April 01, 2008

Elliot soulful; me sweaty

Elliot here being the particular kind of darling that merits the "vignette" and "blur edges" effects in iphoto (the other advantage of those effects being that they deemphasize my just-back-from-run sweatiness).

This is mostly just to say that elliot is very sweet in this overall action, and that all day he kept reminding me of Almanzo from Farmer Boy.

However, since Amy asked, here is an article about the children/soy issue.  From what I can tell at a preliminary review of the topic, here are the things worth noticing. 
  1. We have the idea that soy is "healthy" and "natural."  While it may well be perfectly healthy, in most of the forms that American consumers encounter soy, it is incredibly processed, and no more "natural" than your average chemical additive.
  2. Also, there are major agribusiness interests involved in marketing soy to us, in convincing us that soy is (as above) healthy and natural, and in getting producers to use soy all over the place.  
  3. There are some concerns about the health of soy.  It seems that it has some "anti-nutrients" which in large quantites can hurt the body's ability to process calcium and protein, and some feel there haven't been adequate studies done to determine what should be considered harmful.
  4. There is also some evidence that soy, again in some undetermined quality, has detrimental hormonal effects, leading to weird thyroid functioning and, more disturbingly, weird reproductive/fertility function, even later in life.
If people have thoughts on it beyond that, I'd be interested to know.  It seems to be in one of those grey areas where you have to think about where your burden of proof is: is it more important to you that a food be "proven" healthy, or that it be "proven" unhealthy?

We eat soy, but not much, since mostly we eat tasty tasty meat.  But it occurs to me that I have clearly been absorbing the "soy=good" logic.  The few times we had to buy formula I remember thinking that maybe I should get the "healthy fancy good" soy kind--I had some sense that choosing soy was choosing better.  Which maybe it is, but it's also just choosing a successful marketing pitch.

Here, Elliot as skeptic; a familiar family role:


Amy E said...

Hmmm, interesting, about soy. My boyfriend with Restless Legs Syndrome and/or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, the same person who has been vegetarian/vegan for 26 years, just went to the Neurologist today. In addition to having low long-term storage of iron (a.k.a. ferritin), he also has low thyroid chemistry of some sort. So here is proof in my own life that soy may suck as much as anything else.

My dad's favorite employee is Vegan, and my dad likes to remind him about the processing/bleaching of soy.

It would be nice to be a monkey sometimes instead of having all these human choices, n'est ce pas?

Beck said...

We avoid soy. It's use in North America is very different that its traditional uses, and my daughters carry the genetic legacy of many women who have certain medical problems that soy MAY make worse.

For the most part, I try to avoid jumping on food bandwagons. The only way in which we eat substantially differently than my great-grandmother is the lower emphasis on meat in our diet.

Jenny said...

This comment has nothing to do with soy and is all about how cute Elliot is in those overalls. Elliot, you rock those overalls!

Sheree said...

1-Elliot is very cute in the overalls. (Oh how Jason would complain if I found an outfit that cute for Jackson!)
2-Check the ingredients label on the soy formula. It's loaded with the dread high-fructose corn syrup along with a whole family of manufactured food replacers. Babies need high concentrations of sugar, and if the base doesn't have any, its got to be replaced. The milk formula is a little closer to real food.
3-It's good to eat low on the food chain for many reasons. When I choose vegetarianism, I do so for environmental reasons. Processed soy products are probably no lower on the food chain than pork. That said, I'm a big fan of the edamame.
4-I work with a guy who believes that beef is the best food source because it's so highly concentrated. The cow has done the work of concentrating all its food into meat. I just wanted to share this idea. I guess he's right about the concentration. But I'm not sure I want to "concentrate" cowfood--grass, corn, rBGH, and antibiotics--yumm!

TH said...

I think it is OK to eat soy products occationally, but I was really careful not to drink soy milk or give the kids soy milk more than occationally. I am really paranoid about endocrine disruptors including pthalates and bis-phenol A. I never microwave tupperware or saran wrap because of the placticizers it might put into my food. I would much rather drink tap water than bottled water with detectable levels of plactisizers. I have been switching the kids over to glass cups because I hate to think of the nasties in the sippy cups. We got rid of all of the scented candles and strong smelling soaps because they usually contain pthalates.

The very interesting articles about pharmaseuticals and endocrine disruptors in parts per trillion concentrations failed to mention how many of the compounds on the list are in you house in much higher concentrations right now....I could really go on about this for much longer, but I need to do some work this afternoon!