Soy-based products are often promoted as viable replacements for meat sources over environmental and ethical concerns. But it doesn’t end there; soy products have slipped their way into every day food sources and could be having a detrimental impact on a societal scale. Much brouhaha has surrounded these products — but are the alarmists in the wrong?
As part of our long-running series on foods you should and shouldn’t be eating, including foods that boost or lower your testosterone, we’ve considered some of the myriad ways that the modern world is conspiring to rob you of your health and vitality.
We’ve already seen, for instance, the awful effects of xenoestrogens, ubiquitous industrial chemical compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the human body. In this article, we’ll consider soy, a foodstuff we’ve already mentioned in our article on foods that lower your testosterone.
Soy: What’s The Big Deal?
Although soy is a potent phytoestrogen — something we have written about in the past — it has other deleterious effects besides lowering your testosterone. Drinking a diet of liquid soy will damage your facial physiognomy, and large-scale soy cultivation, despite what the activists for vegetarianism and veganism say, is also massively damaging to the environment.
As noted in our article on 5 Foods That Lower Testosterone:
Scientific research has shown that regular consumption of soy products like edamame, tofu, soy milk and miso may also lower testosterone levels.
For example, one study in 35 men found that drinking soy protein isolate for 54 days resulted in lower testosterone levels [R].
As well as lowering testosterone levels, soy consumption has also been found to reduce male fertility [R].
A Side Note on Popular Anti-Soy Memes
I MUST CONSOOM THE SOY!
No doubt you’re already familiar with the pathetic figure of Soyjak, one of the many variants of the original Wojak meme. You’ll recognise Soyjak by his bald head, wispy beard and glasses. If you don’t encounter him at repose, you’ll probably find him bawling his eyes out over some form of injustice – NOOOO! YOU CAN’T JUST DO X / NOOO! NOT THE HECKIN’ Y! – pointing open-mouthed to a food truck or product billboard some distance away, or holding a new games console in his hand, a post-vasectomy gift from his ‘wife’ perhaps.
An overgrown child with no real preferences or character of his own, Soyjak must consoom an endless succession of corporate products to animate and validate himself and his otherwise entirely empty life.
The hilarious thing is, of course, that Soyjak really does exist. Like Wojak himself, he is an archetype of a new type of ‘man’, one created by a new type of environment flooded with chemicals and social practices that are toxic to traditional masculinity. In our ongoing series in advance of our book Reclaim Your Masculinity, we’ve been examining a variety of harmful compounds such as phytoestrogens, xenoestrogens and foods that will cause your testosterone levels to sink faster than the new Ghostbusters remake.
Put simply, Soyjak is what he consumes – nothing more. And, as the name suggests, one thing Soyjak consumes a lot of is soy. Just what is it about soy that makes it so bad (assuming, that is, that you want to be a red-blooded man and not a simpering, flabby puppet of corporate interests)?
Soy, Testosterone and Fertility
OMG IT’S SO MUCH BETTER THAN REAL MILK!
Be in no doubt: soy is bad for your testosterone levels and fertility if you’re a man.
But hang on: what’s so important about testosterone?
Testosterone is the hormone most associated with masculinity, and although it’s also important to women’s bodies and their health, the increased levels of testosterone in the male body are responsible for the host of traits that make men men, rather than women.
Body hair, muscle mass, bone density, strength, aggression, dominance and competitiveness – increases in all of these things are associated with increased testosterone in men.
Falling testosterone levels are a fact of life for all men as they age. After the age of 30, a man can expect to lose 1% of his testosterone every year for the rest of his life.
But the natural reduction all men can expect to suffer pales in comparison with the society-wide collapse in testosterone levels that has occurred over the second half of the twentieth and the first quarter of the twenty-first century.
Men today have considerably less testosterone than men of the same age even a single generation ago.
A 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a significant reduction in the testosterone levels of men since the 1980s. A 60-year-old American man in 2004, for example, had 17% less testosterone than a 60-year-old American man in 1987.
