Soy is everywhere. It appears in almost any processed food product, in baby formula, as a main dish and a condiment, and even in animal products from animals fed soy (second-hand soy? No thanks!). Some even consider soy a superfood–but is it really that good for you?
The truth is that many people have soy sensitivities or allergies, and even if you don’t, soy can still have a negative impact on your health by creating hormone imbalances. Not so “super” anymore, are you, soy? In fact, hormonal changes are so well-noted in medical literature that they’re hard to miss. Some of the best examples of soy’s negative impact on hormones are delayed menstruation, endocrine disruption to match the degree of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, could potentially lead to breast cancer and pose a risk for those who have breast cancer, can suppress the pituitary-thyroid axis, and can drop testosterone levels in men. But, it doesn’t end here…it can affect our babies and the proper development of children: soy phytoestrogens could increase susceptibility to prostate cancer for our preborn baby boys, they could accelerate puberty in developing girls, and harm the reproductive system of females exposed to soy early in life (“…altered ovarian differentiation (i.e., multioocyte follicles), delayed vaginal opening, caused abnormal estrous cycles, decreased fertility, and delayed parturition”). According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. A recent study found that babies fed soy-based formula had 13,000 to 22,000 times more isoflavones in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula.” Thankfully, research is exposing the major problems with this popular “health food.”
Though it’s almost impossible to completely avoid hormone disrupting foods, environments, and habits in our modern age, removing soy can make a significant difference.
Here are 3 top reasons to avoid soy:
- Hormonal disruption to the degree of damaged reproductive systems, suppressed thyroid, and cancer
- Allergies and sensitivities causing immune response and inflammation
- Present in many processed foods that are better avoided in the first place. Soy is often given many different names, including “natural flavors.” Click here to learn some of soy’s different names.
There are many negative aspects of soy, but that doesn’t mean we all must avoid all soy at all times. I appreciate Sarah Pope’s opinion on her blog The Healthy Home Economist: “Please note that fermented soy in small, condimental amounts as practiced in traditional Asian cultures is fine for those who have healthy thyroid function. Only miso, tempeh, natto, and traditionally brewed soy sauce fall under this category. In addition, if you want to sprinkle a few edamame on your salad or have a few small cubes of tofu in your miso soup from time to time, that is fine too. A little soy lecithin in a nonGMO snack food from time to time isn’t necessarily a problem either. Just don’t make it a regular part of your diet!
If you have any sort of thyroid issues going on, however, it is really the best policy to avoid all soy all the time as soy is a potent goitrogen (thyroid suppressor) even if fermented.”
The truth is that I’m happy to avoid most soy, but I love certain soy products. Tamari (traditionally brewed soy sauce) and natto are two favorites of mine. I’ve tried to make natto (and chickpea natto) a couple of times, but it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a place to purchase chickpea natto yet as a soy-alternative, but my hopes are high! As for a replacement for soy sauce or tamari, coconut aminos do the trick!
Have you tasted natto? Have you tried to make it?
- Estrogenic foods, such as flax (another popular “health food”!) and soy can trigger precancerous breasts! 1.a.https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/soy-flax-estrogenic-foods-herbs-trigger-precancerous-breasts/
- A thorough list of scientific literature demonstrating adverse effects of isoflavones (phytoestrogens found in soy): 2.a.https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/studies-showing-adverse-effects-of-isoflavones-1950-2010/
- Dangers of soy formula and alternatives to it: 3.a.https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/why-babies-should-not-be-fed-soy/
Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.
She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and three children and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.
You probably wouldn’t believe us if we told you our “plans” when we started back in 2004.
No farming in our background, no knowledge of animals, no business experience, no house, no electricity, and no water.
Just bare land and a dad and mom with four energetic young boys!
Dad had the vision and the rest of us had creativity a desire to “be country.”
If you have kids bouncing off the walls who can’t get enough of being outdoors, you might be able to relate to how we felt living in town!
It took a lot of courage for dad to leave his teaching career at NDSU and plant our family flag in the uncharted territory of the Turtle Mountains.
Seriously, it couldn’t have happened without God’s faithful provision.
But here we are 15 whole years later still going strong and AMAZED at what has fallen into place along the way!
- 2004 – Moved to the Bottineau property with a popup camper and semi-trailer full of belongings and started building our house. Got our first two chickens “Lewis and Cluck”
- 2005 – Started learning to garden, raise goats, and grow our own food.
- 2006 – Built the upper stories on the farmhouse and started selling raspberries.
- 2008 – Got our first cow and sold broiler chickens.
- 2009 – Sold our first cow-share for raw milk.
- 2010 – Added a fourth cow and delivery routes to Minot.
- 2011 – Fought to keep raw milk cow-shares legal in ND and won!
- 2012 – Grew more animals rapidly due to Bakken oil field boom.
- 2013 – Bought additional cows for raw milk.
