T Nation

Soy Fed Chickens

I bought some packaged,pilled hardboiled eggs today. Upon getting home, I realized the label touting them as coming from chickens that were fed a diet high in soy protein.

After I had recovered from my panic attack, I started to contemplate whether eating an egg from a soy-fed chicken would be similar to consuming soy myself. Any thoughts?

Cattle are fed soy as well - soybean meal which is about 44% crude protein.

I don’t think you have much to worry about.

Yes, the estrogen in the soy feed will find its way into the eggs of the chicken and then into you if/when you eat it. Eggs have so many beneficial qualities, however, that it makes it a thorny issue. I occassionally purchase eggs from a farm where the chickens are left to roam in the pasture. Their diet mainly consists of insects, some grain, and unfortunately, a little soy to supplement. That does not qualify as a diet that is HIGH in soy, however.

The fact that the chickens you’re talking about are fed a diet that is high in soy is also a red flag that the chickens laying them probably spend little or no time outdoors. As such, the eggs will not be of the highest quality from a micronutrient standpoint. (Are your yolks bright yellow-orange, or pale yellow? I’m guessing the latter.) I would avoid the eggs you’re talking about.

Ideally, farmers would satisfy their chickens’ protein needs with whey (in addition to insects), but that is not as easy (or economical) as feeding them soy.

You might look around your area to see if there are any local farms or farmer’s markets that sell organic eggs. Ask them if they feed the chickens soy, and if so, how much. You might also ask whether they are members of the Weston A. Price Foundation. If so, they are probably hesistant to use much, if any, soy in their chicken feed.

[quote]eic wrote:
Yes, the estrogen in the soy feed will find its way into the eggs of the chicken and then into you if/when you eat it. Eggs have so many beneficial qualities, however, that it makes it a thorny issue. I occassionally purchase eggs from a farm where the chickens are left to roam in the pasture. Their diet mainly consists of insects, some grain, and unfortunately, a little soy to supplement. That does not qualify as a diet that is HIGH in soy, however.

The fact that the chickens you’re talking about are fed a diet that is high in soy is also a red flag that the chickens laying them probably spend little or no time outdoors. As such, the eggs will not be of the highest quality from a micronutrient standpoint. (Are your yolks bright yellow-orange, or pale yellow? I’m guessing the latter.) I would avoid the eggs you’re talking about.

Ideally, farmers would satisfy their chickens’ protein needs with whey (in addition to insects), but that is not as easy (or economical) as feeding them soy.

You might look around your area to see if there are any local farms or farmer’s markets that sell organic eggs. Ask them if they feed the chickens soy, and if so, how much. You might also ask whether they are members of the Weston A. Price Foundation. If so, they are probably hesistant to use much, if any, soy in their chicken feed. [/quote]

Dude - Soybean meal has been used in animal feed for decades. You are talking about processed soy products - not the same thing.

You have no idea about farming practices either.

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation.

So, would you say that KFC, by switching to a soy oil, to reduce trans fats, is still producing a product that is safe to eat, or is the soybean oil too much of a bad thing?

[quote]SLERG wrote:
So, would you say that KFC, by switching to a soy oil, to reduce trans fats, is still producing a product that is safe to eat, or is the soybean oil too much of a bad thing?[/quote]

KFC safe to eat? I don’t think it’s been all that good for you no matter what fat they use.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Dude - Soybean meal has been used in animal feed for decades. You are talking about processed soy products - not the same thing.

You have no idea about farming practices either.

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation. [/quote]

  1. I was wondering how long it would take before you responded with personal attacks. Please try to debate the issue without getting personal if you can. You run the risk of making yourself sound like an uneducated shit kicker when you refuse to debate the issue squarely and try to undercut my knowledge instead.

  2. From the standpoint of phytoestrogens, there is no difference between soybean meal and processed soy products. The phytoestrogens are there naturally, they are not added through processing.

  3. What does it matter that soybeal meal has been used for decades? People have been smoking for decades too; does that make it less dangerous?

Do you really think that your FFA friends sit and think about the implications on human endocrine systems when they consider whether to feed their animals soy products? Of course not; they only are interested in maximizing their production at the lowest possible costs.

If soy allows them to maximize production cheaply and easily then that is what they’ll use. What does it matter that such narrow-mindedness has been perpetuated for decades?