These findings were corroborated in a study of Danish men, who displayed a two-digit decline between the 1920s and the 1960s.
Apart from taking a blood test to establish whether you have low T, there are various symptoms you’ll experience if you have low T.
The main symptoms include:
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fertility problems (inability to conceive)
Boys with low testosterone may develop slower, with little or no body hair, under-developed muscles and smaller penises; and men with low T will have difficulty building muscle, no matter how hard they try.
In extreme cases of low testosterone, usually referred to as hypogonadism, men may also develop breast tissue (gynecomastia) and osteoporosis (reduced bone density).
Hypogonadism has a variety of causes, which include:
- Certain genetic disorders
- Pituitary disorders, including pituitary tumours and injuries
- Inflammatory diseases
- Obesity and also rapid weight loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Steroid use
Obesity, in particular, is an increasingly common cause of hypogonadism.
For more information on how you can determine whether you have low testosterone, you can check out our article on the subject.
The low testosterone epidemic doesn’t just end with dire physiological effects, but low testosterone in men can have far-reaching consequences and wreck their mental health.
But it doesn’t have to be this way; for most men, boosting their flailing T levels can be remedied by losing a little fat and being a little more active.
If you need a little helping hand, you can check out our article on 20+ strategies to raise your T levels.
Failing this, we recommend that you consult your physician as to what can be done as raising your natural testosterone production will improve your quality of life.
Soy is what is known as a phytoestrogen, a plant product that mimics the effects of the female hormone estrogen in the human body. No wonder, then, that scientific research has shown that regular consumption of soy products like edamame, tofu, soy milk and miso may cause a drop in testosterone levels. For example, one study in 35 men found that drinking soy protein isolate for 54 days resulted in decreased testosterone levels. [R]
As well as lowering testosterone levels, soy consumption has also been found to reduce male fertility.
‘There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods (95% confidence interval = -74, -8; P, trend = 0.02)…
‘The inverse relation between soy food intake and sperm concentration was more pronounced in the high end of the distribution (90th and 75th percentile) and among overweight or obese men. Soy food and soy isoflavone intake were unrelated to sperm motility, sperm morphology or ejaculate volume.’ [R]
So not only does consumption of soy reduce your sperm count, but this problem becomes even worse if you’re overweight or obese. It’s worth remembering, as we’ve said elsewhere, that fat tissue itself is estrogenic, and this is probably why being fat compounds the effects of soy on male fertility.
Chet Yorton used to take soy protein powder in the early days, but then he wasn’t as bombarded with estrogenic chemicals as we are today, nor was he otherwise a vegetarian or vegan
Interestingly enough, soy protein used to be a popular protein powder in the Golden Age of bodybuilding. However, it has since been recognised as an inferior quality protein, with low bioavailability compared to whey and milk and egg proteins.[R]
Sorry, vegan gainers: you’d be better off sticking to meat.
OMG! SOYLENT TRUCK! OM NOM NOM
What Has It Got To Do With Your Facial Structure?
When you see or hear the words ‘soy face’, you inevitably think of the hideous, cloying facial expression pulled by Soyjak every time he learns that a new corporate product has dropped for him to consoom. OMG NEW KOREAN KIMCHI SOYLENT MOUTHWASH! GOTTA TAKE A PICTURE OF MYSELF WITH MY MOUTH OPEN! EMOJI EMOJI EMOJI!
The social-psychological aspects of this facial display deserve some comment. It’s long been known that in the chimpanzee world opening one’s mouth and displaying the teeth is essentially a sign of subservience: I am a friend, not a threat. [R] A ‘submissive grin’, as it’s called:
‘The bared-teeth display, also referred to as the fear grin, or grimace, is one of the most conspicuous and well-studied facial expressions in ethology and has been reported in a variety of mammalian species from canids to primates. Research has shown, however, that the communicative function of this expression can differ quite broadly depending on the species, their type of social organization and social context. In wolves, for example, retraction of the lips horizontally over the teeth results in a ‘submissive grin’ which is used by cubs and subordinates when actively greeting adult conspecifics, or humans’ [R]
Why would humans be so different? We are, after all, naked apes, as Desmond Morris put it in his famous 1967 book.
