Soy diet prompts prisoners’ lawsuit – Washington Times

Posted: March 4, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

Prison grub never had a high culinary reputation, but now some inmates say it’s not just the taste they don’t like.

Illinois convicts have gone to court, claiming that too much soy in their diets has left them with severe health problems, including heart issues and thyroid damage, along with allergic reactions and gastrointestinal distress.

Eddie Martinez, 50, was released in September after 4 1/2 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, where he says his claims of gastric distress – belching, pain, cramps and constipation – and his fear that they were connected to his soy-rich diet there, were not taken seriously. He continues to see doctors for problems that he says will not go away, though he takes many medications.

“At my age, my health is a concern,” says Mr. Martinez, a native of Puerto Rico who came to the U.S. when he was 8. “I keep reading about cancer risks, and obviously this is upsetting.”

Now, Illinois is the target of a lawsuit filed by attorneys for the Washington, D.C.-based Weston A. Price Foundation on behalf of several Illinois inmates.

The foundation argues that inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections regularly consume about 100 grams of soy protein, when just about 25 grams is recommended as part of a healthy diet. The lawsuit seeks to stop the use of soy in prison recipes, a common tactic that cuts food costs at many correctional facilities around the nation.

Sally Fallon Morell, the foundation’s founder and president, said prison diets in Illinois changed under then-Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich in 2003. While meat patties served to inmates used to be filled with “very nutrient-dense” organ meat, the new burgers changed to 70 percent soy protein and about 30 percent actual meat.

“They started using soy cheese on macaroni and cheese, soy nuggets in spaghetti sauce, soy flour added to all baked goods,” she said. “The first thing that shows up is digestive disorders. Soy is extremely hard to digest, so you get vomiting, chronic constipation and horrible gas. You can imagine the effects in close quarters after eating this.”

via Soy diet prompts prisoners’ lawsuit – Washington Times.

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