Soya: Saint or Sinner?
Three of the most common queries we get are:
- is soya healthy and safe to eat?
- what about the rainforests?
- what do I do with it?!
So a couple of years back, a bunch of us at Viva! and Viva!Health put our heads together, looked very thoroughly at the science - nutritional and environmental - and came up with lots of useful information for you. This included reputable, science-based health info AND a host of delicious recipes and a go-to feature on cooking with tofu! Click on this link to read all about it and make up your own mind.
- Soya has been a staple in the Orient for thousands of years. These humble beans are a nutritional miracle – high in fibre, complete protein and low in fat, amongst other things! People in Japan, China and elsewhere continue to eat large quantities of good quality soya in their diet, as do millions of healthy veggies and vegans elsewhere in the world.
- Keep soya as part of a balanced diet – eaten as part of a diet which includes healthy foods such as wholegrains, other members of the pulse family (lentils, beans, peas), lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, it has a valuable part to play in your diet.
- Eat unprocessed or minimally-processed soya such as cooked whole beans, tofu, tempeh and soya milk wherever possible – most of the recent soya controversy focuses on high rates of adulterated soya used as a cheap ‘padder’ in processed foods. TVP (soya mince/chunks) is quite processed. However... the occasional TVP-based veggie burger, sausage or the like is delicious and still healthier than than a meaty counterpart!
- Ironically, many meat-eaters eat a lot of of highly-processed soya present in ready-meals and junk food - and of course, most farmed animals are fed with soya, placing further strain on the planet's resources in the process. Indeed, with regard to the environment, 80 per cent of the world’s soya is used for animal feed – it isn’t vegans and veggies who are destroying the rainforests!
- Rearing animals for meat is destructive on both the planet and the world's poorest people – it devours resources that could be more efficiently used to feed us directly and be of more benefit to our health too!
For more useful information on all the above - including delicious recipes - check out these links
Sticky Tofu & Vegetable Stir-fry picture courtesy of www.corinjeavons.co.uk