It’s not new to the scene, the lean, clean, environmentally green, superfood machine, found in many great cuisines, filled to the brim with protein, encourages trips to the latrine. Ladies and gentlemen, the soybean.
Let’s talk about soy. Over the years, misinformation has given soy a bad reputation. There are 3 main misconceptions about soy products and we have debunked all of them.
- Eating soy is bad for the environment
There are a lot of facts and figures floating around the internet showing how soy cultivation is threatening the Amazon. This is, in fact, true. The expansion of soy production in Brazil to ship to countries around the world has led to massive deforestation. However, 80% of soy grown on Amazon land is destined for animal feed. Globally, 75% of soy is used to feed livestock and only 6% is used for food for human consumption that is produced from whole soybeans (e.g. edamame beans, tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, or tempeh).
In terms of plant milks, when it comes to land usage and water usage soy milk ranks lower than almond milk and rice milk, and if locally produced, the carbon footprint may rank much lower than many almond, rice and oat milks found on the shelves here in Thailand.
(Disclaimer: As long as it’s not dairy then you’ll be doing your bit for the environment.)
So, if you want to save the Amazon and reduce your carbon and water usage, then eat more tofu, soy steaks and soy milk, and less animal meat, dairy and eggs.
2. Soy tastes bad
This one is easy to debunk! The @letsplantmeat burgers from the Vegan BBQ at our market did not sell out in less than 2 hours because they tasted bad! Soy is one of the main ingredients in these burgers (and in many plant-based meats) and they taste AMAZING! In Thailand especially, people really know how to make amazing tasting soy milk, tofu and soy products.
3. Soy is unhealthy
Over the years, a lot of misinformation about the healthfulness of soy has been spread around by competing industries citing that soy will disrupt human hormones. Soy contains phytoestrogens (plant hormones – not human hormones). Phytoestrogens in the human body are relatively weak and actually have many health benefits, such as a lowered risk of cancer, by ‘blocking’ actual estrogen. Products like soy tempeh are becoming very popular (for good reason) because of their health benefits, specifically the prebiotics which improve digestive health and reduce inflammation.
Soy is delicious, has an abundance of health benefits, a very low environmental impact and is a great source of plant-based protein!