I have a co-worker whose love language (or in this case, friendship language) is gift-giving. He's always bringing in goodies to share, sometimes even to the point of packing himself a double lunch so he can give half of it away.
It may be a big bowlful of cherries or a loaf of homemade banana bread, and he knows what everyone's favorite chocolate is; mine being dark. A few times a month we'd find a personal-size chocolate bar on our desks after having stepped away for a moment.
Recently, he gave me a dark chocolate bar with a hint of orange. Mmmm, tasty. It was melting in my mouth when I read the ingredients. It was about the third one listed - soy lecithin. Ugh, figures. What a bummer. He came into my office and asked with a broad grin, "How is it?" "Mmmm, awesome!" I replied, "but I can't keep eating these chocolate bars. They contain soy lecithin." "That's bad?" he asked. "Yeah, it's not healthy." He knows I've been mindful about eating well.
It had been a couple of weeks of no sweet treats; I think that's when he brought us cherries and pluots. (Have you ever had a pluot? YUM! I hadn't heard of them before he brought them in. They're plums/apricots). Anyway, as we were closing up one evening last week, he asked a couple of us if we wanted donuts in the morning. I grinned sheepishly, "No, thanks."
Well, look what landed on my desk the next day. He returned the sheepish grin and said, "It doesn't have soy lecithin." He walked away with another delivery to make.
I peaked inside to see what flavor it was. [gasp] Chocolate Glazed Cake! My second favorite - right after blueberry. I closed the bag, but the temptation was powerful. Still, it sat there untouched while I finished my whole cup of coffee.
Meanwhile, what he said kept ringing in my ears, "It doesn't have soy lecithin." I was pretty sure that was not a true statement. A google search led me to Dunkin Donuts' ingredients list page.
Yeah, that's what I thought. Not only do Chocolate Glazed Cake Donuts contain soy lecithin, they contain a whole host of ingredients that shouldn't pass a person's lips. Would you look at the length of that list?! Yikes. It looks more like the description of a science project than of a
Sufficiently dismayed by the confirmation of my hunch, I went and made what I intended to eat that morning anyway - my three-times-a-week soaked oats and fresh blueberries with coconut oil and raw honey.
I never told him that Chocolate Glazed Cake Donuts DO contain soy lecithin and that I DID NOT eat it.
So What's So Bad About Soy Lecithin, Anyway?
Real Farmacy had this to say about it in an article written about what lurks in soft-serve ice cream:
Soy Lecithin or Soya Lecithin
Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.
A very large percentage of soy lecithin is produced from soy which is GM and unfermented. Fermented soy is the only soy fit for human consumption. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido.
How this stuff is considered a food ingredient is beyond my comprehension. No more commercially manufactured chocolate, donuts, or [sigh] soft-serve ice cream for me.
Here's a recipe for homemade chocolate using the wonder ingredient, coconut oil! When I find a recipe for homemade donuts and soft-serve ice cream that I love, I'll let you know.