By Ing. Agr. María Angélica Kees and Lic. In Soil Science Roberto Olivares
Soy, whether ground or cooked, is extremely acidic, so the peoples of the East who consume it daily almost never eat it without the grains going through fermentation processes. For example Miso, Shoyu; Born; Tofu
When trying to improve the diet of people and especially of poor popular sectors, care must be taken that the management does not cause damage that confirms the well-known saying: "The road to hell is full of good intentions."
Promoting the use of soy in human food, especially malnourished children and families in need, can become an example of the aforementioned saying.
Legumes have the ability to capture free Nitrogen from the air through symbiosis with a microorganism called Rhyzobium. This makes them interesting for several aspects: they produce grains with abundant protein and contribute Nitrogen to the soil.
Soy is a Legume.
And there is one of the keys to the error of promoting Soy as a food to overcome states of deficiency or food deficit: believing that all protein is ideal for the human body.
This is not the case. Soy, whether ground or cooked, is extremely acidic, which is why the peoples of the East who consume it daily almost never eat it without the grains going through fermentation processes. For example Miso, Shoyu; Born; Tofu
Miso and Shoyu are fermented for between one and three years and receive the addition of sea salts to compensate for their extreme acidity, which is harmful.
Soy proteins are difficult for the human digestive system to assimilate and cause, among other things, excessive gas formation and intestinal dilation.
In one hundred grams (100 gr.) Of powdered soy milk there are three milligrams (3 mg) of Sodium (Na) for one thousand six hundred and eighty milligrams (1680 mg) of Potassium (K), that is, a Na / K ratio of 1 : 500.
In breast milk this ratio is 1: 2.
Soybeans, to be cooked, must soak for 8 to 12 hours and then be boiled for 2 to 3 hours.
This leads us to add another aspect to the analysis: the cultural, ergonomic and environmental consequences of including soy in the diet.
People consume legumes: butter beans; several beans; vetch; among others but it is not customary to consume soy. They don't like the taste of it.
Why do we have to fight against a healthy habit to impose soy? When the beans traditionally produced in Argentina are healthy protein contributions and are produced in orchards and farms throughout the country.
Our beans cook (after soaking, if they are dry) in about forty to forty-five minutes maximum.
Why do we have to increase the energy consumption to cook a bean like soybeans, when ours require less energy?
Why do we have to cause more work to those responsible for collecting firewood in the field? Why do we have to push even harder on degraded native forests? (In order to boil soybeans for triple or quadruple time, relative to common beans, we need triple or quadruple amount of firewood).
In a country like ours, where cow's milk is easily obtained: Why do we have to resort to soy milk, which is complicated to prepare, requires time, training, elements and conditions of high hygiene?
Milking a cow or a goat is the most elementary and basic thing that every boy and girl learns in the field. He does not need more training than what he receives from birth, he does not need more elements than clean hands, a bucket and the action of "milk". Any child in the family can do it and feed everyone healthily.
Another point to consider in the promotion of soy for human consumption is that most of the soy produced in Argentina is of the "transgenic" type, which is not the same as common soybeans, since it was genetically modified to make it resistant to the application of Glyphosate (herbicide).
Do we know how much residue is left in the grain from the application of glyphosate and other chemicals?
Do we know the consequences on human health of this waste?
It is already known that the application of glyphosate changes the chemical composition of soybeans, for example, at the level of phenolic compounds, such as isoflavonoids.
GM soy contains 27% more trypsin inhibitor than non-GM soy. This inhibitor causes allergies and inhibits the digestion of protein.
Twice as many lectins were found in cooked transgenic soy (it also produces allergies).
GM soy can generate resistance to antibiotics. This is very serious for all people and much more for children with nutritional deficiencies. For all these reasons, we believe that trying to solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition in large sectors of the population with soybeans that are transgenic or that have not been genetically modified, causes unnecessary risks.
It is necessary to look for alternatives that are compatible with the health and culture of our people and that do not cause damage to the environment in which our lives develop.
By Edaphology Engineer Roberto Olivares.