Before I moved to the US, I was somewhat careless or carefree about what I consumed. Although I ate relatively healthily, I didn’t mind eating things that stated that they could have been genetically modified.
When we moved to the US, J & I developed food allergies. This made me look more into what was in foods. I now cook almost everything from scratch. I am extremely careful with anything I eat or cook with, including anything that is genetically modified. I also check ingredients on all-labeled items.
As already noted elsewhere in this blog, I only buy organic. There are so many health issues with food and produce being sold in the US, it’s ridiculous. Even the “organic” labeling isn’t 100% trustworthy. For example, there are loop-holes and clauses that allow specific chemicals to be used on crops, even when labeled organic!
I’m not saying that the guidelines in the EU are perfect, but the rules and regulations in Europe are far more stringent. We never had any food allergies when we lived in Europe, and that’s when we ate 100% conventional foods.
Soy beans are the highest targeted crops for genetic modification, with almost 90% of the crops grown in the US, being genetically modified. The second most popular crop is corn, at 60%. I have/would never buy conventional soy/corn products. It’s not only the ecological concerns of dabbling with genetics that bother me, but there’s also no significant research on the long-term health/safety issues from eating such items.
Now on to lecithin – lecithin is an emulsifying substance that’s found in all living organisms. It’s added to hundreds of food products, including chocolate, cakes, biscuits (cookies) to name a few. Before the 1930s, lecithin was extracted from eggs – it’s now commonly extracted from soy beans.
Soy lecithin is processed from the sludge, that is left after the degumming process for crude soy oil. It’s a waste product that contains solvents, such as hexane and pesticides. It’s consistency ranges from a gummy liquid to a plastic solid. More often than not, it is bleached from the dirty tan to reddish brown color to a more appealing light-yellow color…. mmmmm, not!
Taking all this into consideration, it is a product I prefer to not eat it. I know they use only a tiny amount of lecithin in food items, but I find it revolting. It’s something I now chose not to eat. I have even omitted any chocolate that contains soy lecithin in my diet, which includes my old favorites, such as Valrhona and Godiva. The only brands of chocolate that I’ve found that’s easily accessible, with no soy lecithin is Theo, Equal Exchange and Alter Eco.