Soy has been feeding human kind for quite some time now. For legends tell that legendary Chinese Emperor Shennong in the year 2853 BC, included soy as one of the five sacred plants with rice, wheat, barley, and millet. Many years had to pass until in the early 1900’s people in the US really started paying attention to this crop. From 1992 to 2006, soy food sales increased from $300 million to nearly $4 billion, practically overnight, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America. A clear shift in the view of the american public towards soy happened reason why soy has been called the “miracle health food” of the 21 century. Many studies nowadays are showing how soy in the many forms that is being brought to us may be unhealthy. The question arises as to why has soy been good for generations for people around Asia but proven to have a negative effect on our Western culture. Lets take a look at how soy is processed and its effects on our health.
The US, Argentina, Brazil, China and India are the world’s largest soybean producers and represent more than 90% of global soybean production. With a total annual production of over 90 million tons per year we can see how it is profitable. Most of the soy crop in the U.S. is used to produce soybean oil, which is extracted using the chemical solvent hexane. What remains of the soybean after the fat has been extracted is called soybean meal, which is about 50% protein. The majority of soybean meal is used to feed livestock.
There seem to be many issues with consuming non fermented soy. For fermented soy is how it is consumed in Asian countries in the form of miso, natto, tempeh and soy sauce which is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. Non fermented soy however contains various elements that will present many health risks. Within the list of harmful things you may find are isoflavones, Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, hemagglutinin, goitrogens and phytates. All of them have negative effects on our health as studies have provided reasons why we should remain as far away as possible from them.
Keep this information in mind the next time you go to the supermarket and also take your time and read those ingredient labels. Your friends at Sukura Hibachi & Sushi home to the best Japanese cuisine in Colorado will keep bringing you information from all around the culinary world.