Slate today had an article entitled Is Your Veggie Burger Killing You?, which is a response to the recent soy-food hexane-scare.
How worried should soy foodies be?
Maybe a tiny bit, but only because of the lack of data.
The article then goes on to say things like:
The hexane limits are precautionary. No study has ever tested how much hexane a person can safely eat over the course of a lifetime […]
The government has no evidence that this process is unsafe for consumers […]
There is no reference dose for ingested hexane […]
I have a reference dose suggestion. How about 0?
Anyway, the point of today’s rant is not against hexane, but rather against processed soy foods in general. Somehow, at some point, the public got duped into thinking that soy is healthy for you because it’s a vegetable protein and doesn’t have the nasty effects that animal proteins supposedly contain.
Soy is not healthy. Soy is an allergen for most people. And processed soy is especially bad. Take a look at why they use hexane:
Soy processors use hexane to divide the beans into fat and protein (PDF). The beans are cracked, heated, and rolled into flakes, which are soaked in a hexane bath to extract the oil.
So even if hexane turns out to be completely benign for humans, the fact that they need to use it at all (to extract stuff from the actual beans) should be a good clue that you should avoid the resulting food-like substances that appear on the ass-end of the factory.
If it doesn’t look like it came from nature at some point, don’t eat it.
Even better, next time you’re out with someone who orders a veggie burger because it’s supposedly healthier, say something. Feel free to use my suggestion:
“Oh cool, let’s go snort AIDS off a rotting dingo scrotum for dessert!