I never paid much attention to soy until we learned that my daughter is severely allergic to it. Have you read any food labels lately? Soy (aka guar gum, food starch, natural flavoring, vegetable oil, broth, vitamin E, lecithin, and on and on and on) is in everything. Yes, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. It's in things you would have never thought of, like tuna, chocolate bars, and nearly every vitamin or mineral supplement on the market. I finally found a chocolate bar yesterday that doesn't contain soy and it tastes good. Only problem is it costs about $3.50 for a three ounce bar.
While researching soy allergy, I found this very interesting and informative article. One of the things I found most interesting was this:
The increasing amount of "hidden" soy in the food supply is undoubtedly responsible for triggering many allergic reactions not attributed to soy. French researchers who studied the frequency of anaphylactic shocks caused by foods reported that the food allergen remained unknown in 25 per cent of cases. They noted the prevalence of "hidden" and "masked" food allergens and stated that they saw "a strikingly increased prevalence of food-induced anaphylactic shock in 1995 compared to a previous study from 1982".21 This period coincided with a huge increase in the amount of soy protein added to processed foods. (In fact, the amount has continued to rise. Per capita consumption of soy protein increased from 0.78 g/day in 1998 to 2.23 g/day in 2002, according to industry estimates obtained by the Solae Company which, in March 2004, filed a petition seeking FDA approval of a health claim for soy protein and cancer reduction.21a)
Here is my favorite (though perhaps a bit morbid) excerpt:
Some of the most allergenic fractions appear to be the Kunitz and BowmanÂBirk trypsin inhibitors. Food processors have tried in vain to deactivate these troublesome proteins completely without irreparably damaging the remainder of the soy protein (see chapter 12). Having failed to accomplish this, the soy industry has decided to promote these "antinutrients" as cancer preventers. To date, its proof remains slim, although cancer statistics might improve if enough people died from anaphylactic shock first.