Maxine’s Heavenly cookies are soy free because we want everyone to be able to enjoy them without worry. But why would anyone worry about consuming soy?
CNN created an extensive timeline outlining America’s tumultuous relationship with the controversial bean. Does it cure cancer or cause it? Is it a miracle source of protein or a poison? The article ends citing a report in 2017 saying that soy is fine.
But people have been going back and forth on soy since the 1940s. Many worry about the isoflavones in soy, which mimic estrogen, and there doesn’t seem to be enough studies in the world to quelch doubt. Where one study says it’s safe, another says it’s not.
Even if soy is perfectly safe, many people are allergic to it. Soy is one of the top 8 food allergens, putting it in a group that causes 90% of the allergic reactions out there. In the case of soy, the majority of those reactions are in children.
93 percent of soy is genetically modified. And the debate over the safety of GMOs is about as controversial as the soybean debate. A 2014 study by scientists from the Centre for Biosafety at the Arctic University of Norway concluded the following:
- Glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans contain high residues of glyphosate and AMPA.
- Soybeans from different agricultural practices differ in nutritional quality.
- Organic soybeans showed a more healthy nutritional profile than other soybeans.
- Organic soy contained more sugars, protein and zinc, but less fibre and omega-6.
- This study rejects that GM soy is “substantially equivalent” to non-GM soybeans.
But regardless of where you stand on GMOs, there are some serious questions about the health of a product that is covered in pesticides.
Speaking of pesticides, there are other chemicals to think about as well. While soy can be eaten as a bean, it often shows up in other forms as well. The list of things made from soy is long, and includes soybean oil. According to the US Soy Board, soy accounts for 61 percent of American’s vegetable oil consumption.
Whereas oils like olive oil are pressed, soybeans are “cracked, adjusted for moisture content, heated to between 60 and 88 °C (140–190 °F), rolled into flakes, and solvent-extracted with hexanes.”
Hexane is “an organic compound made of carbon and hydrogen that is most commonly isolated as a byproduct of petroleum and crude oil refinement.” Yes, you read that correctly. Crude oil. Hexanes are also used “in the formulation of glues for shoes, leather products, and roofing.” When you ingest soybean oil, you’re likely also ingesting some hexane. Same goes with soy lecithin, which is why we use sunflower lecithin.
Finally, soy can cause ecological problems. Not so much the regular soybeans, but Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans. Plants that are created to be resistant to particular pesticides are only good for so long. Within a few generations of the plant, problem weeds and bugs become immune and are a problem again.
It’s a vicious cycle that is bad enough for farmers who have chosen to use pesticides on their own crops, but these chemicals often drift over to other farms, wreaking havoc on their plants, land, and livelihood.
The Bottom Line
We want everyone to be able to enjoy our cookies. So while the jury on soy, GMOs, and chemicals used in/on foods is still out, we have chosen to steer clear by making our cookies soy free.