Desmond Morris with a baby chimp
Essentially, what Soyjak is saying with his soyface is: I am a good man, not like those other bad men. Because Soyjak has no way of ascending the traditional dominance hierarchy of males, based as it is upon physical dominance, aggression and prowess (but also, let it not be forgotten, cooperation, self-sacrifice and very often serious privation too), he must find another way to get ahead in life. He does so by rendering himself totally harmless, at least ostensibly, and conspiring in the downfall of traditional masculinity.
By doing so he hopes to emerge from the ruins of tradition attractive to the opposite sex – an otherwise impossible task. Funnily enough, though, all this soyfacing and constant declarations of being free from the stain of ‘toxic masculinity’ – ‘I’m with HER!’ / ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ / ‘I voted Hillary’ – don’t make these men immune from the sexual assault accusations that are supposed to be the exclusive province of unreconstructed men – in fact quite the opposite. [R] But that’s a matter for another day…
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
When I write ‘soy face’ in this context, though, I’m talking about the deleterious effects of liquid soy consumption on the human face. This should hardly be a surprise. Dr Weston A Price, the famous physiologist, wrote about the phenomenon of physical degeneration, especially facial degeneration, in his landmark 1939 study, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Price showed the devastating effects for native populations of the transition from their ancestral diets to the modern, Western diet, especially the introduction of grain consumption for the first time. Where the natives eating their ancestral diets had strong and properly formed jaws, with evenly spaced teeth without decay, the younger generation, now eating a largely imported Western diet, had narrowed faces, malformed dental arches and crowded jaws full of teeth that were crooked as a politician and riddled with decay.
The effects of physical degeneration were shown by Price in a series of photos posing different generations and also siblings against one another. One side illustrates the effects of the native diet, the other those of the modern.
Part of the problem with these modern diets, as Price recognised, is that they are too soft. Our ancestors would spend hours a day chewing their food – bone, cartilage and connective tissue, tough cuts of meat – as well as using their teeth and jaws for practical tasks like working leather and other handicrafts, whereas we moderns essentially slurp our food.
As well as forgetting how to chew in the first place, many of our foods, especially soft grains, barely require any chewing at all; even our modern meat preferences, for fillet over flank steak say, predispose us to the least amount of chewing possible. And so, as a result, the musculature of the jaw and face do not develop as they should, leading to the effects Price documented.
The muscles of the jaw involved in chewing
Use it or lose it, or so the saying goes: this is precisely the risk of a liquid diet. If you don’t use the muscles of the jaw for mastication AT ALL, then the muscles aren’t going to stick around. In our ebooks we’re often at pains to emphasise how metabolically expensive the maintenance of muscle tissue is, and it’s for this reason that your body will move to get rid of muscle it feels it doesn’t need.
An essential of the struggle to be muscular, then, is to ‘convince’ your body it needs the extra muscle through the constant targeted application of stress and proper nutrition and recovery.
Doesn’t Just Lower Your Test Levels — You Will Look Less Manly
The effects of an all-liquid diet can be aptly illustrated by the founder of Soylent, Rob Rhinehart. On the left, at an early stage of his journey to the status of a fully automated luxury liquid Redditor, we see that he is still recognisably possessed of a jaw; on the right, further down the line, we see his transition to chinless wonder proceeding at a pace.
Rob Rhinehart, founder of soylent, before and after a life of only liquid food
Basically, if you subsist on a liquid diet, you’re doing the opposite of what all those looksmaxxers with their mewing and mastic chewing are doing. If you want to have a jaw, you’re going to have to eat solid food: it’s that simple.
