Dear Earth Talk: How healthy is soy? I heard that, despite its healthy image, most soy is grown using chemicals like other crops and is even being genetically modified. -- D. Frinka, Syracuse, NY
Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a year on soy food products; today we spend over $4 billion. More and more adults are substituting soy—a great source of protein—for meat, while a quarter of all baby formula contains soy instead of milk. Many school lunch programs nationwide have added soy-based veggie burgers to their menus, as have countless restaurants, including diners and fast food chains.