Culinary Puzzle

Why in hell is there soy in Italian soft rolls?

Parents of sensitive-stomached babies everywhere would like to know.


  1. #1 D. C. Sessions
    March 9, 2009

    Why in hell is there soy in Italian soft rolls?

    Soy flour is extremely hygroscopic, so stuff baked with it goes stale slower than otherwise. Same as milk: it’s basically a nutritive preservative.

    For those of us who aren’t soy-sensitive, it’s all good. Otherwise ….

  2. #2 Aaron Bergman
    March 9, 2009

    Because soy and corn are in everything.

  3. #3 skyotter
    March 9, 2009

    my guess would be that “vegetable oil” (eg, soy) was used as the shortening agent

  4. #4 H
    March 9, 2009

    It’s also used as cheap, inert “bulk”. McDonalds hamburgers are mostly soy.

  5. #5 Mary Aileen
    March 9, 2009

    If it’s soy lecithin, that’s in all commericial breads (afaik).

  6. #6 Uncle Al
    March 9, 2009

    Soy solids contain xenopcryptophytoestrogens daidzein, genistein, and glycitein. Ingestion by women gestating a male fetus and feeding such to the baby thereafter is emasculating: poor muscularity, small stature, small genitalia.

    Compare P1 and F1 generations in Canadian Asian immigrants. When the same genome is fueled with high meat, high dairy, high calorie “junk” food it comes out six feet tall. Compare with traditional Asian diets deficient in protein, calcium, and calories. Phytic acid in rice chelates iron and zinc (anemia and immune dysfunction); wheat contains much less. Soy results in… well, name one male Asian porn star.

    Studies. We need studies. Get that White paper out in a decade or two. Then, more studies!

  7. #7 Graydon
    March 9, 2009

    I’m soy (and gluten, and dairy) intolerant; I have more or less given up on any prepared food at all, because soy is in blessed everything.

    It’s actually getting easier to find vitamins that I can use, though; the idea that there are soy intolerant people seems to be spreading.

    (Soy is both useful and heavily subsidized; it’d be very strange if it wasn’t in blessed everything.)

  8. #8 Kate Nepveu
    March 10, 2009

    Mary Aileen, some of our local bakeries don’t add soy to their breads, or at least all their breads. But it is very much the exception–last weekend in Mass. there weren’t any local breads in the grocery store I was in, and the only sandwich-like thing I could find without soy were some really dreadful bagels.

  9. #9 marciepooh
    March 10, 2009

    I hope for your sake she out grows this. As Graydon said, soy is almost every prepared food out there. My sister had a friend in pre-school who couldn’t have soy, snack foods were a nightmare. She (sis) spent one Easter morning looking at ingredient lists to find a candy she could give her friend. Peeps, btw, are soy free.

  10. #10 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 10, 2009

    From The Times Literary Supplement
    March 4, 2009
    The joy of soy
    The controversial history of the soybean – and the uncertain future of tofu
    Paul Levy

    Food studies is a subject so much in its infancy that it would be foolish to try to define it or in any way circumscribe it, because the topic, discipline or method you rule out today might be tomorrow’s big thing. The inadequacy of our conventional conceptual framework for dealing with this unwieldy child is bathetically shown on the copyright page of The World of Soy, where the “Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data” lists the volume’s subject matter as “1. Soyfoods. 2. Cookery (Soybeans). 3. Food habits”. Thus do our categories of taxonomy reduce the current state of our knowledge about the world’s fourth most important food, measured in terms of calories, and first among legumes. Measured in cash terms, soy (Glycine max) is in some ways the most important crop, and in terms of imports and exports, second only to wheat. The fact that this important book has contributions by seventeen authors reflects more than the circumstances of its origins in a couple of academic conferences; it also shows the vastness of the topic and the large number of disciplines required to make sense of it. Dealing with soy comprehensively requires the attentions of historians, nutritionists, sociologists, anthropologists, economists and specialists in agriculture, plant genetics – and cooks, for if we do not know how soy has been and can be used as human food, and why people would wish to eat it, we lack any fundamental knowledge of it.

    Though it was domesticated more than 3,000 years ago, as the editors say in their introduction, “hardly any other food plant is as modern as the soybean”. They might have added, “or as controversial”….

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