Asian populations have a lower
incidence of hormone-related diseases, such as breast
cancer, uterine cancer, and prostate cancer, than
Westerners do. It has been suggested that soy consumption
is one reason for this difference in disease incidence.
Women who were born
in Asia but migrated to the United States
likewise have a lower risk of breast cancer,
possibly due to their early exposure to soy. But
obviously soy is only one of
many factors that influence cancer risk, and now we know that it is many
contributing factors that make a diet cancer-protective.
It is now
clear that soy intake during adolescence, a time when breast tissue is most
sensitive to environmental stimuli and
carcinogenesis, may reduce the risk of breast
cancer later in life. Recent articles in Cancer Epidemiology and
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that soy consumption during childhood
and teenage years reduced the risk of
breast cancer in adulthood
by 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
Soybeans are rich in
isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are plant substances
that are chemically similar to estrogen and since higher
estrogen levels promote breast cancer, some people predicted that soy would too. Now we
know that the phytoestrogens in soy actually
block the effects of the body's estrogen. Despite myths propagated on the Internet, the most
recent and reliable clinical studies support a strong protective
effect of minimally processed soy foods against breast
Global undernourishment shouldn't exist. Each day the world's
farmers produce the equivalent of 2,868 calories per person on the planet -- enough
to surpass the World Food Programme's recommended intake of 2,100 daily
calories and enough to support a population inching toward nine billion. The
world as a whole does not have a food deficit, but individual countries do.
Why do 805 million people still have too little to eat?
Access is the main problem. Incomes and commodity prices establish where food goes.
The quality of roads and airports determines how easily it gets there. Even
measuring undernourishment is a challenge. In countries with the highest
historical proportions of undernourishment, it can be hard to get food in and
Things are slowly getting better. Since the early 1990s
world hunger has dropped by 40 percent -- that means 209 million fewer
undernourished people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations. Future progress may prove difficult. "It is critical to first
improve overall food production and availability in places like sub-Saharan Africa,"
says FAO economist Josef Schmidhuber. "Then one can focus on access."
(Daniel Stone, National
Geographic Magazine, December 2014)
The Europeans began expanding over the globe from AD 1492
onwards and "discovered people long before there were any airplane
overflights to alert them to an outside world. The last large-scale first
contacts in world history will prove to be those that took place in the New
Guinea Highlands, where from the 1930s to the 1950s patrols by Australian and
Dutch government and army reconnaissance expeditions, miners on prospecting trips,
and biological expeditions “discovered" a million Highlanders of whose
existence the outside world hadn't known and vice versa - even though Europeans
had by then been visiting and settling the coasts of New Guinea for 400 years.