This came to mind recently. My boyfriend and I were discussing potential menus for a potential chef service. Since we both have schedules that leave us exhausted at the end of the day, and usually don't eat dinner until 10pm or later, we were looking into food alternatives from cooking huges batches ourselves, to using a weekly persona chef.
As we discussed food we like and dislike, the topic of tofu came up. The chef originally offered up the option since I was talking about how I want to stay high protein and clean with food. The boyfriend thought tofu would be a viable option, whereas I had other ideas.
I've heard so much marketing mucky muck about soy being this awesome source of protein and a clear nutritional winner. Honestly, I have other ideas.
Yes, you can make your own tofu, and you can make your own soy milk, but that isn't what you're buying at the grocery stores. That stuff is processed and it has additives. And many of the very things that are supposed to make soy good for you, such as vital amino acids, are denatured during this processing.
It's More Than Just Protein
First you have phytoestrogens, which are basically plant based chemicals that can act like estrogen in the body. Anyone who has had breast cancer are warned about soy containing products due to this and studies have suggested that it can affect testosterone levels in men.
On top of that, most soybeans grown in the US today are genetically modified. Personally, I'm a little torn on whether I care if something is GMO or not, but I know a lot of people care a great deal. Not only that, but from a moral stand point, most GMO seeds put farmers at a financial disadvantage. (See the documentary "Food, Inc" for the sad state of farmers today.)
All Things in Moderation
As with all things, moderation is key. People have tried to tell me that "Asians eat a lot of soy!" After studying in Japan and having dated a few Asian men (of varying degrees of "Asian-ness"), that's not exactly true. I like to snack on edamame with my sushi, and drink some miso soup now and again, but I would never make either a staple of my diet.