Submitted by, Dr. Guthrie’s T/Th 10:00 English 103 class
One morning in our English 103 class last week, a student brought in the Jan. 27, 2014 edition of the Coyote Chronicle. In it was an article titled “New Health Craze: Students Should Choose Soy over Animal Products to Increase Healthy Eating” written by Marlyn Rodriguez.
The reason that this article caught our attention is because we’ve been reading and watching documentaries on foods and how they affect us. So the question is , is soy really a “healthier” alternative?
Well, the answer all depends on whether the soy is organic or not.
Soy that is certified as organic is acceptable, and can indeed be a healthy alternative to animal products. However, 93 percent of the soy produced in the US (in 2013) has been Genetically Modified (GMOs); this percentage has risen from 17 percent in 1997 (USDA).
So, what exactly does “Genetically Modified” mean? “Genetically modified foods are those that are derived from organisms whose DNA has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally,” according to the World Health Organization.
So what is the problem with Genetically Modified soy? Genetically Modified soy is what is called “Roundup Ready”—this means that the seeds have been treated so that they both contain Roundup (a common pesticide whose main ingredient is glyphosate) and are resistant to being sprayed with Roundup.
Glyphosate is estrogenic—meaning that it produces estrogens in the body. “Genetically Modified soy baby formula is similar to taking four birth control pills a day,” according to wellnessmama.com.
These “phyto-estrogens” have been linked to: Higher rates of all types of cancers, breast cancer, birth defects, heart disease, early onset of puberty, gynocomastia, diabetes, more rapid aging, thyroid dysfunction, brain function damage and cognitive decline, severe liver and kidney damage and digestive distress.
Infertility can be passed down through several generations, as stated in a 2013 study. The study was compiled from a global network of independent scientists, toxicologists, beekeepers, environmentalists, governments, industry, and regulators on glyphosate cited in the Huffington Post.
If GMOs do all of these horrible things to our bodies, why are they still in our foods? GMOs have been banned in many places all over the world, including the UK, all of Europe, Canada, China, Australia, Greece, Mexico, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, according to The Nation.com.
However, in the US, “Our current system of industrial agriculture and pest control relies on chemical inputs sold by a handful of corporations […] these same multinational corporations wield tremendous control over the entire system from crop selection through the distribution chain,” according to Panna.org.
Where is all of this GMO soy in our foods? It’s found in pretty much everything, including fast foods, vegetable oils, all processed foods, such as pizzas, Hot Pockets, Top Ramen, any frozen meals, protein bars, chips and other snacks, as well as vitamins, citrus flavored sodas, baked goods, margarine, flavored milk, and baby formula. So when its suggested that students consume more soy, given the nature of college students’ diets, they are actually already consuming vast amounts of this GMO soy.
You decide—do you want to eat soy?