Let’s talk about soy! In this blog we will discuss some of the common myths about soy, the reasons why we love soy, and how you can eat it. We want to help you decide if soy is right for you! We believe it is very important to be transparent about the ingredients we use and why we use them, because we are here to provide nutritious and delicious vegan food to the community every day!
We use soy in some of our dishes at Green Cuisine, in the form of tofu, tempeh, soy milk, miso, or soy sauce. If you are soy-free, however, we do have lots of options for you too. We have learned a lot about soy and are excited to talk about it and share its delicious and nutritious benefits with you.
So why do we love soy?
Soy foods have a number of health benefits that are backed by credible scientific studies. Plus, it is delicious, versatile, and cruelty-free! It has been eaten for many years all over the world, and is a traditional food for many cultures.
Soy is a complete protein.
Soy is a plant protein that contains all of the essential amino acids, also known as a “complete protein.” It is cholesterol free, high in protein, and not any significant source of carbohydrate or fat so it can be a great addition to many different meals, or eaten as a snack on its own depending on your needs.
Is soy safe?
Yes, soy for human consumption is totally safe (and health-promoting) as long as it is organic and non-gmo. Almost all tofu and soy products on the market are organic and non-GMO. However, most soy grown for animal feed is heavily sprayed as well as genetically modified, so you are indirectly consuming unsafe soy if you are eating animal products such as meats and dairy. All soy foods at Green Cuisine are organic and non-GMO, and we even make our own Tofu and Tempeh ourselves.
Phytoestrogens & Estrogen Myth
Fortunately, soy is totally safe (and beneficial!) for people concerned about estrogen related disease. Because the estrogen in soy is a plant estrogen, called phytoestrogen, it does not cause estrogen production in males or females. It is a myth commonly perpetuated by meat and dairy industries, but fortunately, unbiased science has found that we do not have to have these concerns. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and research has actually shown that the phytoestrogen can block excess estrogen production in breast cancer cells.
Who should avoid soy?
If you are allergic to soy, then it makes sense to avoid it. “A national survey found that only about 1 in 2,000 people report a soy allergy. That’s 40 times less than the most common allergen—dairy milk—and about ten times less than all the other common allergens—like fish, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, or peanuts.” So, while soy allergies are uncommon, it is important to avoid it if you are allergic, because like with any allergen, small amounts ingested can still cause troubles depending on the severity. It is more common for children to have soy allergies than adults, with the majority of these allergies being outgrown as they age.
Some soy foods are fermented (miso, tempeh) and some are not (tofu, soy milk.) Fermented foods can be beneficial for feeding healthy gut bacteria. Our gut health is directly linked to many of our body systems, so it is important to keep track of our gut health. Tempeh (and other great foods like kimchi and sauerkraut) is a popular choice if you are looking for a probiotic powerhouse.
Is soy sustainable?
It is very important to us that we are enjoying our food as well as caring for our beautiful planet Earth. There is a common misconception that eating tofu and soy products harms our environment, when (fortunately) it just isn’t the case. It is true that there is soy related deforestation happening in the world, but this is for soy fed to animal livestock. The soy that humans consume in the form of tofu and other plant-based foods makes up only 6% of the global soy production. By eating plant-based soy foods, you are consuming far less soy than you would indirectly from consuming animal flesh foods. A recent study suggests that “if everyone in America were to remove meat from their diet, there would be enough extra grain grown to feed 1.4 billion people!”
Does it taste good?
Next time you come in to Green Cuisine, check out our refrigerator- we have many varieties of our own tempeh, tofu, and other yummy things (both with and without soy) that you can take home and cook yourself. Tofu comes in a variety of firmness levels, for different culinary uses. It can absorb the flavour of savoury dishes, and soft tofu can even be used in desserts, too. If you’re here to dine-in, our buffet has some tofu and tempeh dishes, which can be a great way to try out a few different ways of having soy foods to see what you like best. We love the versatility of these foods, and that tofu and tempeh can fit in with the flavour profiles of many different cuisine styles. You can view today’s restaurant menu here, and you can sort it by different categories based on your dietary preferences.
What do you think?
What’s your favourite soy food or drink? Do you eat soy every day?
Please take a look through this information as a starting point. There are so many more interesting facts to know about soy!
Explain Like I’m 5: Why Tofu Consumption Is Not Responsible for Soy-Related Deforestation