Over many years our society has become extremely dependent on the production of one plant: Soy. This high-protein plant has benefited us for a long time, however its increased production is causing many to question its sustainability for the growing global population.
Soy is in almost everything that you eat, whether you know it or not. Here are some facts that highlight the extent of our global soy consumption:
- Most soy today is consumed indirectly through high-protein soymeal, which is fed to the animals that we eat.
- The increasing demand for meat is the main force driving soy production.
- 75% of soy is used for animal feed, mostly for poultry and pigs.
- Only about 6% of soybeans are eaten directly as food, mainly in Asian countries.
- 19% of soy is consumed as oil. Soy oil is one of the most common ingredients in processed foods.
- Recently soybean oil has been used in biodiesel production, but this is still only about 2% of total soy production.
- By 2050, soy production is expected to reach 515 million tons.
If soy is so deeply intertwined into global food production and economies, how can we reduce our dependence on soy for a sustainable future? As the global population grows, so will the demand for food. Rather than turning to intensive farming practices and genetically modified foods, we need to promote better production practices, improve policy, transform markets and consider more sustainable eating habits.
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*Disclaimer: LENTEINTM has assembled this information in good faith and tries to present everything as accurately and objectively as possible.