How Healthy is Your Veggie Burger?
I enjoy meatless meals at least a couple of times a week and have checking out various Chicken Burger and Soy Burgers . most of which contain soy protein products whih could be anything from soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate or textured vegetable protein., along with the usual wheat gluten, and an assortment of other ingredients.
Thousands of vegetarian products (veggie burgers, "natural" food bars, etc.) are made with soy protein. That soy protein is almost always described as safe and "natural" by the companies using it. But there's a dirty little secret the soy product industry doesn't want you to know: Much of the "natural" soy protein used in foods today is bathed in a toxic, explosive chemical solvent known as hexane.
To determine the true extent of this hexane contamination, Natural News joined forces with the Cornucopia Institute (www.Cornucopia.org) to conduct testing of hexane residues in soy meal and soy grits using FDA-approved and USDA-approved laboratories. The Cornucopia Institute performed the bulk of this effort, and NaturalNews provided funding to help cover laboratory costs.
The results proved to be worrisome: Hexane residues of 21ppm were discovered in soy meal commonly used to produce soy protein for infant formula, protein bars and vegetarian food products.
These laboratory results appear to indicate that consumers who purchase common soy products might be exposing themselves (and their children) to residues of the toxic chemical HEXANE -- a neurotoxic substance produced as a byproduct of gasoline refining
The Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Soy Report and accompanying Scorecard rates companies that market organic soy foods, such as soymilk, tofu and “veggie burgers,” based on ten criteria that are important to organic consumers’ showcasing companies that are truly committed to the spirit and letter of the organic law while exposing those that do not rate highly or were unwilling to share their sourcing and production practices in our survey.
The scorecard sheds light on questions such as:
- Do the soybeans come from American organic farmers, or are they imported from China, India or South America?
- Is the company devoted to supporting organic agriculture by sourcing only organic soybeans and marketing only organic products?
- Does the company use loopholes in the organic standards to source cheaper non-organic ingredients even when organic ones are available?
Part I of the comprehensive report explores the reasons for asking these questions, including why organic consumers should be wary of Chinese imports, given the lax oversight by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) over organic certifiers working in China.
Part II of the report exposes the “dirty little secret” of the “natural” soy foods industry: the widespread use of hexane in processing. Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” such as Clif Bars®. Hexane is a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Both the report and scorecard highlight the good news in the organic soyfood industry: in every market and product category, there are true heroes, both national and local manufacturers, supplying ethically-produced organic food that are worthy of consumer support. View the Organic Soy Scorecard: Find your favorite organic soy food brands and see how they rate.
After checking out the ingredients in various burgers, like maltodextrin, unmodified corn starch and and evaporated cane juice, I decided to buy a container of tofu and some high protein beans and make those burgers myself.