Soy Lecithin, What's all the Fuss?
We are pleased to announce that since May of 2018, Nutty Steph's dark chocolate products are all soy-free, made with only wildcrafted* cacao and cane sugar. What did it used to have?.. Soy lecithin: it comes from soybeans. Soy beans. Soy. Sounds innocent enough. It's a plant. It's a food. It's a bean. So what's all the fuss about soy lecithin, and why does every damn chocolate seem to have some?
I'll start with the second question: Simple, it's because cocoa butter is the richest, most expensive form of the cocoa bean, and it makes good chocolates buttery, naturally smooth. Chocolate companies, especially in America, will often skimp on cocoa butter and replace it's creamy-making properties with cheap, toxic soy lecithin.
According to Healthy Home Economist, "While soy lecithin derived from soy oil sludge is not necessarily a problem, the extraction of the soy oil from the bean requires the use of toxic solvents.. and is almost always genetically modified meaning pesticide residue galore. Adding insult to injury, the soy lecithin which no doubt contains toxic solvent and pesticide residues is bleached to transform the color from a dirty brownish hue to a light yellow." Conclusion: soy lecithin is to be avoided due to solvents and pesticide which can cause cancer, poison water and do other pesky inconveniences.
Alas, life is not ideal and sometimes foods have soy lecithin in them that even we food purists eat. So what to do? If there's a certain food you want that always has soy lecithin in it, eat the organic or Non-GMO brand of that food. Our white chocolate at Nutty Steph's, for example, manufactured in Italy featuring flecks of real vanilla bean and generous amount of cocoa butter, has trace amounts of soy lecithin but since it is organic, we can be sure that GMO pesticide treatments were not part of how the soy was grown. We just could never find another white chocolate that tastes nearly as good as this one, so we continue to use it for our Love Bar, Peanut Butter Magic Chunks, and signature white-dark blended Milk Chocolate.
*Wild crafted means: Pursued with intelligence and understanding, wildcrafting is a process of harvest pruning, which when practiced knowledgeably never exploits or diminishes wild plant communities, but instead supports and enhances them.