Top critical review
Some simplistic and inaccurate information
30 April 2019
This is a naive, simplistic and often misleading book - at least where nutrition is concerned, which is the area of my interest along with food production and sustainable agriculture. Whereas I agree that we could eat less meat (preferably of better quality and whole animal, not just muscle meat), soy is far from being an ideal or even recommended source of protein. If it were to become main source of our protein, even more extensive soybean farming that we see today would be necessary and that would just increase single-crop monoculture, deforestation and generation of sterile habitats that are destroying nature all over the world. Also, unfermented soy (as in tofu, soy flour, soy milk) is a serious endocrine disruptor, so unless we want to see men turning into women and children becoming sexually mature way before puberty, we should avoid eating too much soy. Regarding soy use as animal fodder (which the author blames for deforestation), soybeans are first and foremost used to extract soybean oil for industrial purposes - this is their primary use. Only after that some of the resulting soybean meal is used as animal fodder, and believe me, neither cows, nor pigs or chickens are thrilled about it since it’s not their natural food source and it not only causes some health problem for these animals but it also alters composition of their meat, milk and eggs, making them less healthy for us.
The information about iron, zinc and vitamin A is also inaccurate. There are no good sources of plant iron or zinc, and sweet potatoes, which, it seems, the author is anamoured with, do not contain vitamin A - they contain beta carotene, which is a pre-cursor of vitamin A that body needs to converted to vit. A (this costs body some nutrients and energy which the author does not take into account) and our bodies does not do this in the rate of 1:1. In fact, up to 40% of people have a genetic mutation that leads to a very low conversion rate of beta-carotene to vitamin A. So “amazing” 709 micrograms of “vitamin A” (read beta-carotene) in 100 g of sweet potatoes turns out to be far, far less of actual vitamin A. The only source of pre-formed, real vitamin A (retinol) are animal foods.
Don’t let me start on other micro nutrients such as B12, omega-3 fats, choline or amino acids.
High quality animal products coming from pasture raised, happy animals and consumed in moderation are, in fact, the solution to 21-st century micro-nutrient concerns and not only that - they are also a part of the solution for soil and land restoration, sustainable agriculture, carbon sequestration and ultimately, for not needing a planet B.