- 2015 – Added online ordering and more delivery routes.
- 2017 – Clarified our business values and the real food mission.
- 2018 – Focused on education and expanding real foods.
- 2019 – Celebrating 15 years of Bartlett Farms!
One of the most encouraging parts about growing the farm has been getting to know people like you and watching your kids being raised right.
Seeing children born and nourished from the earliest ages with raw milk formula, grass-fed beef hamburgers, pastured thanksgiving Turkeys and so much more!
Like Aubrey wrote to us about her baby:
“Thank you for the amazing milk I know I can trust cleanliness and production wise. I am certain that one of the reasons we had such a healthy and tall baby is the nutrients he got from the quality, safe milk we get from you guys that I drank like it was going out of style.” -Aubrey Y. Minot Air Force Base
Or hearing from satisfied customers about their beef delivery:
“First-time customer; half-beef ordered. Bartlett Farms performed exactly according to all that they told us to expect from them – from the timing and pricing of the order to the delivery details to (maybe the most important aspect) the QUALITY of product. Without exaggerating or trying to prop them up, I can certainly say this is the BEST beef our family has ever had…” Robert T. Fairdale
As we reflect on the past 15 years we want to say THANK YOU for making Bartlett Farms possible!
We are here because we believe God has created ways to heal and nourish that people like you are learning about and implementing in your families.
You know what a difference food makes, and we’re here to support you on that journey.
Let’s give a big cheer for the next 15 years and again, THANK YOU for being with us and partnering with Bartlett Farms and the real food mission.
Eggs are great for breakfast and at any time in between. They’re wonderful fried, hard-boiled, baked, scrambled…you name it! You can even find raw egg yolks in authentic ice creams, mayonnaise, and hollandaise sauce. I often add a few raw pastured egg yolks to milk kefir smoothies to nutritionally fortify them and increase their creamy texture. Delicious 🙂
Unfortunately, eggs are frequently demonized due to high cholesterol, problematic egg sensitivities or allergies, and because probably most people are unaware of the amazing beneficial properties of pastured eggs. Unless you’re sensitive or allergic to eggs, eggs of the pastured variety pack a nutritional punch that’s worth taking advantage of. In this article, we will highlight a few of the differences so that you can know the truth about eggs from healthy, happy hens.
>>Pastured eggs contain significantly more vitamin A, E, omega 3s, and beta carotene, and less saturated fats and cholesterol compared to caged supermarket eggs.
Let’s look at the results of a study by Cambridge University and what the results could mean for you.
- Pastured hens’ eggs contain 2x as much vitamin E as caged hens’ eggs. More vitamin E means less cell damage in your body and longer cell life because of its strong antioxidant properties, according to this article.
- Pastured hens’ eggs contain 2x as much long-chain omega 3 fats and 2.5x as much omega-3 fatty acids as caged hens’ eggs. Omega-3 fats and fatty acids give you many benefits, and, as discussed and sourced in this article, omega-3s improve eye health, promote brain health in early-life stages such as pregnancy and infancy, help fight age-related mental decline, improve risk factors for heart disease, reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases, may help prevent cancer, and the list goes on and on.
- Pastured hens’ eggs contain less than 1/2 the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids as caged hens’ eggs. Again, when omega-fats are kept in healthier ratios, the benefits above prove themselves to be worthwhile. The effects of omega-3 fatty acids are more pronounced when they are regularly eaten in proper ratios with omega 6 fatty acids, which help the body itself maintain a better omega-6:omega-3 ratio.
- Vitamin A concentration was 38% higher in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the caged hens’ eggs, but total vitamin A per egg did not differ. The egg size probably accounts for the unchanging total vitamin A per egg. Proper levels of vitamin A means healthy skin, reproductive health, eyes, immune system, bones, and can even reduce cancer risk.
An even more detailed study done by Mother Earth News had 14 pastured chicken flocks from around the country tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Oregon. They compared the eggs from pastured chickens to the official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, and they found that eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene
A couple more points for “food for thought”…
- Pastured eggs come from healthier chickens that in turn make you healthier; as we discussed in a previous article, one cannot reasonably expect to be healthy if he/she eats products from sick animals. This is just one more reason to invest in your health, your future, and, of course, your taste buds! Your body will thank you.
- When chickens are allowed to nourish themselves freely on pasture, yet another benefit is healthier grass and soil. Pastured chickens fertilize the ground making the grass grow even lusher for cows, pigs, or other animals to harvest later — no chemical fertilizing necessary.
Pastured eggs are far safer, more delicious, and nutrient-dense than their conventional competitors. They may cost more, but, at least in my household, it’s worth the purchase. Now go and make yourself some homemade Eggs Benedict and have some homemade ice cream from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. You won’t regret it!
What is your favorite way to enjoy eggs? Have you tried fermenting them or eating them raw? Let me know! I love learning about food and trying new things 🙂