Monday, March 14, 2011

Talk of the Flock: To Eat or Not to Eat Soy

Have you ever noticed birds in the wild naturally foraging for soy?

Have you ever noticed birds in the wild naturally foraging for corn, seeds, nuts, fruits, and grains?

Eaten in large amounts, soy has been shown to cause disturbing health problems for humans. If it is having such adverse affects on humans, think about its effect on our smaller and more vulnerable feathered friends.

Because our avian friends have an innate sense of what is a healthy food choice, left to their own devices, they are able to actively choose foods that are nutritionally beneficial. In contrast, the domestic contingent’s diet relies on and is at the mercy of their human companions and their human companions are simultaneously at the mercy of the food industry, which as we know is controlled by money.

One of the pro soy arguments used by a leading avian food manufacturer is that “Asians have been living on soy for centuries.” The soy industries own figures show that soy consumption in China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan ranges from 9.3 to 36 grams per day. Compare that with a cup of soy milk (240 grams) or a cup of tofu (252 grams). Infants on soy formula (much like birds on soy based bird foods), are the most seriously affected. We know soy is a very inexpensive ingredient and is used unsparingly as a food source – for humans, animals, and birds. Sadly, money talks!!

Here is some interesting information about soy:
1. Soybeans are loaded with plant compounds that mimic estrogen, a female hormone. Post menopausal women use soy products to help regulate their decreased estrogen supply. If it can change the hormone balance in a grown woman, how could this not adversely affect a baby human or better yet, a baby bird? What about hormonal feather pluckers, chronic egg layers? What would a soy based diet do to them?

2. Studies for over 40 years have shown that birds fed soy developed plumage at 2 months of age instead of the normal 18 months.
3. Two glasses of soy milk a day, over the course of a month, contains enough of the chemical to change the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Just 100 gm of any soy product has the estrogenic content of a contraceptive pill.

4. Soy contains manganese and a recent study found unusually high manganese levels in the hair of hyperactive children and youths convicted of felony crimes.

5. A 1994 study in New Zealand found that, depending on the age and potency of the product and feeding methods, infants on soy formula might be consuming the equivalent of up to 10 contraceptive pills a day.

6. More that 70% of human animal and lab studies show that soy puts the thyroid at risk.

7. Since the mid-1940’s, soy use in food products has been connected to infertility in birds and mammals.
8. Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, and infertility – even cancer and heart disease.

Despite the research leaning more towards the reality that soy based food is not healthy for birds – in fact, in large amounts is down right unhealthy, bird food manufacturers continue to use soy as a major ingredient in their birdie breads, pellets, etc. Major avian food manufacturers have created foods that, in the end, could be jeopardizing the health of your avian friends. Please beware and check the ingredient list of your preferred avian foods to guarantee that soy is NOT a leading ingredient.

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