Company commends, students condemn

With options at nearly every dining hall, soy is not just for vegans anymore. Vermont Soy, a local soy company, recently praised UVM for its use of their sustainable products. However, some students believe the new fad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.Vermont Soy representative Beth Mullen recently visited the Simpson dining hall and Brennan’s Pub and Bistro to applaud UVM for their use of soy. “UVM is one of our biggest accounts,” Mullen said. “You guys have been super great.”Despite its positive effect on the local economy, junior Nathan Joseph said he is worried about the effect soy production has on the environment. “To an extent, soy can be good — but the way we harvest and cultivate it is not,” Joseph said. Soy is the second most popular crop in America, but it is grown in oversized fields that are inundated with chemicals to keep insects away, he said.”It can be good to produce the soy in a field amongst other things, such as onions, which work as a natural pesticide,” Joseph said. Sophomore Senowa Miz-Fox said she is concerned as well.”They are tearing down the Brazilian rainforest to make soy crops, which is absolutely absurd,” Miz-Fox said. “Population is growing so largely, and yet there’s still this huge hunger problem. The trick is finding a balance.”We need to curb our resource consumption as well as control population, she said. However, Mullen said she thinks there are benefits to soy.By using soy products, students are helping to support Vermont and Quebec farmers, she said.Brennan’s started using Vermont Soy products in September 2008 for this reason, Brennan’s manager Bijan Samimi said. “We wanted to support the local farmers and still have a sustainable product,” Samimi said. However, there are a lot of other local sources we can get our vitamins and minerals from, Miz-Fox said. “It’s definitely a good addition to a healthy diet, and it has a lot of health benefits such as extra vitamins, but I don’t think it’s the future of food.”