  1. The question was whether the phytoestrogens in the chicken’s diet will find its way into the egg. You’ve offered no explanation to support your view that it is not something to worry about other than the argument that it has been done “for decades,” which, as I showed above, is not very helpful.

I’d be interested to see you provide another explanation to support your view; perhaps I’ll learn something in the process.

So, this leads us right back to Organics.
Some people will argue that that this is a solution, others doubt that it really is. I really hope this gets sorted out, because chicken is a staple at my house, but eating soy really doesn`t sit well with me.

[quote]eic wrote:
rainjack wrote:
Dude - Soybean meal has been used in animal feed for decades. You are talking about processed soy products - not the same thing.

You have no idea about farming practices either.

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation.

  1. I was wondering how long it would take before you responded with personal attacks. Please try to debate the issue without getting personal if you can. You run the risk of making yourself sound like an uneducated shit kicker when you refuse to debate the issue squarely and try to undercut my knowledge instead.

  2. From the standpoint of phytoestrogens, there is no difference between soybean meal and processed soy products. The phytoestrogens are there naturally, they are not added through processing.

  3. What does it matter that soybeal meal has been used for decades? People have been smoking for decades too; does that make it less dangerous?

Do you really think that your FFA friends sit and think about the implications on human endocrine systems when they consider whether to feed their animals soy products? Of course not; they only are interested in maximizing their production at the lowest possible costs.

If soy allows them to maximize production cheaply and easily then that is what they’ll use. What does it matter that such narrow-mindedness has been perpetuated for decades?

  1. The question was whether the phytoestrogens in the chicken’s diet will find its way into the egg. You’ve offered no explanation to support your view that it is not something to worry about other than the argument that it has been done “for decades,” which, as I showed above, is not very helpful.

I’d be interested to see you provide another explanation to support your view; perhaps I’ll learn something in the process. [/quote]

The concentration at which the phyto estrogens occur in unprocessed soybean products are much lower than in highly processed soy crap that you get off the store shelf. Surely you can understand this very simple principle.

Every plant contains phyto-estrogens. This is not a new discovery. Yet you seem to imply that phyto-estrogens are found only in soy. You could not be more wrong.

I was not making this personal. If you take it that way - that is your problem.

Soybeans are not inherently bad. It is when they are so highly processed that the problem arises. I will leave you and your over-sized cranium/ego to figure out how over-processing leads to higher concentrations of p-estrogens.

I hope you can understand the point here.

Now - as for your assumption that you know about animal production - I can only laugh. That is not personal - that is just me knowing that you know nothing about the subject at hand. Ignorance - when displayed so publicly as “knowledge” is funny. All you are doing is attempting to play on the anti-soy fear mongering.

You are the one that throws out epithets like “shit kicker” and “FFA buddies”. And you accuse me of being personal? Wake the fuck up, Einstein.

Trust me - you do not want to debate me on this subject. You are in WAY over your head here.

[quote]SLERG wrote:
So, this leads us right back to Organics.
Some people will argue that that this is a solution, others doubt that it really is. I really hope this gets sorted out, because chicken is a staple at my house, but eating soy really doesn`t sit well with me.[/quote]

Couldn’t organic chicken be fed organic soy?

What defines organic chicken?

I suppose free range chicken should not get much soy.

I never called you a shitkicker, I just said that they way you choose to discuss things MIGHT lead some to believe that you are low class (and I’m not talking socioeconomically).

I hate to say that, at least in my opinion, your posts drip with arrogance and an air of superiority. Any debate with you, Rainjack, always ends in you saying something like, “You can’t even debate this with me, I know so much more than you about it’s not even funny.”

I happen to believe that your views are biased. You are part of the commericial food production system that tries to feed America dubious food that has been tainted through methods that have the almighty dollar, not health, as the major consideration. Then you try to tell me (and others) that those same products are not dangerous. Well I, for one, am shocked.

I don’t think that soy is the only plant source that has phytoestrogens it in and never said as much. (I see we’re still fond of putting words others’ mouths.) Indeed, if you do a simple search here on T-Nation, you’ll find that I’ve recently discussed the phytoestrogen content of flax seed as well.

My belief, predicated on science, is that phytoestrogens are very highly concentrated in soy and flax (flax even moreso than soy) relative to other plant sources. At lower concentrations, the cost-benefit ratio might tip more in favor of eating the plant in question (estrogens and all), but that is not so with soy and flax.

