Press Releases

Smug soya producer

The biggest market for soya is cattle feed, but soya is also found in everything we eat: biscuits, margarine, mayonnaise, chilled meals, baby food, and countless other processed products.

The documentary Green Gold portrays a Brazilian governor who smacks himself in the chest:

“We have almost overtake the United States as the largest soya producer.” In Mata Grosso, soya cultivation is done entirely according to the legal rules.” In his view, he maintains these rules and is the largest soya producer on the spot, an unimportant detail. It does not bother him that large parts of rain forest go against the plains for soya production in Brazil.

Soya proteins lower cholesterol, Source:

Not isoflavones, but isolated soya proteins lower the fat level in the blood and prevent heart and vascular diseases. This is what the group of Brianne Mc Veigh of the Canadian University of Guelph claims.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the study, the effects of three different soya extracts were measured in a group of 35 healthy young men.

The volunteers used each extract for 57 days, with a 28 day leaching period between the different extracts. The researchers then measured the levels of high and low density lipoprotein (HDL and LDL) cholesterol and the apolipoproteins apoA-I and apoB in the blood serum.

The research shows that the two isolated soya protein extracts, one with a high concentration and one with a low concentration of isoflavones, reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood equally. From this, the researchers conclude that it is not the isoflavones, but isolated soya proteins that are responsible for the lower cholesterol levels. It also appears that the extract of cow’s milk proteins actually increases the fat levels.

The American Heart Association recently claimed that soya has no influence on cholesterol levels. This study does not contradict this conclusion, because the committee based its judgment mainly on isoflavones. This study also measures people who are healthy instead of patients with too high a cholesterol level.

Phytoestrogens in soya,

In comparison with Western women, Asian women are much less likely to develop breast and cervical cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and all kinds of discomforts during menopause. Datzou should mainly deal with their eating habits and especially daily consumption from soya.

Soyabeans contain a certain type of protein, isoflavones, that have the distinguishing feature that they act as a kind of estrogen, the female hormone. They are also called phytoestrogens, vegetable estrogens. Van phyto-oestrogens are known, on the one hand, to mimic the natural estrogens so they can slow down the typical discomforts of menopause and osteoporosis. On the other hand, these phytoestrogens block out the negative effects of natural estrogens on certain body tissues, making them in all likelihood have a protective effect against certain forms of cancer (such as breast and cervical cancer) and against cardiovascular diseases.

Lately, a number of large studies have been published in the scientific press, including the United States and Australia, which show, for example, that breast and cervical cancer is much less common in women who eat controlled soya products. Another study showed that women and men who consume 30 g of soya protein every day, see the risk of cardiovascular disease decline by 15 to 25%.

Even if you have to be careful with this kind of studies and do not immediately make the miracle product from soya as is claimed in some advertisements, then it is gradually becoming clear that it is a very valuable food that certainly has a earned place in our daily menu. Soya is very rich in proteins (40%) and also contains about 20% carbohydrates and 20% fat (especially the most unsaturated fats recommended for health reasons). It contains no cholesterol, but a lot of iron, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber.

Mankind served at lower meat consumption

If people eat more vegetable instead of animal protein, this yields enormous – and much needed – benefits. Such a ‘protein change’ benefits sustainable energy supply, sustainable water use, biodiversity moreover, public and animal health.

Collective vegetarianism is not necessary, but meat substitutes of good taste and quality must replace our meat more often. This is the most important outcome of a large and broad research into more sustainable protein production of nineteen economists, consumer researchers, food technologists, sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, ecologists and chemists from three universities.

The research results are described in the book Sustainable Protein Production and Consumption: Pigs or Peas?

Of which Minister Veerman of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality the first copy

Wednesday, April 12 gets


But the target group is much broader: “stakeholders in the food chain, from policy makers to consumers.” The research is called PROFETAS ( Protein Foods, Environment, Technology and Society) and was funded by NWO and Technology Foundation STW, LNV and business. The researchers are from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University Research Center and the University of Twente.

Facts about meat

  • In order to produce up to 1 kilo of meat protein, 3 to 10 kg of vegetable protein is required depending on the species and conditions.
  • 1 kilo of beef costs 15 m3 of water, a kilo of lamb 10 m3, while for a kilo of grain 0.4 to 3 m3 of water is sufficient
  • 75 percent of the available fresh water, 35 percent of the available land and 20 percent of all energy is used up. This time used for food production;
  • Between 1950 and 2000 the world population doubled from 2.7 to 6 billion people, but the meat production increased five-fold. 45 to 233 billion kilos per year. In 2050 the FAO expects 9 billion people and a meat production around 450 billion kilos per year.

Novel Protein Foods

The PROFETAS researchers therefore argue for a ‘protein turnaround’: we have to eat less meat and our protein requirements go partly and fulfill with so-called Novel Protein Foods(NPFs). These NPFs are based on plant proteins from, for example, peas or soyaIt is not that we all have to eat vegetarian food. However, a change in production is necessary, and especially a change in mentality. It is true that meat substitutes are emerging in Western countries, but meat consumption remains unchanged. And in industrializing countries such as China and Brazil, meat consumption was low, but is increasing strongly. To achieve a turnaround, therefore, trend breaks on a global scale are necessary.

Even more benefits

The protein turnover has many side benefits. A cautious estimate of the researchers is that so much land would be released for planting biomass, that a quarter of the current world energy production can be covered sustainably. And that without affecting pastures (with extensively produced meat) and nature reserves such as tropical rain-forests. The protein change can also help to get the meat economy struck by animal diseases and crises back on track. Approximately, one-third of world trade in livestock and meat is currently being affected by disease outbreaks, resulting in billions of euros of damage. Finally, the turnaround would have a positive impact on public health through the reduction of both overweight and meat-related diseases. More information about the NWO PROFETAS program