Sadly, I am not kidding.
I am blessed to have a 10-year-old son. Having that 10-year-old also puts me in contact with other boys and girls of his age by virtue of the activities in which he participates. One of those activities takes place every week, and attracts boys and girls alike. The majority of the children are between the ages of age 10 to age 17. There are also adults that play – but the bulk of those that I see playing from week to week are between the ages of 10 and 17. The majority of children come from middle-class homes, in a “mid-sized college city” in northern Colorado. But this could be any city in America. It may very well be yours, if you take a look around.
These are our children. They are our future. I am writing because I am seeing some very disturbing things as I observe and interact with this particular segment of our population, and it leaves me with questions about the viability of our tomorrows. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I am not over-emphasizing these issues. Not only is the brain function of some of these children low and/or impaired, but their ability to procreate—fertility—may also be at risk.
The first concern I will write about is the concept of boy children having breasts. (Yes. True. They do.) This is the first of a series of articles. Other topics I will write about in the future that are showing up in this population: obesity (we are talking real obesity, not just a few pounds overweight—this is 20 pounds, 30 pounds overweight as a child), severe acne (which is NOT inevitable), girls with a boy’s body– that is, failure to develop breasts and hips– black circles under eyes, pale skin tone, (almost translucent, as in I can see their veins), inability to focus, aka ADD or ADHD…tragically, I could go on.
Now, I know as well as you know that boy children are not supposed to develop breasts. However, more and more of them are developing breasts-so much so that there IS a medical term for this “condition”: gynecomastia. They are also “jokingly” called “man boobs”, or “moobs” for short. I am not talking about a weight problem. It is not the result of being overweight. These man boobs are occurring even on those that are slightly built, or trim or slim. It is an estrogen problem. And here’s an idea of how it happened. (Stay tuned and I will tell you what you can do about it.)
Where is the estrogen that is causing our males to develop female body parts? It is in the food, and it is in the environment. In this article, I am going to talk about the food. Subsequent articles will address the environmental issues. The biggest culprit in terms of estrogen in food is soy. When might the story begin? Is it in the soy formula that feeds the male infant? Soy formula has more estrogen in a bottle than a month’s supply of birth control pills. And much of it is genetically modified (GMO).
Phyto-estrogen filled soy may be found in many foods. (And soy is very high in phyto-estrogen.) There what I call “overt” soy — that is, soy food products with the word “soy” right on the label such as tofu, and soy-based products such as tofu pups and tofu ice cream, soy milk, and soy creamer. There is also soy that is seemingly hidden in our foods – specifically as soy lecithin, which is an emulsifier – that is found in many foods. Soy lecithin is found in almost every chocolate bar or candy bar that is made in America at this time. And this soy is not organic (unless specifically labeled as such. Since the soy is not organic, it is most likely GMO, as more than 90% of the world’s soy is now GMO.) Soy may also be listed on an ingredient label as natural flavor, TSF (textured soy flour), TVP (textured vegetable protein), TSP (textured soy protein), MSG, mono-diglyceride, soya, soja, and yuba.
The biggest culprit for our boy children maybe the protein bars or “power bars” that they consume– two and three a day sometimes. These bars have soy protein isolate as the main protein ingredient. According to the Soyfoods Association of North America, soy protein isolate “is a dry powder food ingredient that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean” and “… soy protein isolate is made from de-fatted soybean flakes that have been washed in either alcohol or water to remove sugars and dietary fiber.”
Okay, enough with the soy problem. I could go on and on, as we look into the other foods that have soy in them…including seemingly innocuous canned tuna fish and meats, gravies, soups, cereals… What other foods are fraught with hormone disrupters for our boys? Conventional dairy…and conventional meat. What is “conventional dairy”? Where is it found?
Conventional dairy is any food made out of milk (milk, cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, kefir) that is not organic. Conventional dairy accounts for the majority of dairy in the United States—about 97% of it.
According to the USDA, only about 4-4.5% of the fluid milk products (that means milk and milk products you can drink, not cheese, or yogurt or kefir or butter) in the US were organic in 2013. That means that about 95-96% was conventional. EEEK! Conventional dairy farmers can use growth hormones to increase milk production (and feed them other things, everything from “erythomycin… testosterone, estadiol benzoate, sodium bicarbonate, poloxaline, propionic acid, chicken manure, cattle manure, chocolate, stale pastries, cement dust, molasses, candy, urea, hooves, feathers, meat scraps (but not from ruminants, as that has now been banned due to BSE/madcow), fish meal, pasta, peanut skins, brewery wastes, cardboard, corn silage, GMO grains, and various pesticides.” (Chris Kerston)
Meat can also be a contributor to the hormonal imbalance that can result in man boobs…Conventional meat, that is. “Conventional meat” is any meat that is not “organic” or grown by organic-or better-standards. Again, according to the USDA, only 3% of meat produced in the US was organic as of 2015. YIKES! One more time with feeling, cows on feedlots (conventionally produced meats) are fed soy and corn…think estrogen and GMOs!
Given our food supply and the amount of soy, estrogen-like compounds and hormones in it, is it any wonder why our boys are developing man boobs? I think not. And as mentioned previously, there are environmental factors as well. I’ll explore those next.
What you can do if your male child is developing breasts
In order of impact:
- Cut out all unfermented soy! That means protein bars, protein shakes, and anything with TVP, soy protein isolates, etc., added.
- Feed your child organic dairy. Better, feed him fresh dairy from cows that graze on pasture. For sources of real milk near you, see www.realmilk.com or www.westonaprice.org
- Feed your child organic meat. Better, feed him grass-fed and –finished meat. Look for grass-fed and –finished meats at Farmer’s Markets, or check out some of these sources: in DC Metro area, Maryland and Virginia: Fields of Athenry Farm, Polyface Farm, Smith Meadows Meats; on line: http://www.eatwild.com/products/
- Eat at home. Stay away from fast-food, notorious for soy protein additives in their food products. Here are a few: FAO on meat products with high levels of extenders and fillers, Wise Traditions Spring 2015
For more information about the dangers of soy, check out some independent research.
For more information about GMOs, http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/ge-food-and-your-health
In my next post, we’ll talk about contributing environmental factors, and the easy things you can do to mitigate the environmental impact of estrogenic compounds on your sons, (and brothers and husbands). Stay tuned!