Perhaps soybean meal is not as problematic as, say, processed soy, but the point that you is whether soy is really necessary to feed to chickens at all. If your chickens are stuffed in little cages in long, corrugated-iron buildings without access to pasture, then yes soy is probably necessary. But if the chickens are free to roam in pasture and have access to insects, then their protein needs can likely be met with whey.

You accuse me of fear-mongering and I believe that you are trying to persist in the brainwashing of America. Who’s right? Perhaps we’ll never agree on that, but let’s at least try to discuss the issue without being childish.

Therefore, if you have nothing to offer this discussion other than, “You can’t even begin to debate me on this because you are SOOOOO not in the know,” then please do not even bother responding at all because that line is so tired and played out.

The way I see it the phyto est are not really a worry and the least of the probs. The big prob with grain feeding livestock including chickens is the way we have butchered a good thing by changing the fat profile NOT for he better but for the worse.

Just another log on the fire LOL
Phill

[quote]eic wrote:
I never called you a shitkicker, I just said that they way you choose to discuss things MIGHT lead some to believe that you are low class (and I’m not talking socioeconomically).

I hate to say that, at least in my opinion, your posts drip with arrogance and an air of superiority. Any debate with you, Rainjack, always ends in you saying something like, “You can’t even debate this with me, I know so much more than you about it’s not even funny.”

I happen to believe that your views are biased. You are part of the commericial food production system that tries to feed America dubious food that has been tainted through methods that have the almighty dollar, not health, as the major consideration. Then you try to tell me (and others) that those same products are not dangerous. Well I, for one, am shocked.

I don’t think that soy is the only plant source that has phytoestrogens it in and never said as much. (I see we’re still fond of putting words others’ mouths.) Indeed, if you do a simple search here on T-Nation, you’ll find that I’ve recently discussed the phytoestrogen content of flax seed as well.

My belief, predicated on science, is that phytoestrogens are very highly concentrated in soy and flax (flax even moreso than soy) relative to other plant sources. At lower concentrations, the cost-benefit ratio might tip more in favor of eating the plant in question (estrogens and all), but that is not so with soy and flax.

Perhaps soybean meal is not as problematic as, say, processed soy, but the point that you is whether soy is really necessary to feed to chickens at all. If your chickens are stuffed in little cages in long, corrugated-iron buildings without access to pasture, then yes soy is probably necessary. But if the chickens are free to roam in pasture and have access to insects, then their protein needs can likely be met with whey.

You accuse me of fear-mongering and I believe that you are trying to persist in the brainwashing of America. Who’s right? Perhaps we’ll never agree on that, but let’s at least try to discuss the issue without being childish.

Therefore, if you have nothing to offer this discussion other than, “You can’t even begin to debate me on this because you are SOOOOO not in the know,” then please do not even bother responding at all because that line is so tired and played out. [/quote]

So you jump from phyto-estrogens to farming practices without even so much as a commercial for a segway. I also see you completely ignored the “FFA buddy” epithet. How convenient.

I’ll tell you what. You find me a study that supports your position that feeding soybean meal increase phyto-estrogen content in chickens, and then you may have a point. Short of that - all you have is your opinion.

Yes - when it comes to animal nutrition and husbandry parctices - I am more knowledgeable than 99.999% of the people on here. That is not to brag. It is what I do. I make a very good living consulting with farmers and ranchers. If I did not know my shit inside and out - I would starve to death.

And just to correct you - my point was simply that obsessing over the fact that a chicken might be fed soybean meal is not necessary.

I do believe it was you that felt the need to start the fear mongering, and attempting to wax prophetic on the subject of how to raise chickens.

This debate is tired, and has been repeated countless times on here.

Are you not worried about phyto estrogens in cattle? Even the most grass fed of of grass fed cattle have had a steady diet of one meal or another - all of them containing the dreaded p-word.

And that brings up another issue - the whole free range, grass fed b.s. you do know that plants contain the p-word, no? So wouldn’t grass fed/free range animals be at least as dangerous (if not more so) than grain fed animals?

