Soybeans: What Are They Used For?

Soybeans: What Are They Used For?

April 1, 2020

Soybeans—we’ve all seen them in fields surrounding us; lush green canopies that turn brown as the plants mature and prepare for harvest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with soybeans and the related industry, you may be wondering, “What are soybeans used for?” The answer isn’t exactly straight-forward, as there are many common uses of soybeans!

Animal Nutrition

Did you know that global animal agriculture is the number 1 consumer of US grown soybeans? Soybean meal in the US goes to several areas of animal agriculture, including: poultry, pork, beef and dairy cattle and aquatic farming.

Human Nutrition

Perhaps one of the best known soybean uses is tofu, a nutritious plant-based protein. Tempeh is a food similar to tofu, but is made of fermented soybeans. Edamame is a common appetizer made of soybeans that are harvested while still green.

Finally, vegetable oil and related products often contain soybean oil!

Industrial Uses

Both soybean oil and meal can often replace petroleum and related volatile ingredients in some consumer and industrial products, such as biodiesel.

Additional Sources:

United Soybean Board

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