Well, it has been an interesting weekend for me and Brian. Friday night was a treat for us because all three of our kids were off spending the night with my Grandfather and Grandmother. So, as any of you parents can attest, when you can manage to get all three out of the house at once it is time for a dinner by yourselves. You know, the kind of dinner you ate before you had kids and spent the entire time in the restaurant cutting up food, taking people to the bathroom, and hoping that no one misbehaves too badly.
So, here we are of to dinner, and it was a great steak at Longhorn’s. We had a fine time. After dinner, I begged Brian into taking me to Kroger’s to get some grocery items that are not available at home in the local stores. Kroger’s for us is 35-40 minutes from the house, and you can forget about a Whole Foods store that is two hours away.
We are shopping, minding our own business, when I had my first ever encounter with a food expert.
For those of you that don’t know, our middle daughter is lactose intolerant, maybe even allergic and has been a Soy Milk child since being weaned off Breast Milk. So, we are in the organic/specialty food isle at our local Kroger’s, talking to each other as to whether or not we need more soy milk, when another female shopper got in my personal space to tell me how bad soy was for you. The hormones were dangerous and we should not ever buy soy based products. I felt invaded and attacked. I was never ever so glad to have a phone call ring in so I could step away.
I encourage other to be educated about their food, but fact is the “hormones” that she is talking about in Soy Products are naturally occurring phytoestrogens (plant based estrogen like molecules). These plant based estrogens make up the basis of many “natural” or “herbal” treatments for menopause. They will not replace your own natural hormones, nor is there any medical evidence that I am aware of that phytoestrogens cause harm in children. In fact, these molecules are so effective that there is no word for menopause in Japanese. Due to that cultures high soy intake, Japanese women do not suffer the same as women on a western diet with little to no soy.
Given that I have had to learn to adapt to a child with food issues, I would have rather had a conversation about her concerns instead of being attacked and lambasted for the only milk that my daughter has ever known. Given that I had to ask for Soy Milk to be specially ordered at our local store when she was little cause we could not drive 35 minutes every time she was out of milk, I am proud to buy what my child needs whenever I can find it. But how many other people were told that night what they were buying was wrong?
It made me think long and hard about some of the conversations I have had with non agriculturist. I wonder if after talking to me in my passion for defense of all forms of American Agriculture, I have made people cringe and wish they had never spoken to me. I want to be a source for answers and not the “over zealous” lady stalking the isles dispensing unsolicited advise.
I hope to be able to remember how it felt to be put on the defense, when all I wanted was a 1/2 gallon of vanilla soy milk.