The trouble with (most) soy


Japan is among the nations with the highest life expectancy in the world, and many studies point to the Japanese diet as the secret behind this longevity. We’ve been encouraged to emulate the Japanese, increasing our intake of fresh fish, rice, vegetables and soy.

The problem is that Westerners already have a lot of soy in their diets, and it’s hiding in unexpected places. And our use of soy has very little in common with the traditional Asian foods that use this bean.

Foods such as Indonesian tempeh and Japanese miso use soy that has been fermented, which boosts the vitamin K2 level and removes some of the phytic acid in the bean. Sometimes referred to as an antinutrient, phytic acid can interfere with absorption of iron and other minerals, and can make protein and fat harder to digest.

Much of the soy in our Western diet comes from unfermented soy that has been genetically modified and often heavily sprayed with herbicides. In fact, it’s estimated that 81 percent of global soy planting is from GM seed.

Soymilk, a popular alternative to cow’s milk marketed to lactose-intolerant and health-conscious people, is one such unfermented product. So are soy flour, soybean oil and textured vegetable protein, products that are highly processed as well as lacking nutritional value.

Given this trouble with soy, Rose & Mary have chosen to limit its use to small amounts of the traditional fermented kind. Our delicious aubergine and miso crème uses organic, non-GM, gluten-free miso added just at the end of cooking to preserve its nutritional content. In this dish, you’ll get the true benefits of fermented soy: vitamin K2 and probiotics for gut health.

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