. They've discovered one little protein link in the gluten molecule that survives gastric acid and all manner of other digestive substances in the human GI tract. It is the one thing they've found that triggers gluten allergy and celiac symptoms. Guess what breaks it down? A bacterial enzyme. Guess which bacteria, among others, make this enzyme? The bacteria used to make sourdough.

    It's got to be old-fashioned sourdough, however–the kind that uses both wild-caught yeast *and* lactobacteria.

    As for fermented soy, tofu is not fermented in the manufacturing process. The kind of fermented tofu eaten in Asia, they take that unfermented tofu and then pickle it. People don't generally eat fermented tofu here, so it's pretty much off-limits. I'll eat soy sauce and sometimes miso but I try to keep that to a minimum.

  10. Monica on January 7, 2009 at 07:02

    Hi Pam — you don't need raw milk to get whey, just FYI. You can get any plain yogurt in the store and strain it overnight. IMO that whey is actually superior for fermenting vegetables. I too got a ton of turkeys. My pets are on the "paleo plan" and I intended to feed these to the dog but she seems to have developed pickiness and did not eat for 3 days straight. She will eat chicken, pork, and beef with gusto… there must be some strange taste to turkey. *sigh* I cut all the meat off and froze it for the cats. They love it at least. Then I made turkey soup from the stock.

  11. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 01:27

    Monica, I have not made any mayonnaise yet at all. I am not sure if I have the book by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon entitled "Eat Fat, Lose Fat." I like coconut oil, though, and I bet it would make good mayo. My guess is that it would have to be liquefied first.

    Mary Enig also recommends (can't remember exactly where I read this) making a blend of equal parts of olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil, which can also be used for making mayo. Once you liquefy the coconut oil, it will stay liquid when blended with the other oils. It also stands up to frying pretty well.

    I want to get hold of either some raw milk, or some kefir grains, so that I can separate out some whey, because I want to make some mayo and other stuff with the whey.

    I love mayo, but I'm getting kind of disgruntled at discovering that just about everything on the food shelves has soy in it!! Yuck. Even fish oil capsules!

    Mary Enig also has a book entitled "Know Your Fats." Eventually I want to get it. Since she is a Ph.D. in lipid chemistry, this should be pretty interesting. I will have to read it more than once to slog my way through it.

    I think that Dr. Mercola has a recipe for mayo in at least one of his books. "Nourishing Traditions" has a couple of mayo recipes.

    Bacon fat mayo sounds good too. I need to build my way up to a really high-fat diet, because sometimes I feel a tiny bit queasy with a lot of grease.

    As I have already posted, I rendered my first batch of pork fat. It does have a slight pork taste, but that goes well with fried eggs.

    I went to a Mexican supermarket the other evening (Vallarta, whole chain of them out here in So. Cal.), and they indeed had lard. There was the Farmer John's brand, which has BHT in it. They also had packages of lard in the meat section. I won't assume that their house brand lard is free of additives until I check with a manager.

    I did notice that they did not have packages of trimmed pork fat available for sale, so maybe they do render their own lard.

  12. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 01:31

    A couple of good bargains I have found lately:

    1. After-holidays markdowns on turkeys. There are several California-grown brands, and all of them were marked down at an Albertson's near me. I had a few left over from after Thanksgiving, but I picked up 10 more just a few days ago. Most of them were small, but I got one monster that was 29.75 pounds.

    2. The 99 Cents Only Stores now have butter in stock. The brand they carry is Danish Creamery Butter, one of the tastiest supermarket brands. This stuff usually sells for $5.00 to $6.00 per pound when not on sale. The 99 Cents Only Stores had them for 99.99 cents for 8 oz., or roughly $2.00 per pound. I bought a bunch of them; they freeze well. Got both salted and unsalted. When I lived down in the L.A. area, they seemed to stock this butter year-round; it's been only intermittent up here in the high desert.

  13. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 01:33

    I like stevia for a sweetener, even though it is easy to use too much; but I think I am one of those people who is sensitive to even just a sweet taste, because I noticed that I got hungry again after drinking some sweetened tea. I don't like unsweetened tea very much, so I guess I am going to cut back on tea and drink more water.

