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Soy beans.

Botanical name: 

The labelling of soy beans as "health foods" is a very rich irony.

I've told people for years to ditch soy bean foods, soy milk and soy protein bars - soy is one of the most allergenic foods there is.

In addition, soy-bean foods induce straight-out hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) (as Paul Bergner has said on the herblist), which might get as bad as thyroid storms sometimes, as Michael Moore has outlined (also on the herblist).

Fermented soy foods aren't detrimental to our health; that's miso, soy sauce, and tempeh. Tofu is safe, too, but those four are the only soy products which in all honesty can be labelled "food". The rest aren't, and the labelling of them as "health foods" is an extraordinary irony.

So vegetarians and vegans tell me, yes, but soy beans contain all the various amino acids which we need. That's nice, but you know, if you would vary your diet, you'd get the necessary amino acids without hampering your body's thermostat: your thyroid. Which, when wonky, will make your life very uncomfortable indeed, and soy just isn't worth it. Especially as it does induce allergies, as well.

(Yes, I've tried soy beans, back in my less informed days. These days only miso and soy sauce get into the house: I don't like tofu, and I have no idea what tempeh actually is.

But way back when, I bought a packet of dried soy beans, cos, well, it's a legume and it is touted as "health food". So you boil it like any other bean, and try to eat it: it's completely inedible. You throw that portion out, and keep your dried soy beans, minus the one portion you've tried to make edible, for years on the top shelf in your kitchen cupboards. It's not as if you could throw it out, cos it's food ... and so you take it with you, one move after the other, until you tire of it, and finally throw it away: I'll never ever make anything of this anyway, why am I carrying it around with me?
And the vegetarians and vegans tell me that I didn't prepare it properly. I'm not interested - if it's more cumbersome than actually tasty beans (mmmm, pinto beans!) I simply can't be bothered.

... a hint to the silly-minded: soy beans are excellent ammunition for umbellifer blow guns. They're a bit oblong and thus won't fly straight, but hey, you might actually hit something if they flew straight, and you don't want to do that. Or at least, I don't - I use my blowguns and my slingshot to scare off the hares, pigeons and pheasants, not to actually harm them.)

Believe me, ditch the soy beans.

Related entries: Lifestyle troubles - Avoiding soy - Lycopus and hyperthyroid


Tempeh is cooked soybeans held together by the filaments of a nice mold. I wish I were kidding, and I try not to think about it when I eat tempeh at other people's houses.

There's a few more fermented soy preps that have made it into my kitchen, as I've been getting back to my down-home Chinese cooking roots:
-fermented black soy beans, aka salted black beans; make a lovely sauce with ginger, garlic and a bit of sauce
-fermented bean curd, aka stinky tofu or brined tofu; my family dips steamed green beans in it, and there's also a chili oil version
-bean paste, the Chinese analogue of miso; comes in varieties chunky through smooth, and my favourite has red chiles in it.
-I haven't tried natto, but that's fermented, too.

Inedible legumes are excellent for microwavable heat-packs. Which, incidentally, are also one of the few things microwaves are excellent for.

Thanks Persimmon, you rock!

Inedible legumes are excellent for microwavable heat-packs. Which, incidentally, are also one of the few things microwaves are excellent for.

Yup... microwaves are a must have for their heat pack heating capabilities alone. Rice also works, as does flax seed.