Magic beans: Five amazing uses for soybeans
It all starts in the field. An unassuming, short green plant emerges from the soil. Growing about thigh-high by mid-October, the soybeans are ready to start their journey across the globe. From your car to the kitchen, let’s follow along and see five innovative uses for soy.
Healthier cooking oil
Soybean oil is used in baking cakes to frying french fries. It has a neutral flavor profile, and its dependable domestic production meets the economic needs of our food industry.
High oleic soybean oil, produced from a genetically modified soybean, is 100 percent U.S. grown and provides improved resistance to oxidation and extended performance in high-temperature and extended-use applications. As a result, it can extend the shelf life of processed foods and fryer life. High oleic soybean oil also has an improved fat profile similar to olive oil. It contains lower saturated fats and three times the amount of monosaturated fatty acids, which benefit heart health when consumed in moderation.
Recently, a non-GMO variety was developed by a team of university researchers and will be introduced to fields in 2020. Calyxt, a Minnesota-based biotechnology company, also debuted a gene-edited variety of high oleic soybean in early 2019.
Soybeans are used to create biodiesel, a cleaner-burning, renewable alternative to regular diesel. The oil from soybeans is mixed with diesel fuel. Biodiesel made with soybean oil can help reduce greenhouse gases by up to 86 percent, compared to regular diesel. Many suppliers are starting to use biodiesel to transport products across the county, leaving a smaller environmental impact in their path.
Cleaner oceans, lakes, and rivers
While soybeans work hard to reduce carbon emission on the interstate, they are also working to keep dangerous oil out of the ocean. Soybean oil can be used to create an environmentally friendly solvent that can safety remove oil from creeks, streams and ocean shorelines without harming the environment. In the near future it’s possible that when regular oil is spilled on a shoreline, soybean oil will come to the rescue, keeping animals safe while cleaning up the mess.
Safer everyday household products
With soy’s incredible versatility and cleaner impact on the environment, more and more manufacturers are starting to incorporate soy into everyday householdproducts. Soy-based crayons are non-toxic and safer for children. New candles made with soybean oil burn longer and cleaner, producing less smoke. Next time you’re shopping for supplies or cleaning products, rather than looking for non-GMO and organic labels, look for soybean oil ingredients for a safe, natural alternative.
Better food for animals
An essential part of farm animal well-being is a nutritious and balanced diet. Just because animal feed comes from one sack, it doesn’t mean they’re only eating one ingredient. These sacks contain carefully balanced diets with many essential ingredients. Soybeans are often one of those ingredients, providing a protein-powered boost for farm animals. Newly developed soybeans have increased digestibility for animals, which means their easier to eat and better for cattle, chickens, pigs and more.