  14. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 07:50

    Monica… in the past I had made kefir from pasteurized goats' milk, and it looked like the whey was separating out at some point. I'll either get some yogurt, as you suggest, or else wait until I can get hold of some more kefir grains.

    I really like the raw milk. I am "lactose intolerant" with regular pasteurized cows' milk. Raw butter is out of this world. At some point I will get some more.

    I like making kefir, but once the grains really start kicking in, if you don't drink mass quantities of it, you end up with so many grains that it's kind of a pain.

    My cats are not switched over yet, although from time to time I offer them real meat and canned food. When we eat, I usually offer them tidbits of whatever we're eating. The oldest one particularly loves bloody London Broil and bits of pork.

    I'm still sneaking food sometimes to a stray cat who comes around. He'll eat pretty much whatever leftover meat I give him, and sometimes I give him raw meat. I want to catch him and bring him to a rescue organization.

    Funny, but I don't usually think of dogs as that picky, because back when I had dogs, they seemed to be willing to eat almost anything.

    With poultry now, I'm reserving wings, backs, tails, and necks for soup. Turkey legs and thighs go in the countertop oven, and the breast section goes on the rotisserie.

    I'm finding the turkey stock and soup to be great. I got some cheap South American wine at the discount store… a little too acid to drink straight, but it makes tasty soup when used instead of straight vinegar.

    I wonder if resveratrol is still present in red wine which has been cooked? I'm hoping that I can keep us from getting sick this winter by drinking a lot of soup.

    Using whey, I've made beet kvass a few times. Would like to try fermenting vegetables when I have more time.

  15. Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2009 at 08:36

    Wow. 10 turkeys? You must have one monster of a freezer! That outta last you.

  16. Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2009 at 08:39

    I have pretty much eliminated sweet from my diet. I've never sweetened coffee, but I used to sweeten iced and hot tea, and never any more. I might have one or two diet sodas a month, if that. Otherwise, it's pretty much coffee, tea, and water. I occasionally add a teaspoon of honey to a fruit smoothie (along with the heavy cream and/or coconut milk).

  17. Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2009 at 08:45

    My dogs are smarter than I, sometimes. They sniff everything before they eat, and if they regard anything as off, they'll abstain. They have no problem fasting at all and do it spontaneously and regularly.

    Note that they never did this before I got them off the grains and rice crap that is in virtually all commercial pet foods. My male rat terrier, I have just learned, will be 11 years old in a few days and he is actually more active and healthy looking than when he was 6 or 7. They've been on Evo for nearly two years now, I think.

  18. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 20:22

    Most of the turkeys, Richard, were in the 10- to 12-pound range. Only one was huge! I get them small because we eat them up quickly, and because the rotisserie will only handle up to a 15-pound bird.

    Freezers: What I have:
    1. A 22-cubic-foot Amana refrigerator with a top freezer.
    2. A 12-cubic-foot upright freezer, Kenmore, bought used some years ago. It's a manual defrost model. I can stuff a lot of birds in it.

    In the garage, I also have a 12-cubic-foot upright freezer that's not being used (given us by a friend). It's newer than #2 above, and it's frost-free, but somehow it got a crack in the inner part of the door, which needs replacing at some point.

    I'm having great fun making soup too!

  19. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 20:27

    I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and eliminate sweet as much as possible. I knew that saccharin could get me hungry again after using it.

    I just don't like unsweetened tea, but it's back to water for me. Fortunately I do like filtered water.

    I've also read that regular consumption of diet sodas can slow down or even halt weight loss. I don't keep them here anymore, but sometimes I buy one when I'm out doing errands.

    One of the desserts some low-carbers do is make a pumpkin pudding. Pretty much like the pie filling, but using artificial sweetener. Whipped cream (without sugar) is allowed.

    I can do without dessert fine most of the time, but every once in a while I do wish for something gooey.

  20. Pam Maltzman on January 7, 2009 at 20:29

    I think Evo is one of the better storebought critter foods around. I want to transition my cats over to raw eventually, but in the meantime they seem to be doing well on Evo dry. For some reason I can't get them to eat the Evo canned food.