Just wondering.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
So you jump from phyto-estrogens to farming practices without even so much as a commercial for a segway. [/quote]

The two are clearly related. Cattle and chickens raised in pasture don’t need meal feed. Grain feed for cattle goes hand-in-hand with cattle raised in lots; similar principles apply with regard to chicken. You know this.

You’re right, it was a bit of a jab. I apologize.

Why should the burden be on me? How about you show me a study saying that soy feed does NOT increase phytoestrogen content in chickens? Until then, despite your apparent experience in this field, all you have is YOUR opinion.

Without conceding that I should carry the burden of proof, here is one study showing that soy feed is doing something hormonally to chickens: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=8&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hcmuaf.edu.vn%2Fcpb%2Fphtqt%2Fbiotech2006%2Fpapers%2Fcnty%2FBerry.pdf&ei=6sVMRv2_FY3egwPpz8GWDQ&usg=AFrqEzd9vfQ2-fVDFnxbMx6dl7SszM3NqQ&sig2=VZPQN0tAUQy0ZPpE6H1hVQ

Frankly, the best evidence that soy causes issues in the animals is the fact that farmers feed it to the animals at all. My position is that one reason soy is used because it fattens the animals quickly before slaughter. The fattening is a hormonal reaction and is evidence that the phytoestrogens are, again, doing something hormonally to the animals.

I don’t doubt that you are knowledgable and experienced. But again, I wonder if your knowledge is not geared towards maximizing production without much (or any) regard to the end result in terms of how the animal impacts our health in subtle ways. I’m not talking about the obvious dangers like E. Coli or mad cow, but the more subtle influences that the average Joe doesn’t pay attention to.

That is where we differ. I already stated that I eat eggs which come from chickens that I know have supplemental soy in their diets. My preference would be that soy was not given to the chickens and I know that it is possible. Is it the most economical solution? No, but neither is the craftsmanship that goes into certain high-priced automobiles. I’m willing to pay more for higher quality when it comes to the things I put into my body. This should not be that outrageous of a position.

[quote] Are you not worried about phyto estrogens in cattle? Even the most grass fed of of grass fed cattle have had a steady diet of one meal or another - all of them containing the dreaded p-word.

And that brings up another issue - the whole free range, grass fed b.s. you do know that plants contain the p-word, no? So wouldn’t grass fed/free range animals be at least as dangerous (if not more so) than grain fed animals?

Just wondering. [/quote]

If grass does have phytoestrogens in it, it can’t be more than absolute trace amounts. Soy beans have 103,920 mg of phytoestrogens per 100 g; corn, in contrast, has a meager 9 mg. That is a 100,000:1 ratio. I’m willing to bet that grass has far less phytoestrogen content, if any, than even corn. Just because we can’t get away from phytoestrogens totally doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t protest them in their most concentrated forms, especially when the concentrated plant estrogens are unnecessary. That’s like saying that because we will always be bombarded by small amounts of radiation in society we shouldn’t be concerned about the occassional nuclear fallout here and there.

I’ve already said that I am willing to eat eggs from chickens that have supplemental soy; but the issue that started this thread was a diet that is HIGH in soy. Again, this would not be necessary if the chickens were truly pasture raised. The chickens I get eggs from live outside during the day. Everytime I visit the farm I have to drive carefully so as not to run over one. They are milling about everywhere, eating grasshoppers and picking at grain. They are healthy, happy chickens. They are raised the way God intended. Sure the farmers cannot raise as many, and yes they lose a chicken or two to coyotes (or foxes), but the final product is worth the extra effort.

Finally, let me say that you and I clearly disagree on the grass-fed-beef issue. That is fine. I believe that you and those involved in commercial food production truly resent the growing popularity of pastured beef. Whether the cows eat absolutely nothing by grass (or hay in the winter months) is irrelevant; the point is that their enviroment and the predominace of natural foods in their diet makes the animal much healthier. Less economical (and therefore more expensive) yes, but better in my book. Again, given your occupation, I’m not surprised you criticize the idea of pasture-raised beef, but forgive me if I don’t buy into your agenda.

Let me reiterate that my position is in favor of allowing chickens to roam free and eat insects and grain, and letting cattle roam free in pasture to eat primarily grass. Why is this such an outrageous position? It is shocking that you, the forum’s harbinger of modern animal husbandry, cannot embrace that. The fact that those natural practices seem alien to you, shows just how far we’ve come in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

[quote]eic wrote:
You’re right, it was a bit of a jab. I apologize.[/quote]

So when you’re talking it’s a “jab” - but I am am making it personal? No apologies needed - but let’s call a spade a spade here.

