how much soy is too much soy?

Written by Evan Embree

When switching to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it is easy to rely on pre prepared frozen meat “imposters” as a way of satisfying that protein craving.  From meatless hot dogs to frozen “chicken” nuggets, there are a plethora of options to choose from. However, there is a downside to all of this convenience – these products are often packed with soy, an ingredient that has been quite controversial in the dietary world.  Soy is also present in a number of other foods marketed as healthy meat alternatives, including tempeh and tofu.

Jon Baron of The Baseline of Health Foundation writes in this article about the possible dangers of the overconsumption of soy.  The main concern is that of all regularly consumed foods in this country, it has the highest concentration of phytoestrogens – estrogens that are present in plants, but not created within our endocrine systems.  In small doses, they do not pose a threat and can actually be good for the body, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. When soy makes up a large part of your diet, you are putting yourself at risk for infertility in men, and women risk endometriosis and abnormal bleeding.  Studies show that consuming a just a couple tablespoons of soy a day can also impact thyroid function. Soy milk consumption has also been linked with poor cognitive function and memory loss. While it may not be necessary to cut it out of your diet altogether, it is important to be aware of your body and pay attention to what you are putting into it.

Soy Milk

Here at Irregardless Cafe and Catering, we pride ourselves in providing a variety of nutritious vegetarian and vegan dishes that do not depend on soy products.  For example, we offer a variety of mushroom-based dinner entrees, the Wild Mushroom Polenta and the Portobello Stack. Mushrooms are a good source of protein and are also low in carbohydrates, making them a staple in a meatless diet.  We are also featuring a brand new Oyster Mushroom Po’boy Sandwich at lunchtime.

Wild Mushroom Polenta

Portobello Polenta

Oyster Mushroom Po Boy Sandwich

Our unique Chile Relleno dish is also packed with protein because it is served atop a house-made black bean and quinoa patty.  Along with these entrees, we offer lentils as a side – which is a great way to achieve a well-rounded meal.

Chile Relleno

A great deal of our ingredients are locally sourced from our own Well-Fed Community Garden just three miles from the restaurant on Athens Drive.  No chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used there, and all produce is grown completely organically through crop rotation, companion planting, and helpful insects and microorganisms.  The garden provides us with a variety of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, teas, and both edible and cut flowers, along with housing honey bees and chickens naturally and humanely.

Vegetables at The Well Fed Community Garden

If you are interested in learning about organic farming, we welcome volunteers on Thursday mornings and host wine tastings on Thursday evenings – learn more here.