Soy is poison.


Until 2011, I was feeding myself and my family whatever was featured at the grocery store.  I paid no attention to whether my vegetables were organic or whether my grains were genetically modified organisms (GMO).  In fact, I had never heard of these issues.  The idea that the seemingly healthy food I was consuming might be a danger to me and my family did not even cross my mind.  That was until I saw a TED talk from Robyn O’Brien (2011), through which she explained, in alarming detail, the increase in life-threatening food allergies as a result of something foreign being introduced into our food and our bodies.

Beginning sometime in the early 1990s, scientists began manufacturing new proteins that the food industry could use to enhance production and yield greater profit.  1994 marked the advent of introducing a synthetic growth hormone in cows meant to increase milk production (O’Brien, 2011).  Following the dairy industry’s success at increasing their profit margins from GMO milk, the corn industry sought to increase profits by reducing the number of crops lost to insect infestation.  The industry leaders paired with scientists to genetically engineer corn to produce its own insecticide within the corn seed, which would then be released as it grows.  Has anyone checked to see what effect this might have on the human body upon consumption?  At the time, these modifications had not been tested in people.  Nevertheless, the United States seemed to be the largest proponent of GMO foods.  Meanwhile, across the pond, all 27 European countries, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom did not allow the introduction of GMO processes into their industry or imports (O’Brien, 2011).  Additionally, major US brands like Kraft, Coca Cola and Walmart do not use GMO products when manufacturing goods for export to these countries (O’Brien, 2011).  These other countries are getting the good stuff!  So why are we being fed these dangerously modified strains?  Well, profit.  These GMO products generate greater profit, plain and simple.

The worst of these GMO products, in my opinion, is soy.  According to the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (n.d.), 93% of the soybean crops in the United States are GMO.  And we can find it in almost everything, from soy flour to soy milk, and even soy lecithin in your favorite chocolate bar.  It is marketed as a legitimate source of protein, when it is actually incomplete, lacking methionine, an essential amino acid (American Nutrition Association, 2010).  Even more surprising is that soy actually interferes with the digestion of protein (American Nutrition Association, 2010), acting as an anti-nutrient. The soy industry is doing very well, inserting this product into an unbelievable number of our food products.  It is an inexpensive crop that flourishes due to the GMO modifications created to withstand very high doses of weed killer (O’Brien, 2011).  Yet another GMO product that should not be used for human consumption.

After seeing this TED talk, I started paying very close attention to the food I purchase.  I started looking for “non-GMO” on my produce labels.  But my journey to eating healthier, more organic foods would not have happened if I hadn’t stumbled across this information.  There are countless others who are blindly purchasing these GMO products, harming themselves and their families, simply because they do not have the information.  Positive social change initiatives, like the efforts of Robyn O’Brien, have joined the battle against GMO, and are beneficial to educating the consumer about the dangers of the GMO foods that are being pushed to Americans for profit.  Many of the countless illnesses and allergies related to these scientifically engineered food products may be avoided if we could just raise awareness and stand up to tell the major food industry leaders that enough is enough.  We should be demanding healthier alternatives without the added cost.  Some states have mandated the labeling of GMO foods, but others are still in the pockets of the big corporations driving this problem.  Until we can change awareness and demand action, like the mandatory labeling laws in Europe, which will “likely drive these controversial foods and crops off the market (Cummins, 2013)”, we either find ourselves at the mercy of big business, or paying exorbitant amounts for safer alternatives.

American Nutrition Association. (2010). The whole soy story. Nutrition Digest. Retrieved from

Cummins, R. (2013). Millions against Monsanto: Five lessons from the battle against GMOs. Retrieved from

O’Brien, R. (2011). Robyn O’Brien: TEDxAustin 2011. Speech. Retrieved from

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. (n.d.). Fact sheet: Genetically engineered foods. Retrieved from


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  11. The above post describes an interesting take on the United State’s use of genetically modified crops. This heavily debated topic consuming the agricultural sector has been receiving a fair share of mass mobilization lately as more and more Americans are becoming aware that many of our favorite foods contain genetically modified elements. The above post provides readers with a real-life example of the steps involved with inducing social action, public advocacy and adding to popular education (Schneider, 2012).

    My first reaction to the above post is that of fear and anger due to feeling like my local grocery store has deceived me somehow, and these raw emotions are critical in driving mass mobilization of the anti-GMO movement. What would come next is driving citizens to participate in spreading this information; thus, leading to advocacy and lobbying officials to (what was implied by the above post) ban GMO products in the United States. However, this example (although beneficial in describing a well-deserved topic in terms of social activism research) also represents a good example of how social activism can be one-sided.

    Although it can be agreed upon that GMO foods need to be further studied for safety, by advocating against something that may potentially provide millions of citizens with food that they otherwise would not have is a dangerous practice. It is important to remember to view both sides of the argument while bringing attention to social issues and enticing mass mobilization.

    The above information on GMO products is highly appreciated and can open the eyes of many consumers on what kinds of products they allow in their homes. However, this post will aim to highlight the benefits of GMO products in order to add the popular education regarding this topic in terms of social activism. The benefits involved with GMO products include the following: enabling farmers to grow more crops on less land; therefore, reducing our agricultural footprint and preserving more land. In fact, GM crops have reduced the amount of pesticide use in crops worldwide: “in the United States, the adoption of GM crops resulted in pesticide use reduction of 46.4 million pounds in 2003. Globally, GM crops have reduced pesticide spraying (1996-2011) by 9%, or 975 million pounds” ( GMO use also reduces the price of food and makes dinner time more affordable for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet: “GM technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15-30%” ( Additionally, GMO production seeks to reduce malnutrition globally and within the United States. The reality is that our population is continuing to rise more than natural production of crops can keep up with: “2050, the global population is expected to rise to 9 billion. Experts predict we will need 70% more agricultural production to keep pace – utilizing GM crops that increase productivity while reducing land, water and pesticide use will be critical to this achievement” (
    It is important to educate oneself fully on a topic before advocating for or against it in the realm of social change and activism. I respectfully thank the above post for providing some very important information when it comes to exploring GMO products.


    Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. (n.d.). Benefits of Biotechnology/GMOs – Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from http://coalitionforsafeaffordablefood.

    Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

  12. Jennifer Lee Segilia

    Thank you for this eye-opening information. It truly is scary these days as to what we are putting into our bodies. I recently visited a cattle farm and was appalled by the size of the cattle. The cows looked like monsters. They surely were not the cows I remember as a child. These animals looked like the Incredible Hulk, they were so full of steroids. I was just informed by a co-worker on how harmful store bought eggs are. I never really though about it, but white is not the natural color of an egg. The eggs are bleached, and one has to wonder just how durable that shell is and if bleach is being absorbed into the egg and then into our bodies. I discovered a local farm that sells there own produce, dairy, and eggs in which I now buy as much as I can from them before having to go to a grocery store. Others in my circle complain that it is expensive to eat healthy. I found that these local farms and dairies are actually cheaper than the large stores. I have cut my grocery bill by about 25% and I know that I am getting as close to “healthy” as I can get.

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