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Many "Natural" Vegetarian Foods Use Soy Protein Isolate Processed With Neurotoxic Chemical

December 8, 2010: 06:21 AM EST

A report from the Cornucopia Institute says that many soy-based food products – veggie burgers, fake meats, etc. –  labeled “natural” use soy protein isolate that is processed using the neurotoxic solvent hexane. Processing with hexane increases the protein content of foods targeting vegetarian consumers. An alternative mechanical method of processing is not only more expensive, it results in lower protein content. Companies that sell the hexane-processed foods argue that there are no residues of hexane in the soy protein isolate they use. The FDA does not require companies to measure hexane residues, however, so the Institute doubts the companies have any idea of the levels in their products. Natural health bars with "likely" hexane content include Clif Bar, Odwalla and Balance Bar; veggie burgers and meat substitutes include Boca, Gardenburger and Trader Joe's.

Charlotte Vallaeys, et al., "Toxic Chemicals: Banned In Organics But Common in “Natural” Food Production", Report, Cornucopia Institute, December 08, 2010, © Cornucopia Institute
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