Now, in Argentina, soybeans teach how to eat ...

Now, in Argentina, soybeans teach how to eat ...

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By Luis E. Sabini Fernández *

In mid-2002, a meeting of dietitians and pediatricians convened by the very national government through Chiche Duhalde, warned of the food disaster that an uncontrolled ingestion of soy was causing, greatly tempered the propaganda unleashed by soybean about their nutritional wonders.

Error, which is so human, does not terrify, nor does ignorance that is equally so inherent to our limits.

Self-critical inability is, yes, a little more painful, but what is terrifying is when we see the story being made, drawing reality to make what is one of us the best and blaming others for our own defects.

Ángel Brito, on the page offered by the engineer Huergo in his Rural Clarín (February 24, 2007) manages to build an example of such intellectual twists.

"After the deep socio-economic and institutional crisis of late 2001 and 2002, and from the perspective of nutrition [...] Argentina faces a series of paradoxes."

Let's see what paradoxes our author talks about.

In 2002 and 2003 the country seemed immersed in a food catastrophe […]. Brito says well, "it seemed" because in reality it was more of an economic, economic-financial, economic-financial-Cavalian catastrophe. But here begins a peculiar writing of history: "Different sectors mobilized in a kind of crusade against hunger." If the crisis was economic and not precisely food, any crusade dedicated to solving the food problem seems more like a detour, a way of solving the inappropriate problem, of giving the fish to those who had broken all their fishing rods ...

It is the way of “creating” a solution that is presented as more direct but that in reality changes the axis of the perception of the difficulties and their causes: since the root of the problem is not being attacked, a solution that is false is being configured before a false problem.

Our man continues: “ It was the turn of thousands of dining rooms and community experiences, the boom in soy solidarity. " We have already said it at some point: the soy boom was processed by uprooting peasants from their lands, creating a current of expulsion from the countryside, and those new rural outcasts went to find their bones in the urban slums, joining old outcasts. When the soybean clan decided at the beginning of 2002 to give up 1 o / o of its production (about 30 million kilos, then) what it was doing was "washing away its guilt" with this gift for the responsibility in emptying the field and the consequent unemployment. Charity, and preventive. Nothing to do with solidarity, which occurs between equals. That they abuse a word still prestigious linked to the grassroots social organizations, of those who have no power, and avoid the word sadly associated with the "ladies who do fashion shows" to feed the "poor", is demagoguery in his most pristine political sense.

Well: they tried to "fill the belly" of the hungry and the move did not "close" completely because the official endorsement of the trick did not come out: remember that in mid-2002 a meeting of dietitians and pediatricians convened by the very national government to Through Chiche Duhalde, warned of the food disaster that an uncontrolled ingestion of soybeans was causing, he greatly tempered the propaganda unleashed by soybeans about their nutritional wonders (soy "milk", which is not such, because although white and liquid, the Soy juice lacks calcium; bean sprouts that are not such because they come from another bean, mung): in the final resolutions of this meeting it is recommended not to feed any baby up to two years with soy and during the rest of childhood incorporate soy into the diet with many restrictions.

Such conclusions upset the government, but above all the soybean clan, which decided to move on, with its invasion of mechanical cows supplying soy juice and their soy stews (an Argentine invention, because the Chinese never eat it like that, they always ferment it to decompose some parts that are indigestible for humans) allied with other private organizations (Caritas, boy scouts, Rotarians, "apolitical" vegetarians) dedicated to solving not the real problem; the "production of the poor", their pollution and their loss of purchasing power, but the problem derived from the lack of food.

After such a historical contribution from soybean to the filling of tummies, Brito confesses: “ barely more than three years have passed and we are in the presence of what several now call a ‘sanitary pump’. The National Nutrition Survey and the Risk Factors Survey suggest that overweight and obesity [sic] is today perhaps the most important challenge and priority objective of health and food policy.”

What is Brito missing? That three years after what he calls "soy solidarity" there is a problem of obesity, overweight. And we could add other dietary problems directly linked to the massive ingestion of soy: gynecomastia, decalcification (eg, lack of calcium for growing teeth), and so on. Apparently, he lacks the insight to detect the cause of such diseases ‘barely three years after the start’ the food “style” fired by whom he defends so much.

