After starting to type “soy…” into google, I got a quick suggestion of “soy milk dangers” and I immediately chuckled. Anyone who is saying that “soy products are harmful to you! Don’t drink them!” are just trying to sell you something in its place. I promise. As with all health-media frenzies, it is about controlling a multi-billion dollar industry: FOOD. We all think that nutrition scientists have something important to tell us, but they really don’t. As long as you eat and drink products that are as close to natural as possible, and in moderation, you will be fine. But avoid too many modified products, because you don’t want scientists getting between you and your food, right?
Sometimes I drink Vitasoy, which is a Hong Kong company’s export to the Mainland. The Original flavor is pretty low in sugar and contains no GM soybeans. [Genetically Modified] Sometimes I’ll drink 100% fruit juice from Huiyuan, a chinese juice company, and it is not cheap compared to other juice alternatives. (Coca-cola attempted to buy Huiyuan a year ago) But that is the reality of the modern grocery store; companies often disguise corn-based additives, sugar, and water by putting a flashy, fruit-cornucopia label on it. Spend a little more on real food now, so that you spend a little less at the doctor’s office later.
I’m not sure where this all came from, but while I was growing up in Middle-America 1990s, I specifically remember people getting called out as “Health Freaks” or “Health Nuts.” For whatever reason, which I’m finding bewildering today, a person who chose to eat Toufu or drink Soy products was trying too hard to be healthy. As clear as day, I remember other kids saying “my mom drinks soy milk at breakfast and its gross!” Another would say “What a health freak!”
Well, we all avoided those too-healthy things and stayed in the safe zone. Phew! But what is so scary about soy milk? I drink it a few times a week now that I’m in Asia. Its popular with children here too. Its part of a balanced breakfast, which also includes porridge(congee), hard boiled eggs, scallions and salty tubers. It’s delicious with a little bit of sugar too. (And I’m sure its healthier than coffee!)
As I enjoy the Asian diet everyday here, I find that a lot of my Western diet starts to disappear. I only eat toast with peanut butter because I miss home sometimes. I only eat a large hamburger or pizza when I go on a pricey date with my girlfriend. I eat chips with salsa or dip when I’m home for Christmas. Sandwiches have lost their flavor for me. Salad is also flavorless, and is nothing more than uncooked vegetables in my mind. I’m not a health nut, I just like Asian food better.