is my boca making me loca?

oh, gaze upon the beauty of that veggie burger! it looks so healthy and fresh and flavorful…but what if lurking beneath all that soy goodness were neurotoxins? what? neurotoxins? in a veggie burger?!? well, so says this article in mother jones and a study that was conducted by the cornucopia institute. they found that most non-organic veggie burgers currently on the market are made with the chemical hexane, an EPA-registered air pollutant and neurotoxin.

from mother jones:

In order to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers, manufacturers of soy-based fake meat like to make their products have as little fat as possible. The cheapest way to do this is by submerging soybeans in a bath of hexane to separate the oil from the protein. Says Cornucopia Institute senior researcher Charlotte Vallaeys, “If a non-organic product contains a soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or texturized vegetable protein, you can be pretty sure it was made using soy beans that were made with hexane.”

If you’ve heard about hexane before, it was likely in the context of gasoline—the air pollutant is also a byproduct of gas refining. But in 2007, grain processors were responsible for two-thirds of our national hexane emissions. Hexane is hazardous in the factory, too: Workers who have been exposed to it have developed both skin and nervous system disorders.

this is some scary stuff!

here is the list of veggie burgers found to contain hexane:

  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Boca Burger, conventional
  • Franklin Farms
  • Garden Burger
  • It’s All Good Lightlife
  • Morningstar Farms
  • President’s Choice
  • Taste Above
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Yves Veggie Cuisine

and the ones which are safe:

  • Boca Burgers “Made with organic soy”
  • Helen’s Kitchen
  • Morningstar “Made with organic”
  • Superburgers by Turtle Island
  • Tofurky
  • Wildwood

basically, i will only buy organic or even better, throw a portabello mushroom on the grill at our next get together! seriously, i don’t mean to make light of this. i always have boca and morningstar items in the freezer and i find this information very disturbing.

the full report from cornucopia is available on the mother jones website (towards the bottom, in a pdf). i suggest we all read it!

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Filed under eco tips, food, meatless mondays, modern living

7 responses to “is my boca making me loca?

  1. Hi Joyce,

    Thanks for sharing the great information! I’m starting to wonder if anything is safe to eat. Just wanted to mention that I am allergic to soy but found some great burgers called Organic Sunshine Burgers thar are soy and gluten free. They are delicious.

    Thanks, again, for the info.


  2. hi marie,

    i agree. we all have to do our research in terms of what we eat. here i thought not eating meat was good for me and good for the planet, but i always had a doubt in the back of my mind about these processed veggie “meats”. but never, in my wildest dreams would i think it included neurotoxins! that is beyond terrifying!

    thanks for your comment and for the organic sunshine burgers tip…are they readily available?


    • If I can get them at the grocery store out here in the boonies, I have to believe that they’re available just about anywhere. I found them right next to the Boca Burgers in the freezer section with all the other healthy foods. They come in garden and barbeque flavor and are made with brown rice, sunflower seeds and pinto beans. They’re yummy!! Even Michael likes them:)

  3. Pingback: an upstream swim to stop GE salmon… « living in a modern world.

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