He does not establish easily perceptible cause-effect relationships but insists on establishing others that twist reality to hide responsibilities: “Brito may be very right, but what from the beginning is categorically true is his very phrase changing“ the government ”for“ the agro-industrial sector ”: what is antagonistic is agro-industrial development with growth with equity. Which does not mean that the government does not share such antagonism, but undoubtedly those who have advanced and made the point are precisely those of the soybean emporium, that is, those who have taken the Argentine countryside to a new stage in globalization by destroying local crops and possibilities of sovereignty and food quality, putting Argentine rural activity and life at the disposal of the great genetic engineering laboratories, turning a land, producer of excellent food for humans, into a forage producer with transatlantic destinations and now fuels, "food ”For cars.

Almost four years of management of the most important food program of this government, the need to put into action the results of the nutrition survey and the formidable situation of the agri-food sector should be reasons for construction rather than antagonism. An example has been given by this same administration [… when…] it decidedly implemented two programs to fortify milk first and flour later, with the aim of reducing iron deficiency anemia in childhood […]. "

Luckily Brito recognizes that agro-industrial businesses are doing very well and in his lines it appears that there are other diseases caused by food deficits, such as anemia. Instead of the repeated initial "obesity and overweight", we have already been registering decalcification, gynecomastia, anemia ...

This, the good. The bad thing is again looking for the solution where it does not correspond: inventing a false problem (another) to hide the real problems. In this case, the lack of food that has prevented anemia from time immemorial. In the Argentine food tradition, meat. Again, the devastation of the small peasants without bourgeois ownership over the territory, evicted from the local economies (which allowed to eat rabbit, eggs, lamb, chicken, mullets, fish, and the traditional barbecue) and who, cornered in shanty towns more or less urban, provided with boxes of "second-rate" food, they are trying to mitigate the worst of the inevitable consequences of the expulsion from the labor and consumer "markets" through "fortification" of milk and flour (separate chapter, the danger which means the “fortification” of flours that our bodies cannot administer, discarding their excess, with which our generous, pathetic authorities generate food problems due to overdose).

The government, by approving the fortification of flour and milk, what it does is accompany the process of galloping industrialization of the Argentine countryside, with the generalized contamination (by aerial fumigation, among others; the most deleterious), the transfer of food production from quality to commodities (that is, to production of very low food quality or directly destined for non-food), the destruction of local agricultural activities, so that the country can receive a rain of foreign exchange, which are mostly in the hands of the agro-industrial clan and a good cut in the government, with which they "manage" philanthropy and measure the displacement of the population so that "everything and bad" does not explode.

As there is no better way to avoid moral responsibility than to attribute to the other what is one's own, Brito tells us: “ We have repeatedly argued that the nutritional profile of the foods that are distributed in the classic box-sharing programs and the menus of most of the community kitchens have an 'obesogenic' bias, given by a high, perhaps excessive, caloric intake of low quality.”

I like the delicacy of "perhaps excessive." Paraphrasing Eduardo Galeano, we would have to say that ‘first they generate polio and then they sell you the wheelchair, but they clarify that it does not work well, so that no one thinks of discussing commercial honesty…

What is atrocious in Brito's speech is not his repeated denunciation of the criminal state (although he uses, as corresponds to his location, more velvety terms) but rather that he exculpates from the roots other social actors who are the true promoters of the crimes he denounces and of which the state is a sad side, at most legitimizing.

* Professor of the Ecology and Human Rights area of ​​the Free Human Rights Chair of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UBA, journalist and editor of Futuros.

Video: Whats a GMO? Are GMOs Safe? Learn the Shocking Truth (June 2022).


  1. Yolyamanitzin

    Well done, what words ..., the wonderful idea

  2. Verrall

    I congratulate, this excellent idea is necessary just by the way

  3. Sike

    I apologise that, I can help nothing. But it is assured, that you will find the correct decision.

  4. Ramsey

    Yes, I see you are already local here ..

  5. Maukus

    Thank you :) Cool topic, write more often - you are doing great

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