8 Reasons to Not Eat Tofu
1. Genetic Modification
In 1994, the first genetically modified soybean was introduced to the U.S. market by Monsanto. While food prices continue to rise around the world, the availability of non-GMO soybeans is decreasing, which is leading more Asian and U.S. food manufacturers in Asia to use genetically modified soybeans to make soy foods like tofu. Today, at least 90 percent all soy grown in the United States is genetically modified. (3) This is such an alarmingly high amount that it’s no wonder it’s so challenging to find soy products that are non-GMO.
Thanks to Monsanto, the leading producer of GMO foods in the U.S., the majority of soy products are made from Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybeans. These soybeans are genetically engineered in such a way that their DNA is changed so the soybean plants can withstand the herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. First grown commercially in 1996, Roundup Ready Soybeans allow farmers to spray their entire crops with glyphosate to kill the weeds but not damage the soybean crops. (4)
Genetically modified foods are linked to so many health problems because they kill off good bacteria in your gut and also damage the working of your digestive system. In a 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals, fed GMO soybeans and corn, were evaluated. The 90-day trials indicate liver and kidney problems as a result of consuming GMO foods. Kidneys were specifically affected by 43.5 percent of all disrupted parameters in male subjects while the liver was disrupted by 30.8 percent for the females. (5) It’s actually become harder to find this original study since its publication. I’m sure that’s because it makes people highly concerned about consuming genetically modified foods like tofu.
How scary that eating GMO foods can so directly and majorly impact our vital organs! Even if you buy tofu that is not made from genetically modified soybeans, there is still a variety of other substantial health concerns.
2. Phytoestrogens and Breast Cancer
Tofu contains phytoestrogens — or plant-based estrogens. These compounds have an estrogen-like effect on the body so they block normal estrogen production and have been linked to breast cancer. Some scientific research finds that soy might “feed” certain breast cancers since it can behave just like estrogen. It might depend on how much soy is consumed as well as the overall health of the woman, but if you have breast cancer currently, are a survivor of breast cancer or you have a family history of breast cancer, I would definitely avoid tofu and other unfermented soy products entirely. (6)