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Soy Lecithin

- I mean, seriously ... why?

Mar'14

I've just been reading an article on why Nutella is unhealthy for us humans. I study just about everything I can find online that's food and nutrition-related, and on the grounds that hubby and daughter get through jars of this stuff on a weekly basis, literally spooning it out of the jar and eating it neat, accompanied by a drooling, glazed expression, the heading ‘Why We Should Never Eat Nutella’ leapt out at me.

I just don’t have a sweet tooth – thankfully! I tried a smidge a few weeks back while they were both dribbling with ecstacy at the chocolate goop, and will happily agree that yes, it was pleasant enough but just not my thing. So you can imagine my smugness - one email on its way to the husband! Not so fast though. As I was reading through the article, I came across one of the ingredients, Soy Lecithin. Hang on, I thought . . . isn't that an ingredient in packaged horse-feed? So I read on.

Everyone knows my views on packaged, ultra-processed horse feed. Nuff said. Yet thanks to my family’s addiction to Nutella, we now have evidence on yet another junk ingredient in packaged horse feed that you might want to know about. A little bit of online searching later, and here’s what I found to make us think it’s indispensable for our horses, courtesy of Kentucky Performance Products (https://kppusa.com/tips-and-topics/lesson-lecithin) :

“Have you ever come across “lecithin” while scrutinizing the ingredient list of a favorite supplement? Have you wondered why lecithin was included in the mix? Because it benefits the horse on both the inside and outside, lecithin is anything but an “empty” ingredient.

Lecithin is a combination of phospholipids that occur naturally in some plants. Made of many components including fatty acids, phospholipids are involved in a host of physiological processes. While fatty acids work doggedly on the cellular level, horsemen often see the results of their effort on the exterior in the form of healthy, pliable skin and a slick, shiny coat.

Lecithin is rich source of choline, a vital part of every cell membrane in the body. Without choline, cell membranes would harden, prohibiting the passage of life-sustaining nutrients in and out of the cell. Researchers believe that lecithin and choline provide multiple health benefits: improved cardiovascular health, heightened liver function, optimal reproductive efficiency and fetal development, and enhanced athletic performance.”

Sounds amazing, doesn't it! But now here’s how they describe the (alleged) safe, clean way that lecithin is ‘created’ :

“Most lecithin is created during the manufacture of soybean oil. Once soybeans are cleaned, cracked, and separated from their hulls, they are heated and pressed into flakes. The flakes then undergo a distillation process in which soybean oil is extracted from them. Further processing (remember this!) of the oil yields lecithin. Though soybean oil provides the majority of lecithin in use, lecithin is also extracted from alternate sources such as sunflower oil.”

Further Processing, huh? We dug deeper, and TaDah - here’s the real deal :

“Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the colour of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown.

The majority of soy sources in the world are now genetically modified (GM). Researchers have clearly identified GM foods as a threat to the environment, pollution of soils and a long-term threat to human health with links to of the world with unnatural genetic material that may have unknown long-term consequences with links to decreased fertility, immunological alterations in the gut and the exacerbation and creation of allergies.

Genetically engineered soy contains high concentrations of plant toxicants. The presence of high levels of toxicants in GM soy represent thousands of plant biochemicals, many of which have been shown to have toxic effects.”

I won’t bore you with more details as we’re all able to make up our own minds. Mind not be a bad idea to check feedbag ingredients though . . .

For more info on what a horrible ingredient this is, here’s the link: http://preventdisease.com/news/09/073009_soy_lecithin.shtm