Late last December, someone wrote in a livestock industry publication about the “dangers” of the impossible burger. This included some whoppers (so to speak), including that just four impossible burgers a day contain “enough estrogen to grow boobs on a male,” and that “an impossible whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular whopper.”
This is not the first time we’ve discussed soy. In the past, I’ve written about how those that call others “soy boys” are usually rather ironically drinking breast milk that contains mammalian estrogen. On the other hand, soy contains phytoestrogens which are significantly less bioavailable, as a Snopes article on the piece published in the livestock industry publication notes.
The idea that soy will cause men to grow breasts stems from a single case study in which a man who consumed a significant amount of soy milk (3 quarts a day) grew breasts. That’s literally all there is to it — often times, this is sufficient for a bit of a moral panic.
And the moral panic around soy is among the highest in terms of hysteria to threat ratio.
Concern about soy is remarkably high in the white supremacist community on Twitter. They think it’s part of a plot by Jews to make men more feminine as part of their efforts towards total global control — less masculine men means less resistance to their takeover, the conspiracy theory goes. By eating an impossible whopper, you are literally helping the Jews kill us all, they think.
It’s literally a bean, no one is forcing it upon us, but there are people that I’m afraid might actually suffer a mental breakdown if they accidentally consume some of it — don’t tread on my masculinity, I guess.
The notion that soy causes such feminization has been debunked over and over again. And even if we do end up finding that soy or phytoestrogens cause some kind of hormone changes, people are going to freak out, even if the size of the effect is minuscule.
In some ways, it’s quite entertaining that people are this triggered by soy beans. Soy is literally everywhere, in just about everything, yet the people panicking about it are typically ingesting hordes more actual estrogen in an effort to avoid the harmless plant estrogen.
As if the benefits of the impossible whopper — including the industry-wide freakout among those invested in animal agriculture — couldn’t get any greater, we find that anti-vegans of all stripes are drinking literal breast milk, chock full of estrogen, to restore their fragile masculinity. God Bless America.
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