Is Coconut the New Soy?
In a time of multiple food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances, Americans have embraced a wide assortment of non-dairy milks, cheese and yogurts. In the early twentieth century milk was delivered fresh from the farm in its raw and unfiltered state to be churned into butter, fermented into yogurt or after skimming the rich cream, used for cooking or drunk straight out of the bottle while standing in front of the ice-box.
Then came the pasteurization, homogenization, bovine growth hormone, antibiotic-injected age of milk production, and with it the realization that the human body cannot tolerate this toxic stand-in for real milk. Is it any wonder that we are always looking for something to replace what was once a quality food, but now sunk so low as to be considered dangerous for children and adults alike? What then will work in coffee, tea or over morning cereal? No! Even more important, what can replace the queen of all late night binge foods…ice cream?
Enter the humble soybean. It made sense to the food manufacturing industry. After all it can be grown in mass quantities, and processed into any kind of food product without even tasting like a bean. Except once it flooded the food market, taken up with great enthusiasm by the irritable bowel masses, reports began to filter in from experts on both sides of the allopathic-complementary medical fence. Difficult for many to digest, soy is just not that good for you in an unfermented state. That narrowed the market considerably to a little known soy paste called miso, a rather obscure Indonesian cake known as tempeh, and a not-for-the-delicate Limburger tasting Natto. With Genetically Modified soy accounting for 91 percent of soybeans planted, there is the fear that we may yet strangle on our own Frankenstein food science.
As the media reports continued to down grade soy, the food manufacturing industry was answering the call to arms. What food could they manufacture into a wide variety of products, which is actually beneficial to human health, easy to digest, has endured years of positive scientific research and heralded by the very doctors and food scientists who helped put the big kibosh on the soybean? You guessed it…the coconut.
Surprised? Well you should be. After languishing in reputation hell for years, and reputed to cause heart disease on the level of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (which were considered to be better for your health!), renowned nutritionist-biochemist, Mary G. Enig, Ph.D championed the health benefits of including coconut oil in ones diet. She disproved the lies with scientific research showing how coconut oil is actually good for the heart, while hydrogenated oils are the death knell.
But doesn’t coconut oil cause high cholesterol, you might ask? Nope. As a matter of fact, this medium chain triglyceride digests very quickly and even supports the immune system. Plus it cooks at a very high temperature and adds a light coconut flavor to a dish. Come on, there has to be something wrong with it! After all, the health food shelves are already groaning under the weight of products made with coconut oil, coconut kefir, coconut milk, coconut creamer, coconut vinegar, coconut aminos, coconut butter, coconut flour, coconut cream, creamed coconut, desiccated coconut, shredded coconut, and coconut water.
There is an I Ching hexagram that reminds us that to know what is coming, look to the immediate past. In this case remember the saga of the soybean. The food manufacturing companies like nothing better than to take a raw, natural food and process everything that is good and beneficial out of it rendering it a mere shadow of its former self. As you shop for alternatives to dairy and soy, consider that just because it has coconut in it does not mean it will be good for you. Read all labels and stay with what is raw, organic, unfiltered, and/or fermented, and as close to its place in Mother Nature as you can find it.