Think Your Veggie Burger is a Healthy Alternative to Beef? Think Again.

Posted: October 6, 2010 in food, health, nutrition, physical therapy, Sports Medicine, Uncategorized, Weight Loss
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By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: October 04, 2010By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: October 04, 2010

Many health conscious people have shunned beef burgers and choose veggie burgers as a safer alternative to red meat.  If you’re one of them, you may want to rethink your strategy.

According to an investigation conducted by the Cornucopia Institute, some makers of veggie burgers use a dangerous chemical called hexane to reduce the fat in their product.  Hexane is a petroleum byproduct of gasoline refining.  It’s also a neurotoxin meaning it’s toxic to the nervous system.  The EPA lists hexane among its list of hazardous air pollutants.  When you consider all of this, it’s easy to see why hexane is known as “the dirty little secret of the natural soy foods industry.”

Are all veggie burgers potentially dangerous?  Even foods labeled “made with organic ingredients” could contain soy once bathed in hexane.  These include burgers from Boca Burger, Morningstar Farms, Garden Burger, and Amy’s Kitchen. In order to make sure you’re veggie burgers are hexane free, look for products labeled “organic.”  However, Boca Burger and Morningstar products labeled “made with organic soy” are hexane free.

The dangers of hexane.  Hexane is a powerful chemical.  That’s why it’s so useful as a cleaning substance and why it can dissolve glue and varnish.  In the food industry, it’s used to separate the oils from corn, peanuts, and soybeans.  As a matter of fact, grain and soy processors are responsible for more than two-thirds of the United State’s hexane emissions, states Cornucopia.

Most of the research on hexane reports the dangers of exposure from inhalation.  There simply hasn’t been any research to know the effects of eating hexane, even though hexane residues in common soy ingredients can be 10 times higher than what the FDA states as normal.  The fact remains the dangers from inhalation should be cause enough for anyone to avoid hexane-tainted veggie burgers.  These risks include:

Dizziness

Giddiness

Nausea

Headache

Numbness in the extremities

Weakness

Blurred vision

Headache

Fatigue

And it’s not only your veggie burger that could put you at risk for the above symptoms.  Hexane is also found in nutrition bars, protein shakes and even baby formulas that contain soy.

If you’re feeling a little frustrated right now, it’s understandable.  First no beef on your burger, now you can’t even throw a veggie patty on the grill.  What do you have to do to get a healthy and tasty burger?Try tempeh burgers instead.  Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that carries no risk of hexane contamination, or the other dangerous effects of unfermented soy.  Even though some experts proclaim soy as a miracle food, the truth is unfermented soy, the kind found in most health foods, can lead to a whole host of problems from digestive distress to heart disease and even cancer.

The reason tempeh is an acceptable soy product lies in the fact that is fermented.  The fermentation process reduces the unhealthy properties of soybean products and delivers beneficial substances to your system.

Go ahead and try a tempeh burger at your next cookout.  You may be pleasantly surprised, it’s much safe than the majority of veggie burgers, and your body will sure thank you for it later.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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