Soy: A weed growing in Australia's Dairy Industry
Cow's Milk vs. Soy Milk and their allergenicity
Both cow's milk and soy milk are allergenic in their own right. Some people will respond to one worse than the other and others will be allergic to both.
The cow's milk we drink in Australia is quite corrupt in that it is generally made up of 40% A1 beta-casein (a possible culprit of heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia and autism) and 60% A2 beta-casein. A1 beta-casein may eventually become known as the "next gluten". Currently, gluten remains the only known culprit of any autoimmune disease. Ideally it would be good if our milk was richer in the A2 beta-casein, which is not associated with the lifelong, chronic and incurable health problems mentioned above. Thankfully most of our cows are grass-fed rather than grain-fed, which may explain Australia's lower rates (than that of many western countries) of dairy-sensitivity.
The soy milk we drink in Australia is also quite corrupt in that it is generally made from concentrated soy protein, and not whole soy (as is the case in most asian soy beverages). Much of our soy is still GMO-free, however despite that there are growing concerns due to soy's widespread use. Soy is a new food in our diets and may be a possible culprit for thyroid autoimmunity, nerve damage, autism and more. It is also becoming a common culprit for anaphylaxis, and all sorts of allergy and sensitivity problems.
Soy in Everything
Soy is now present in all manner of things. It is used in most prepared food products in the supermarket, served at restaurants and in everyday household items. It is extremely difficult to entirely avoid and I have to take my hat off to those that are ever-so vigilant about avoiding soy. Imagine that nice piece of salmon, lamb or roast potato (all of which are naturally free of soy) being inedible just because they have been cooked in generic vegetable oil or cooking spray! If you checked the label, you'd be surprised to learn that these oils usually contain at least one soy ingredient (or more).
To me, avoiding soy is like a bad dream. For some, however, it's a medical necessity and a situation of life or death.
Bread almost always contains soy. Over 95% of bread-related products made in Australia contain some soy ingredient, and soy flour is found in almost all shelf breads in the supermarket.
Soy in 'regular' Milk
Last week while at the supermarket here in Australia, I discovered some new products by Dairy Farmers, one of which is fortified with omega 3 (the other is not).
The products are known as Farmer's Best Original, and Farmer's Best source of Omega 3
BOTH PRODUCTS CONTAIN SOY!
They contain soy in the form of vegetable oil and soy lecithin. I'm assuming that the lecithin (due to its powerful emulsifying properties) is used to help prevent the milk and fish oil from separating. Soy is the cheapest and most readily available source of lecithin, which is used in all manner of things from cakes, breads, chocolate, cooking sprays, milk powders and more.
The soy industry is really becoming powerful. Derivatives of it are being put into all manner of things. Now I'll have to be careful when I look at a recipe in determining whether it is suitable for a soy-allergic person. I knew butter was sometimes a problem, but milk??? Seriously!
Thankfully I don't have any obvious issues with this widely used 'wretched' ingredient. However, I do know friends that do, and I know (for a fact) that when I'm completely off soy for long periods of time, a lot of aspects in my life improve. Most mainstream gluten free foods here in Australia are now loaded with soy flour or isolated soy protein concentrates. Vitamin E sources often include derivatives of soy, that are often undeclared.
The future of Soy
Who knows what the future of soy holds. I suspect that unlike gluten, dairy and other allergens, soy will continue to become more and more difficult to avoid. The soybean industry is becoming extremely powerful. The only way to make a meaningful change in this regard will be to stop buying products with small amounts of soy in them.
Honestly, does chocolate really need to have soy in it? Many people complain about palm oil and other additives being present in this luxury treat, yet most remain welcoming and accepting of the presence of soy lecithin (which by its very definition is an additive (a natural one, but still an additive that compromises the purity of chocolate)). What about cooking spray or vegetable oil?
Again, industry interests have taken over. Let's put them to task!!!