The High Cost of the Soy Diet

soy rotted

In my last blog, I described the change in diet at the Illinois prisons, from mostly meat to mostly soy. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC):

  1. There is no proof that soy diet makes men sick.
  2. I am a “Chronic Complainer” and have no real case against the diet.

Let me set the record straight on both of these assertions.

I live in the cell house with four wings on it. It is called an X-house. In each wing there are fifty-four cells. Each cell holds two men. On my wing there are three men that have full blown thyroid disease facts. There may be more but the men fear retaliation if they speak up.

But me being an old Kentucky ridge-runner I fear no man, nor his wrath. For that judge hurt me all he could when he gave me sixty-five years for crimes I did not do. So I sit here and post the truth that matters. For the Eighth Amendment to U. S. Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment being applied to any person serving time in this great country.

You know my story from previous post, but I repeat myself here. I suffered from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease contracted from consuming the IDOC soy diet, which began in 2003. Now I have two other men living on my wing that suffer great daily pain from consuming this soy diet. Both are men with thyroid disorders.

One guy has a job here. So he fears coming forward. He thinks they will terminate him. The small amount of pay for his job assignment allows him to buy Ramen noodles. This is to supplement his diet. For many days he goes to chow only to have to pass on eating the soy meals served, placed in a position between eating or getting sick. So I understand his reluctance to speak out.

But I have another stand up white guy who wants his story told so I post his words now.

Christian M. Ford
Age 30 Born 4-18-1987
Bralia, Romania

“I was adopted from a Romanian orphanage. At age four I came to this cool country. I was the only adopted child in a family of six. My life has taken an odd turn, in and out of scraps with the law. I did county jail time and two state prison terms. It was during these terms of incarceration where I started to get sick.

“I have always thought there was an obvious connection between seizures, cold flares, and unpredictable mood swings. For these only became a part of my life when I was inside the system eating soy meals.

“I requested a blood test because the symptoms were getting worse. I had sent many requests to get the soy tray replaced with food I could eat. The doctor at Shawnee Correctional Center discovered my thyroid was very out of whack. I requested to know how long the blood screens had shown my thyroid to be in disorder. But I was refused an answer to that request.

“They placed me on thyroid treatment. Levothyroxine is the hormone for my thyroid that is given. I am checked every thirty days. Since 2016, I have had to decide each day whether I eat the meal, or I starve. For the consumption of soy makes me very sick. It just seems to get worse now. I have no money to eat off the prisoner commissary. So this is my world of hurt I live in. My daily pain and suffering. Why? Because I must eat to survive.”

These are the symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  1. Trouble sleeping. Waking up a lot each night. Then have trouble getting back to sleep. Sleep 20 to 40 minutes. Then try to get back to sleep for up to an hour.
  2. Whole body has tremors lasting up one to two hours. This happens each night.
  3. Body is cold all the time. Low body temperature located at around 96 when taken by medical. Fingers, nose, chest and toes are cold all the time.
  4. Trouble breathing after eating large amounts of the soy meat substitutes served.
  5. Depression. Feeling hopeless and then helpless. This is treated with lithium
  6. Painful body rashes on chest, face, shoulders and back..
  7. Trouble swallowing. Voice box problems.

So let’s us do the math here. At 108 guys on the wing with three known thyroid disorders that makes it a percentage of 3.24 percent of the known men with a serious thyroid problem. The percentage of Hashimoto’s sufferers in the U.S. is 0.55 percent.

Each of these men has sought help but have been denied treatment with the statement, “We have no proof soy makes people sick.” Well what is the number needed to get this recognized. For it is actually much higher than 3.24% per wing. Most fear retaliation when they speak up. At over 49,000 prisoners in the State of Illinois, we can estimate a minimum of 1,176 men that soy has made ill. What more proof is needed?

One very ugly fact: The IDOC dietary managers take the non-soy food bought and feed it to the staff. This is theft from the prisoner budget—the staff are supposed to eat the same food that is given to the prisoners. Why? Because the soy makes the staff sick. So there is plenty of proof the soy diet is causing these men to be sick. But the Wexford Doctors, and the IDOC medical staff continue to turn a blind-eye to these facts.

The statements, “There is no proof soy is making you sick,” is a moronic excuse. What else could be making these men suffer the chronic symptoms of thyroid disorder they never had before incarceration?

So here is some food for thought: as a taxpayer you will be required to pay the medical bills from the detrimental effects of soy while they are in prison and once they are released.

Fact: the cost for medical care has tripled since this diet was introduced by Ex-Governor Blagojevich. Blagojevich is serving a Federal prison term for selling State Contracts. But the soy diet remains in place.

Author: Larry Harris

My name is Larry “Rocky” Harris and I am serving a sixty-five year prison term in the state of Illinois for a crime I didn’t commit. After I went to prison, I began to study the law, and now I am what is called a “prison lawyer.” I provide legal advice to inmates who can't afford a lawyer. I am looking forward to telling my story in this blog, and also providing a forum for prisoners everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *