We would like to celebrate National Soy Food Month by educating our community a bit more about the many uses of the soybean product from cultivation to harvest and how this high protein plant can be included into a diverse range of food products.
History: With the introduction of Soy Milk to the United States in the 1980’s, American food manufacturers started to develop soy food products that appealed to the unique tastes of the heartland. Throughout the 1990’s there were several advances in processing which has allowed for foods to be made from components of soybeans such as soy protein concentrates and isolates. The soybean has found its way into more products than we can start to list! Soymilk remains the most frequently consumed soyfood, followed by edamame and veggie burgers. Tofu sits in fourth place.
Production: The USDA report is now estimating total soybean production in 2013 at 3.15 billion bushels. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2013 is now estimated at 41.2 bushels per acre, which down from the August USDA estimate of 42.6 bushels per acre. From 1996 to 2011 soy food products have grown from $1 billion to $5.2 billion in annual sales. The farming methods for soybeans have evolved into new practices in sustainable farming techniques. Soy farmers are now taking a responsible stance on protecting the environment and producing a healthy food source.
Health: There are many healthy benefits associated with soy food products. One of the most popular is the correlation between soy consumption and lowering the risks of heart disease. Soy also helps positively impact and reduce the risks of diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and breast cancer. The other positive effect from the soy food is that it helps to manage weight problems that we currently face in the United States. There is an epidemic of unhealthy food products and eating habits. Introducing soy and replacing harmful foods for health rich soy foods can have an immediate positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.