I thought "if it can be eaten raw, you can eat it." Why can't we eat the little beans in edamame then?
Edemame = soy. There are plenty of reasons not to eat soy, nicely outlined here.
Paleo isn't some arbitrary ruleset based on eating "raw" or "paleolithic" foods. Ultimately, biochemistry supersedes anthropology.
You can eat anything raw. You can eat a tablespoon of cyanide raw if you want to — it's just that it will kill you. The question isn't whether something can be eaten raw. The question is whether it's poisonous. Soy is somewhat poisonous, at least if it's not fermented.
That said, edamame isn't so bad. The problem with most soy foods is that they contain enzyme inhibitors, goitrogens, phytates, and phytoestrogens. And a lot of common soy foods, like soy milk, soy burgers, soy cheese, tofurkey, etc., are just highly processed junk foods.
Edamame (which is typically boiled or steamed) is relatively unprocessed, and has lower amounts of enzyme inhibitors and phytates than most soy products. As far as snack foods go, edamame is certainly better for you than Cheetos or Doritos. It's got a decent amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and folate.
Still, it's far from optimal. You'd be much better off trading in your edamame for bacon.
This is my second answer, but I can't resist adding a small rant against the idea that whether a food is commonly eaten raw equates to whether it's paleo.
The paleolithic era ended about 10,000 years ago. Humans tamed fire and cooked with it as far back as 1.8 million years ago. (See Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire.) Nobody eats potatoes raw, but they are about as paleo as grass-fed beef is.
So just because edamame is not eaten raw does not automatically make it non-paleo. (What makes it non-paleo in a reenactment sense is that it probably wasn't eaten in any significant quantities until the neolithic era. What makes it arguably non-paleo in the paleo 2.0/archevore sense is that it contains some amount of phytates and enzyme inhibitors. But really, not a lot. Mature soybeans contain high amounts of enzyme inhibitors, but edamame is made from younger beans with much lower amounts; and blanching them reduces the action of both the enzyme inhibitors and the phytates. As I said in my previous answer, edamame is probably no worse than most nuts when it comes to enzyme inhibitors and phytates.)
Eating endamame once in a while isn't going to hurt anybody. We need to stop with the "you can't eat that on Paleo" crap. It isn't dogma. It's a set of guiding principles. Just about anything is okay in moderation, and it's up to each of us to figure out which foods and exercises make us feel better, and which make us feel worse.
Well all of the "rules" like: "it can be eaten raw", or "a caveman could have eaten it", etc are not criteria for picking food. They're criteria for forming hypotheses about what we should think about eating. Soy is bad for you for reasons outlined above so even if it could be eaten raw there are other reasons to avoid it. Paleo isn't about following arbitrary rules it's about eating the most nutritious food with the least ill side effects
Edamame & soy is a staple food for Japanese people. Look at them they are skinny, healthy, look younger & they live a longer life. Here in the US they implement certain diets here and there but who got the most obese people its them. Eating healthy is just commonsense and discipline.
All those who think a small amount of raw edamame is bad for you raise a hand. All those who have a hand raised, raise your other hand if you also drink alcoholic beverages or eaten something from an industrialised farm or taken a walk down town when there is heavy traffic. All those who have two hands raised are docile, ill informed and stupid.
edamame and fermented soy 3 Answers