The Era of Soy Imperialism and what your tofu is not telling you

“The American Soybean Association is promoting “analogue” dals–soybean extrusions shaped into pellets that look like black gram, green gram, pigeon pea, lentil and kidney bean. The diet they envision would be a monoculture of soybean; only its appearance would be diverse.”

                                                                                     -Vandana Shiva

It’s a strange thing that diversity is being artificially reproduced in this way: it’s as if we were removing our eyes out of our faces only to replace them with glass eyes that resemble our old ones.   

soy products

To begin to talk about this the silent conquest of the soybean I propose two questions: what has been the process of soy taking over the system? What has been lost to the growing dependence of soy? 
The first question begins with the diminishing diversity in our global society. In our incredibly diverse world, different climates, soils and plants give rise to particular food cultures. The fact is that the modern industrial agriculture systems would rather erase the complex indigenous ways and simplify to create mono-cultures of a a few types of food. The soybean has become one of these ‘super-foods’ that have been manipulated to erase the notion of diversity in food. Soy is now infiltrated in about 60% of all food products in the market. 

Vandana Shiva’s Stolen Harvest depicts the case of the mustard seed oil tragedy in India. She talks about the importance of this indigenous oil to the Bengalis, starting from the central place  as the main flavoring in the local cuisine in many regions, to the medicinal value, to women’s roles in cultivating the land to acquire the mustard seeds, and to the way in which smaller community based systems function efficiently and ensure food security. In 1998 there was a mysterious contamination of the mustard oil: in the name of ‘food safety,’ the community-based systems of food and health safety were quickly dismantled and note, quickly replaced by soy bean oil imports.  

Who has been made to believe they should eat soy, and what are soy products marketed as? Health food, meat is bad, soy can save you, you need not worry anymore.



One Response to “The Era of Soy Imperialism and what your tofu is not telling you”

  1. WOW!!! It seems there is no SAFE food!!! The food industry is changing the way we eat, heal, and get sick….wonder if they could direct all those resources to solving hunger in the rest of the world!

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