The Legendary Drink is a Concoction of Nutritional No-No’s
It’s worth adding, too, that the nutritional content of Soylent is basically garbage. Although Soylent may have improved on the meal-replacement products of the 1990s, the basic ingredients are as follows:
- Soy protein isolate
- High oleic canola oil
- Soluble corn fiber
- Modified food starch
In my last article, I talked about the evil that is vegetable oil. Well, the entire fat content of Soylent comes courtesy of the truly satanic canola oil, seen here in a ‘high oleic’ version supposed further to con you into believing that it is in fact healthy. Besides the soy content, this is reason enough not to consume Soylent.
In addition, the general macronutrient balance of Soylent is 1:1:2 for fat, protein and carbs, which is perfectly acceptable if all you’re intending to do is sit at a desk all day, sending passive-aggressive emails to HR. But if you’re an athlete or even just an active person, this won’t do at all and no amount of Soylent shakes will be of benefit to you, beyond providing you with your bare caloric needs – and there is much, much more to being healthy than consuming a set number of calories a day.
At the very least, you’ll have to add other foodstuffs to your diet, meaning you won’t be able to be authentically Reddit. We suggest you don’t buy the stuff in the first place and just try to eat like a human instead.
We recommend that you purchase our bundle on nutrition so that you avoid succumbing to prevalent diet fads.
It contains a cookbook, complete illustrated diet planner, and a book on keto. Click here if you wish to improve your diet.
The impact of soy monoculture
NOOOOO! YOU CAN’T JUST POINT OUT THE HYPOCRISY OF VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS! I’M REALLY A NICE GUY!
Finally, it’s worth saying something about the terrible environmental effects widespread soy cultivation, often referred to as ‘soy monoculture’ (where soy is the only, i.e. mono, crop grown), is having on some of the world’s most fragile natural environments, especially the precious Amazon – the ‘lungs of the world’.
Contrary to what many vegans and vegetarians will tell you, the ethics of replacing livestock agriculture with an entirely vegan alternative aren’t quite so simple.
Here’s a quotation from the WWF’s website on the soy industry.
‘Without proper safeguards, the soybean industry is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe. To ensure that soybean expansion does not further harm natural environments and indigenous communities, WWF is encouraging the development of better production practices. We call for transparent land-use planning processes and promote responsible purchasing and investment policies.’ [R]
Soybeans are big business, and as a result soy cultivation is one of the major drivers of deforestation in the Amazon basin. As well as being used to produce your favourite soymilk, seeds from the soybean plant provide high-protein animal feed for livestock. In fact, 80% of Amazon soy is destined for animal feed. Today Brazil has 24-25 million hectares devoted to the growth of this crop, and is currently the second largest producer of soybeans in the world. [R]
On one side, rainforest; on the other, soybean plantations
In 2006, Greenpeace and other environmental groups traced the impact of the global supply chain of soy, from commodities consumers like Cargill and McDonalds, two of the largest soy-consuming companies, to the Amazon rainforests of Brazil. The negotiations that followed resulted in the so-called ‘soy moratorium’, a collaboration that prevented purchase of soy from recently converted rainforest. [R]
While this moratorium on soy was welcome news, deforestation of the Amazon, including as a result of soy monoculture, continues and is only likely to grow in pace as commercial demand for vegetarian alternatives to meat increases, whether artificially stimulated (i.e. by the sort of farming crash Bill Gates appears to be attempting to precipitate in the US by buying up vast swathes of agricultural land) or through natural increases in demand as people turn their backs on less supposedly ethical foods like meat and dairy.
Similar things could be said about Soyjak’s other favourite foods like avocados, now directly implicated not only in water crises in Mexico but also in cartel violence [R], and nut milks, like almond milk, which require massive amounts of water to produce and are also leading to water crises of their own. [R]
So there it is, as if any further evidence were needed that deriving your morality from Reddit was a good thing. Resist the soy-ification of your body and your mind!
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