You are the one that made the charge. I never even mentioned the p-word until you brought it up. Your word - your burden of proof.

I will respond to your google link later as I need to attend a banquet thingy tonight, and it will take a little time to filter through the propaganda.

Newsflash - it is used primarily in pasture rations - not finishing rations. Corn, wheat and milo are far more efficient at finishing cattle for slaughter. Chickens and pigs eat it because it is palatable. In fact it is more of a hog finisher than it is a chicken feed.

Such as? Subtle influences is just another buzzword for propaganda. The food supply we have today is safer than at anytime in history. Am I a fan of efficiency? Damn right I am. Everyone is except those that have no financial stake in the industry. Those pie in the sky feel-gooders are the same dipshits that blame corporations for everything in our world that is bad.

FYI - e-coli is not a function of the slaughter process, or the feeding process - it is a function of improperly stored, or cooked meats. Mad Cow - that’s about played out, no? When was the last mad cow outbreak in the US?

We are not that different on this point. The main difference being is that there has to be an identifiable market in order for a farmer to meet the needs of that market. But by and large, farmers are price takers - that means they make the same shit as the farmer down the road, and as much of it as they can because an egg is an egg. When the market is large enough and loud enough - someone will listen. I think you tend to indict an entire industry because you prefer it to be done a different way.

The grass itself may be low - but you are not considering the seed, or the fruit of the grass. But that is neither here nor there - I was trying to be absurd. There is not enough energy in grass to support healthy growth, much less reproductive functions.

And I hate to be an ass - but you say 103,920mg/100g. You do realize that you are saying that there are 103.92 grams of p-word in 100grams of soybeans, right? I call bullshit. Unless you have proof that soybeans are 103% phyto-estrogen.

Go back and try again. You just blew a hole in your own argument with the inflated numbers.

[quote]rainjack wrote:

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation. [/quote]

“the phytoestrogens can end up in the yolks–not as high as in commercial eggs, but they will be there”

http://www.westonaprice.org/faq.html#soy

“Imported GE soy feed is the biggest source of GE contamination in the New Zealand food chain.”

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/ronald-mcdonald-resigns

Go back to the steroid forum.

[quote]Altered Beast wrote:
rainjack wrote:

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation.

“the phytoestrogens can end up in the yolks–not as high as in commercial eggs, but they will be there”

http://www.westonaprice.org/faq.html#soy

“Imported GE soy feed is the biggest source of GE contamination in the New Zealand food chain.”

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/ronald-mcdonald-resigns

Go back to the steroid forum.[/quote]

Why - so you don’t have to get your ass whipped in yet another forum?

It would be nice if you would post something besides propaganda. You unknowingly make my point - you are feeding the fear mongering.

Now either bring some real facts - or just shut up and color. Your choice.

[quote]Altered Beast wrote:
a bunch of stupid shit[/quote]

Aren’t you the really, really buff, strong guy that was bragging about his huge DL - like 6X BW or something- until you got laughed out of the thread?

Aren’t you the same guy that said he hates people that take steroids?

I think you are. Now you are an expert in soy.

Really…just try to stay inside the lines.

[quote]Altered Beast wrote:
rainjack wrote:

Please - crap like this is where the fear mongering starts. Don’t feed the fire of misinformation.

“the phytoestrogens can end up in the yolks–not as high as in commercial eggs, but they will be there”

http://www.westonaprice.org/faq.html#soy

“Imported GE soy feed is the biggest source of GE contamination in the New Zealand food chain.”

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/ronald-mcdonald-resigns

Go back to the steroid forum.[/quote]

Did you actually try to make a point with the greenpeace link?

Why don’t you start referencing theonion.com?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

Did you actually try to make a point with the greenpeace link?[/quote]

You know you’re right, we shouldn’t listen to greenpeace, we should listen to rainjack, after all he’s from Texas, that state produces some of the smartest people in the world, like your president George Bush.

I’ve been thinking, you guys are right about everything, soy fed chickens are estrogen free, steroids have no negative side effects, and Iraq has WMDs. You Americans are so smart, now hurry up and nuke Iran, that would be the smart thing to do.