• Call: (65) 6287 6268

Dr. Lai’s Mailbox


Chiu-Nan Lai, PH.D

Why is the consumption of soya product bad?

Soya bean has been a food necessity in the east for thousands of years. Products made from it include soya sauce, bean curd, soya bean milk, soya bean paste (dou ban jiang), tempeh (na dou), fermented bean curd, bean skin, soya mock meat (which existed only in recent years), soya cooking oil and so forth.

Ten years ago, my family and I visited Bob Canard’s nature farm in North California. My mother brought with her self-made soya bean curd as visiting gifts for Bob. To our surprise, Bob remarked that the bean curd was poisonous. When he saw our puzzled looks, he explained that soya bean in America during the 50s went through a process of radiation and had mutated to become a commercial specie called Glycine Max. Frequent consumption of Glycine Max would bring about coagulation of the blood, problems related to heart arteries and hair loss. When added to animal fodder, Glycine Max also gives rise to some animal defect.

He informed me of some written documentation as well. Since then, I rarely take or purchase soya products. He added that germinated soya bean and products made from it such as Bragg Liquid Amino could be consumed. (Editor annotated that Taiwan has soya sauce and products made from black beans.)

During the discussion on sea minerals with one Australian farmer in the beginning of this year, he had also stressed on the avoidance of soya products, unless the soya bean had been fermented for more than a year. Many years ago, Australian farmers changed their pig’s feed to soya bean. Within a few months, the skin of the animals started having problems. Six months later, 80% of the pigs died from liver blockage.

Recently, I visited an organic bean farm in Northern China. Out of the various bean types exhibited, most types turned clockwise through dowsing except for 20 odd soya bean species which mostly resulted in anti-clockwise turns with only 5 to 6 types resulting in clockwise outcome. It seems that the latter 5 to 6 types have not been “improved” by the experts but are traditional species passed down from our ancestors.

Soya bean is widely consumed in the food industry, and is a favorite of the agricultural enterprises. Hence it has been “improved” over and over with its genes altered. The soya beans consumed by our great ancestors were different from the ones sold in our current market. Therefore, being cautious of soya bean is a problem to be addressed in the second half of the 20th century.

America is the main country of export for soya beans in the world. As such, countries that import soya beans are consuming Glycine Max and genetically modified soya beans, including organic soya beans.

Milk or bean curd made from organic soya beans that has been soaked in water for germination could be consumed, but in small quantities and not frequently. According to ancient medical books, frequent and large consumption of soya beans, which is concentrated protein and starch, will result in blocked gas.

Are all bean products bad?

If the product is made from beans of traditional bred inherited from ancestor’s times, it can still be consumed. Examples include hei dou (black bean) sauce and bean curds made from green beans. However, one has to pay attention to any phenomenon that shows the destruction of protein quality in the course of processing. Are the addictives good or bad for the human body? The freshness?

Bean types are concentrated protein foodstuff. One or two soup spoonfuls would suffice per day.  Over consumption is not beneficial, rather it will lead to stomach bloatness or indigestion

What are the sources of protein that are of excellent quality?

All plant proteins are very good. The best would be unheated natural farm cultivated green plants, wild plants or ocean plants like green algae (Lu Zao). Consider the food source of 90% of animals on earth, what do cows and horse eat? What do the fishes in the sea eat?

Human milk protein constitutes a mere 5% of calories, which is same as that of banana and pear. Other fruits like lemon, honeydew and grapes have higher protein contents. Protein contents in vegetables are higher. Spinach has 49%, broccoli has 40%, and lettuce has 34% while Italian gourd has 28%. Other bean types have 23% to 29%, bean curd has 43%, cereal and grains have 11% to 16%, brown rice has 8% and the seeds of walnut has 12% to 18%.

World Health Organization recommends protein intake for an adult to be 4.5% of total calories intake per day. United Stated Department of Agriculture suggests 6% instead. It is very easy to satisfy the body’s need for protein. The common issue for people is protein in excess rather than deficiency. Comparing with heated protein, we only need one third of the same amount if it is unheated protein.

Two types of amino acid, lysine and tryptophane, dissolve when heated. Therefore, cooked food regardless of its protein contents would not be superior, as out of the eight required basic amino acids, two are missing.

As compared to others, greater variety of foods can be manufactured from bean products, and its taste is also better. Are there any similar substitutes?

Taste is habit. What Easterners consider as good soya products may not suit the tastes of Westerners. In actuality, soya products do not naturally have any taste. Flavours were blended.

Similarly, any fresh vegetables, roots or flower vegetables can be blended to the taste of one’s liking. Amongst bean types, we have many types like green, red, white and black beans, and all can be used, though in small quantities.

Germinated grains can also be made into many tasteful foodstuffs. Adding minced vegetables, sesame seed or sunflower seeds powder to grounded germinated wheat can make delicious dumplings and stuffing of a chewy feel like meat. Ethnic groups in the Middle East enjoy using broad beans and chickpeas to make into sauce dips or pastes for their cake biscuits or fried into dumplings to go along with the cake biscuits.

Dhal made from all colors of chickpeas are a major dish in Indian cuisine, where it is used to pour over rice. They can also be grounded into dough for dumpling.

In any case, taste can be changed, as long as we do not fear protein deficiency and deliberately replenish on “high” protein foodstuff. Personally, I favor a salad of all vegetable colors, in addition to that, seasonal vegetables, germinated sunflower seeds paste, some seaweed, fresh fruits, a small handful of nuts or half a cup of grain yoghurt. This would settle my requirement for a day. Resources on earth are depleting so we have to learn to take the most environmental friendly diet that is also beneficial for health.