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Broccoli? Bad for you? Soy?  RSS feed

 
Tuco Jacobs
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As is always the case, whenever I try to find evidence that a certain food is bad for you, all I find is that Google is over saturated with articles stating the contrary.

I've heard Paul say that he avoids broccoli. Why is that? I'm trying to find articles about research that proves that broccoli is bad, but all I found is articles with much more "Google juice" that say that broccoli is an amazing superfood. Can someone please post links to articles with this info?

And soy too...

And grain... and any other foods that are often sold as "healthy" but are actually bad for you.

My niece is going to school to be a nutritionist, but she is showing interest in the "truth" behind food, not just the story that is sold to us by usda, fda, Monsanto, etc
 
John Wolfram
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What does "bad for you" mean?

Water is often considered "good for you" but drinking too much of it (not drowning, just drinking) can kill you. At the same time, Arsenic is often considered so "bad for you" that it is labeled as a poison, but if you don't get enough of it in your diet you'll have serious health problems.
 
R Scott
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Broccoli can be bad for you IF you have a thyroid disorder.

Unfermented soy has pseudo estrogen and lots of hormone disruptors.

Grain can cause acid conditions in the body and overgrowth of bad gut biology.

Most of the problems are as much a symptom of industrial food processing as the food itself. Fermented soy, soaked grains, sourdough, and traditional food preparation methods are usually healthier.
 
Dale Hodgins
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George Bush senior stated publicly, that he was president now and would no longer be eating broccoli.  They sent him a truck load. My daughter who was three at the time, said "maybe George Bush's mother didn't know about putting cheese sauce on it."
 
Bill Crim
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Paul avoids standard store bought broccoli because it has such a long shelf life. His though process is that if the bacteria don't think of it as food(since it doesn't rot), then he shouldn't either. I find that a little glib on his part, but there is truth that one of the main markers of quality for a supermarket is long shelf-life, not high nutrition or flavor.

An annoying thing I find in the organic/alternative space is their definition of "bad for you" is really out of whack.

  • I eat it once a day, and after a year I start bleeding from my anus.
  • I eat it once a week, and after 20 years my chance of obscure cancer by the time I reach 75 goes from 2% to 3%

  • Essentially both are labeled "toxic" and treated with the same panic/scorn.

     
    Zach Muller
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    @bill

    But isn't the fact that you can't really know which is which the thing that drives the " out of whack ness". We don't know what is Gmo or not, let alone what effects X chemical will have in the long term, yet we are supposed to just line up and consume it? ( and pay a boatload more for it)
    Just this afternoon I was discussing organic pesticide vs. synthetic and how to gauge if one is worse than the other from a bodily consumption aspect. We know from geoff lawton videos that they both destroy the environment the same, but there is a lot of untested grey area as far as physical effects.

    They are both labeled toxic because they are both toxic, the degree is largely untested and unknown, and that is exactly how "organic" sellers want to keep it. Is it gmo no one knows, does it cause cancer, yes but at what rate? We don't know. Does it cost more than " conventionally" raised produce, yes but don't ask too many questions or you won't want to pay the extra money for it.
     
    Burra Maluca
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    Most of my 'broccoli' is just the flower buds from the perennial cabbages I grow. This limits my intake to a week or so twice a year (assuming I have some that flower in the autumn.) In fact, a lot of my food is seasonal purely because I grow it myself. This also means that I know it's not GMO, and no pesticides have been used, natural *or* synthetic.

    Many years ago I read a theory that all food is toxic, but that if you eat it only when it's in season then you only get a small dose of whatever that plant's particular toxin is, and your body has a chance to clean itself out before the next dose. I have no idea how accurate that is, but I think it's a good way to look at it.
     
    Zach Muller
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    That's an interesting thought burra. I have a similar thinking coming from when I got interested in medicinal herbs and wild plants. Many of those have alkaloids that can become very toxic if consumed to much or too often, but in certain seasonal doses you get an invigorated body that deals well with diversity. I look at many domestic plants where much of the 'toxin' has been bred out and wonder if modern diseases come from a lack of diverse diet. Some people digestion and immune systems might be sleeping because of the plants they eat and avoid.
     
    John Master
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    If you grow your own broccoli without pesticides and cook it and smother it in really good butter I cant see anything wrong with it. Pesticides are obviously something we should all be trying to avoid (if we don't do our best to avoid them they will never leave our society), I cant remember the reason but eating raw broccoli in any regular amount ends up not being good for digestion, the fats in butter work with the cooked broccoli so that we can absorb the vitamins in both better.

    organically grown soy fermented as traditionally done is known health food, or at least not necessarily bad. Tamari is a fermented soy sauce that most people can tolerate in moderate amounts on occasion. Practically every other form of soy you would find in commercial food should be avoided as best you can. most forms are gmo and contain pesticide residue as well as Phytoestrogens that mimic our own hormones and screw with all kinds of functions of the human body.

    If she is studying nutrition she needs to read the works of Weston A Price. he successfully demonstrated how the modern diet ruins health and how returning to a traditional way of eating restores health in numerous ways. He also connected soil depletion with human health. Other authors she would be interested in are Francis Pottenger and Dr Royal Lee.