    One of my cats is a red tortoiseshell, and her coat has gotten even prettier eating the Evo. In the sunlight her colors resemble the sable of a collie's coat.

    My youngest cat is tortie-and-white, and she resembles a tricolor collie when her winter coat is in. Longest hair I've ever seen on a cat.

  21. monica on January 8, 2009 at 07:38

    Richard, vets are so ignorant about food, aren't they? Just as bad as doctors if not worse. The difference in your dogs' behavior is interesting. I don't have a baseline because when I got my dog she was starving (literally) and I started her on raw. She was pretty enthusiastic, and I know that even though she was starving she was not so crazy about the organic kibble being fed in her foster home. She didn't gain weight until the raw diet, when she got 15 pounds heavier and grew a thick husky coat. Pretty amazing. I plan on blogging that sometime soon, since there is a government organization determining "standards" for commercial dog food.

    Now she does the same as your dogs — fasts for several days sometimes, usually only one day. She spends a good deal of time outdoors. She might be getting into neighbors' garbage cans, though, which means she would not need so much food at home. I've found her and her pals tipping garbage cans over one occasion. :)

    • marnee on October 8, 2009 at 10:41

      My 9 year old cat does this too. He’ll occasionally not eat for days. The first time freaked me out but his demeanor and energy level never changes when he does this so I don’t worry anymore.

      I feed him a combo of raw meat, canned food and dry food. He seems to like a little crunchy food once in a while. The commercial food is free of soy, corn, and wheat. He has a gorgeous shiny coat, he is a slender thing, and has more energy than I know what to do with. Ack! Kitty attack! If he weren’t so timid he’d probably love to be outside. As it is all he does is go out the door and then back in through the window. He cracks me up. But I digress. Yes I am a crazy cat lady. Cheers to low carb pets.

  22. Pam Maltzman on January 8, 2009 at 20:07

    I can understand rescues feeding their critters mostly dry kibbles (because of the short-run cost)… but it's my impression that vets at least used to be more knowledgeable about feeding animals–back in the days when they didn't have so many expensive gee-whiz things they could do for (and to) your animals. I believe they used to be taught to rely more on feeding the animal correctly to keep it healthy. Nowadays I think that prevet prerequisites only include one course on animal feeding.

    Before the 1960s, when commercial pet food became widely available, if you had a cat, it either caught mice, or you gave it liver, heart, kidney, etc. to eat, which you got from the butcher.

    When I got one of my rescued cats, I had to take her to the vet because she had a bowel infection (resulting in bloody diarrhea). The vet tech there told me I should feed her nothing but dry food! Wow, that'll guarantee an expensive patient somewhere down the line.

  23. Liana on February 14, 2009 at 21:25

    I saw a documentary about a year ago about rainforest conservation. In it they discussed that the land is being cleared out, and is bought by the soy industry so they can have more acres to grow more soy. Like we need more soy.

    I don't trust soy anymore.

  24. Liana on February 14, 2009 at 21:33

    I read that when animals become more domesticated (which can be compared to the civilization, or domestication of humans) they don't know when to stop eating, they eat anything in front of them.

    That totally makes sense that they would be more instinctive in their eating after grains are removed. My family's dog is in pretty good shape for being 14, he's still pretty active, just sleeps more. However, my family feeds him the dry dog food crap, and I wonder how much better health he could have if he ate a raw dog diet. Plus my dad gives him pizza crusts sometimes, which makes me feel sorry. When I can have my own dogs I'm not going to give them that crap.

  25. How Mean Should I Be? | Free The Animal on October 6, 2009 at 13:20

    […] moving right along. Do you have any idea of the poison unfermented soy and soy milk is? Are you aware, for example, that infants on soy formula and children on soy milk and other […]

  26. marnee on October 8, 2009 at 10:25

    A little trivia: it was Dr. Percy Julian who first figured out how to make all kinds of things from soy beans. One remarkable invention was flame-retardant materials. Another was the synthesis of cortisone. Interesting that two such different things can come from one plant. Well anyway, I wonder what Dr. Julian would say about eating this stuff.

  27. peterlepaysan on April 17, 2010 at 02:36

    Mayonnaise requires olive oil and eggs.
    Soy was never involved.

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