Okay, so, straight up: This blog is for you too, ladies.
First off, none of us want to be in a boob-growing contest with any of our male friends or partners. We have enough issues in that area as it is.
And, second, said friends and partners might not read this blog and may need some gracious woman like you to come along in their life and warn them about things like this that could negatively effect their masculine figures. After all, we’re really, really good at helping people out. Unless you’re evil. Or mean. Or hate babies, which probably falls under the ‘mean’ and ‘evil’ categories.
But, I digress…
Corn, meet Soy.
Since hubby and I moved to a rural area of the Midwest it’s shocked us to see how many farms grow soybeans. We expected the endless fields of corn, but soybeans? We had no idea there was such a market.
And all that soy growing everywhere really itched my curiosity nerve. Why were we growing so much soy? Where the heck was it all going?
I found out that the plant helps corn grow by putting nitrogen back into the soil, nitrogen that gets sucked out by that thirsty little corn plant. So, duh, rotating soy and corn is a no brainer for any farmer out there who wants to grow America’s #1 crop.
OK, so that answered the “why”, but left the “where” open. I don’t run into a whole lot of people who regularly eat masses of edamame or chug gallons of soy milk, so I had no idea where else this little bean’s destiny lay. I mean, I’m sure those kinds of people are out there, somewhere, but there aren’t enough of those types to single-handedly finance the soybean industry.
Then I found out where all those little beans went and the information pulled a lot of puzzle pieces together for me. So, even if you aren’t one of those soy-chugging folks, you’re in for a surprise, because
Almost everything you eat has soy in it.
TA-dahh! That’s right. Not just the obvious places, like soy sauce, soy milk, or soybean curd (i.e. tofu), but in your favorite fried foods, because vegetable oil is almost always 95% soy derived (even though soybeans are technically a legume and not a vegetable… but whatev’s. The FDA isn’t hardcore on labeling specifics anyway. Unless it’s about fat, then there are, like, ten kinds that all need their own line on the Nutrition Label.)
And dudes LOVE fried stuff. Hell, who doesn’t?
Fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, cheese curds, chicken tenders, corn dogs, french fries, onion rings… My mouth is watering just typing the words out. ::drool::
But, seriously, what’s the big deal about soy anyway, and why should anyone think twice about consuming it in great quantity? Well,
Soy has estrogen in it.
Actually, that’s slightly misleading. So, before you dart off, men, and try pulling off a deluge of man stunts to prove yourselves like the guy in the Summer’s Eve commercial, let me explain.
Soybeans actually have these compounds called isoflavones that act as the plant version of the human female estrogen hormone. Remarkably, they also resemble the hormone so closely that the body can mistake it for the real thing. When men ingest enough of these xenoestrogens (xeno = foreign), they endure sucky side effects, like:
- low libido
- impotence (aka erectile dysfunction, ED)
- low sperm count
- less muscle
- more body fat
Oh, and boobies! Most men love them but usually not on themselves, except in purely temporary and playful situations. (E-hem. Joey.)
But, if you start having an increase in breast tissue, guess what? Yep. Your testosterone is likely being shoved out of your body by the new housekeeper, Ms. Estrogen. She can be a real b… well, you know.
(This article by ChestSculpting.com does an awesome job of explaining the man-boob issue even further, if you want to read more.)
So, soy = estrogen.
There are an abundance of studies revolving around the consumption of soy and negative effects on male physiology from the brain all the way to, uh, man parts, though changes in breast tissue is one of the first signs of estrogen increase, since it’s the area of the body most sensitive to hormonal fluctuations (which is why many women’s breasts get tender during high-estrogen stages of the menstrual cycle).
AnabolicMen.com, “the World’s leading resource on everything related to natural testosterone”, can tell you all about those soy-estrogen-side effect studies in this article, so I won’t bother repeating their findings. My guess is they already know “men today have less testosterone than their fathers did,” so, ladies (and men), if you’re wondering why today’s generation of males seems less resilient, weak, or more feminine… there you go. There’s a biological reason for it, not just a societal one. (While I’d like to solely blame modern feminism for that disappointing result, alas, there is more than one culprit.)
If you’re wondering why today’s generation of males seems less resilient, weak, or more feminine… there you go.
Oh, and about ED: scientists expect it to continue to become more prevalent among under-40 men, which ISN’T normal. Not only more prevalent in the future, but it’s already “very high and is expected to increase substantially over the next 25 years.”(Source) Hm. That sucks.
My starting advice?
Ditch the veg oil.
Like I said, veg oil = soybean oil. That’s why I’m a huge proponent of olive or grapeseed oil, or plain, good ol’ fashioned lard or tallow.* That’s right: 100% pure F-A-T. I pour my pork (lard) and beef (tallow) fat drippings into a jar through a kitchen funnel outfitted with a folded paper towel to get all those yucky meat bits out, and the fats naturally separate as they cool.
See the picture of the jar on my kitchen counter? Notice that white layer on top? That’s delicious, natural, HEALTHY beef tallow poured off of last week’s ground beef. YUM!
You can buy chunks of lard at most grocers, however they’re usually from not-so-[dietarily]-clean pigs. I suggest you eat the grass-fed variety. Why? Well, not to be redundant about my mold phobia, but animal fat (yes, including human fat) is a depository of sorts for mold mycotoxins… I shan’t continue.
Grass Fed Animal = grass diet = no/low feedings of moldy hay/grain + natural mycotoxin-neutralizing ammonia1 (cow/pig urine when they pee in the field) = lower levels of mycotoxins in fat deposits.
Whew. That’s enough fake math for today.
So the next time you chow down on a plate of fried appetizers or pop a few edamame into your mouth, fellas, just imagine they’re little estrogen pills. For ladies. Having hot flashes.
So consume carefully.
1 – “Anhydrous ammonia was introduced on farms in developed countries as a high-nitrogen soil amendment, but later found use … in neutralizing mycotoxins”. Ammonia disinfection of animal feeds – laboratory study. 2008 Feb 29. WEB: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18155794.