     
    Angelika Maier
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    Sometimes it is as well how things are consumed, i.e. Tofu with meat or without, traditional recipes, grains soaked..
     
    Dan Boone
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    There may be some backstory that I don't know about, but I want to point out that nobody in this thread has yet posted a direct argument (with reasons) that broccoli actually might be bad for us, or any links to such arguments. Just a reference to Paul's choice to avoid it because of what else doesn't eat it -- which strikes me as more of a food preference (nothing wrong with that) unless he's also arguing that other people should follow his lead (I dunno whether he does or not).

    I don't eat much broccoli because without I bury it in butter or cheese, neither of which I am eating at this moment in my life, it doesn't feel like food in my mouth. Although raw stems peeled and sliced make nice finger snacks.
     
    r ranson
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    For soy, have a look at some of the work from the Weston Price Foundation who have some very interesting articles about soy. Myths and Truth about Soy and Soy Allert being good starter articles. There are also some interesting tidbits in Nourishing Traditions by Fallon, and if memory serves, some even more interesting bits (with nice citation to the original sources) in Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma. Soy being quite the political quagmire, I've found surprisingly few studies on humans that show strongly in favour or against consuming it in unfermented form.

    Broccoli is more difficult. For me, grocery store broccoli makes me feel really groggy after eating. If I have more than a few bites on my plate, I start to feel all vomity. Home grown broccoli (mostly rab really) doesn't make me feel anywhere near as bad when I eat it, but then I get those annoying cabbage moths and earwigs. (what's worse than finding a worm on your plate? Finding half a worm.)

    A sudden addition, subtraction or change in the amount of broccoli you consume can be quite bad if you are on blood thinners, or have a condition that requires managing your blood 'thickness'.

    Grain, pulses, fruits, veg, anything high in fibre, if I eat a lot of it, then I get quite sick and hospitalized. Certain conditions like Crohn's and other digestive issues can react very negatively to high fibre in the diet. But a little bit of fibre in the diet isn't so bad. So maybe half a cup of whole grains or pulses (dry amount) per week is okay for me, but that much a day... no way!

    Then again, it may be more than just the fibre. If I make a sourdough bread from whole grains, fermenting the grain for at least 24 hours prior to baking, then I can eat a whole whack of the stuff without feeling ill. Then again, I'm using whole grains that I've milled just before starting to ferment them. I've had friends who are (edit to add, diagnosed) EXTREMELY gluten sensitive be able to eat my wheat sourdough bread with no symptoms at all. It's so hard to tell what's actually causing the problem.


    I think, nutritionist science currently lacks the skills to individualize the 'good for you' criteria to the individual person, enough so that it is actually good for you. Like the OP mentions, there is so much energy and expense put into educating people and professionals in favour of specific hype. I highly recommend the two books I mentioned above to anyone interested in food and nutrition. They aren't perfect books, in fact I disagree with a good chunk out of each of them, but they are excellent gateway books where you can find a topic you are interested in and follow the citations to learn about it in more depth.

    Another interesting book which has had a lot of influence on nutritional opinion is Diet for a Small Planet by someone with a name I don't remember. The stance is hugely pro-soy, but I think the author(s?) was working with limited information on the subject. The main goal of the author was to reduce the gluttony of meat consumption in the US, or at least to stop feeding meat animals food crops that can be used for human consumption. Most interesting thing in this book for me, was the idea that the nutrition in the food is not the same as the nutrition absorbed by the person eating it. By combining certain foods, your body gets a much larger amount of nutrition then it wood eating each one individually - sometimes more than the sum of the individual foods contain. Or so the author tells us.



    This is going to sound a bit like a conspiracy nut, however, I've noticed that the results google comes up when searching for information about foods (especially foods with powerful political lobbies like Soy) has changed DRASTICALLY in the last few years. A few years ago when I discovered I had an latent onset sensitivity (igg immune response) to soy there were a great many pages both pro and anti soy, available with reference to academic and other supporting sources. Now I do the same searches, and google provides results that are heavily in favour of one side of the debate with fewer references to their sources.

    My favourite place for information nowadays is the library. Of course books are somewhat subject to censorship, the authors each have their own point of view, and I'm certain one day the library may have to adjust their content depending on where their funding comes from. But for now, most books cite sources which I can then look up and read the original studies (if it interests me). At the very least, I can look up to see if they are citing a real source of information, or just making up evidence to support the author's point of view.

    Edit to add: Can't find it now, but there is a great moment in the Simpsons where broccoli kills Homer and the Dr. talks about how broccoli is the most deadly of all vegetables. That clip would be a fun addition to this thread.
     
    Keira Oakley
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    well it's nice people start to wake up concerning the problems with soy... I have been threatened years ago with expulsion on some forum, because I was too critical concerning soy...
    The Chinese used to see the plant as one of their sacred plants... but it was not the bean they had depicted as one of the sacred ones, but the ROOT, because they used the plant in crop rotation and to enrich the soil, and only ate the beans in times of famine. Somehow, we eat famine food...
     
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