Saturday, January 10, 2009

In this month's Ecologist, Pat Thomas dares to go where few journalists care to venture. She debunks the soya myth, which is like a central tenet in some kind of religion. Go to any vegan fair these days and you are being sold soya, soya and more soya. And where's the hemp at any of these? Hardly a single achene is to be found. Few seem to know or care about its Omega 3,6 and 9, or its high protein status, or its environmentally friendliness. The bottom line to these gurus is the dollar sign. Their greenness comes from the almighty greenback, the soya leaf their fig leaf; but their nakedness and ignorance cannot be hid from intelligent people.
Thomas is one who is not fooled by these do-gooders in cotton clothing. She points out fact after fact about this monocrop and leaves no doubt as to what is going on - even if the likes of Tamsin Osmond and her followers take over a church (St. Mary's in Primrose Hill) to preach the joy of soy. Like so many cults, it falls apart when facts are produced. Take, for instance, the claims about soya being healthy because people in the Orient eat it and are healthy. In some ways yes, but this is nothing but a generalisation. There are much higher rates of cancer, particularly cancer of the oeshophagus, stomach, liver and pancreas. And now, after decades of overkill, people in the West eat soya and are still unhealthy - even when we do not know it or want it. Soya has become ubiquitous, and iniquitous as well. For instance, it has found its way into infant formula milk, despite the reality that it contains isoflavenes, exposure to which may effect future fertility and reproductive development. A Harvard University study found that men who eat it have significantly lower sperm counts. Consumption of soya has led to more memory loss and cancer in our populations. And the production of soya is one of the major reasons for the loss of the rain forest. 90% of it is genetically modified.
So why are we eating it? Hype, and people want to follow hype, whether it is right wing warmongering or hippy trippy hype. Hype creates a movement, and subconsciously, people want to be part of a movement. Asking them to think makes them feel uncomfortable, and the leaders of the movement take advantage. Anyone with facts they try to exclude, as when Tamsin Omond's group Plane Stupid called the Ecologist to let them know they were not welcome to cover the campout at Heathrow last year. Little wonder that the Ecologist is becoming and entity non grata in some circles - perhaps a sign that they are doing something correct.
If you want a high protein, environmnetally friendly food that does not require processing at all and can be eaten raw, hemp is just the thing. And if you're in the UK, try some of the foods over at Yorkshire Hemp - and see what your're missing.


Mark Ski said...

Plane Stupid and Climate Rush are fronts, full of rich kids who protest when they are told they cannot fly, which was one of their bail conditions. They are especially hypocritical and nasty, they could care less that people could not get to wakes, medical treatment, or their jobs when they squatted Stansted.
I hope that Ryanair wins the £2.2m lawsuit and gets it out of their trust funds.
And, I bet not one of them is wearing hemp.

SoapBoxTech said...

Great article. Soy was one of the first crops to be over-run by GMO activity. Perhaps, in one small way, we are lucky that hemp has been under the radar for so long or it may have lost as well.