Is Soy Good For The Health Of The Environment?

on April 06, 2019 / by

The world population has been growing at an alarming rate directly impacting the world's natural resources for basic necessities such as shelter, clothing and most importantly food. One of the food demands is met by animal meat, however, the supply of animal meat impacts the environment negatively putting pressure on the land and water while emitting greenhouse gases. One of the primary reasons animal meat is required in abundance is for animal-based protein that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including building bones, muscles, cartilage and skin; producing blood, enzymes and hormones and repairing body tissue.

Even with the increase in population and a massive demand the traditional sources of protein like meat, fish and dairy still dominate the protein market because of a highly developed industry and the ease of availability. Additionally, these sources have functional properties and health benefits that are supported not only by scientific studies but also by medical intervention. However, since they have a negative impact on the environment scientific studies have pegged plant-based protein as an appropriate substitute. Numerous vegetables and fruits punch in a high level of protein, however, they do not have all the essential amino acids that the human body needs, except for soya beans.

An  EAT Lancet Commission Study has pegged soy protein as a rich source of plant-based protein with an extremely high Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score, making it a sought after food product that is not only well-digested but also has all the essential amino acids to support growth and development. Though there are many myths surrounding soy protein, the one thing numerous research papers show is the environmental friendliness of soya bean production with efficient use of land, water, and energy. Soya bean also delivers the highest protein density for human consumption per amount of fossil energy inputs. And as the demand for protein increases and water and land resources become strained, the environmental sustainability of protein sources, such as soya bean intensifies as it has the smallest carbon footprint compared to other animal sources.

So as the world moves to more sustainable living, soy and soy products would be the best way to start your journey toward an environmental-friendly healthy lifestyle. Soy is the chameleon of foods, and can easily be added to any dish, whether sweet or salty, for breakfast or lunch or a snack or dinner. Here are a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of soy.

Substitute cow’s milk with soy milk 
Use soy oil in place of regular oil 
Blend soy yoghurt to make smoothies
Add whole soybeans to a salad 
Marinate soy for a non-traditional hummus
Swap soy butter for peanut butter
Stir-fry tofu for gravy and vegetable dishes

So in reality, soy is not only healthy and nutritious; but also incredibly versatile and tasty. It also reduces the carbon footprint making a positive contribution to climate change. So it is the time to switch to sustainable, clean eating. 

Until next time,
~ Heena

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