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The soybean (also known as soya bean) is a species of legume. The soybean is considered native to East Asia. The actual bean of this plant is used for many different purposes. Soybeans make soy milk, from which tofu is made. Soy sauce and fermented bean paste are two examples of fermented soy food. Soybean is also used in producing animal feeds; in fact, soybean is the most important protein source for farm animals. Textured vegetable protein (TVP), a soybean product, is an ingredient used in making meat and dairy substitutes. Soy vegetable oil is used for food as well as industrial applications. This is produced by processing soybean.

It is good that human civilization found a lot of use for the soybean. However, there is a major drawback. Because of the rise in demand for soybeans, production was increased and with it the conversion of patches of land into soybean farms. This creates a sense of agricultural imbalance which environmentalists continue to protest.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Glycine
Species: G. max
Binomial Name: Glycine max

Soybeans Trivia

  • Real coffee became scarce during the Civil War. As a result, soybeans were used instead.
  • Before the era of modern printers, soy ink was used to print newspapers and textbooks.
  • Soybeans were used in making candles, cleaning products, and hair-care products.
  • Ancient beliefs regard soy as sacred
  • Soybean is a biotech food. This means that soybeans have been genetically modified for a specific reason or purpose.

Soybeans Buying Guide

Do not be surprised if you find soybeans of different appearances because there is a variety of them and they have certain distinct uniqueness when compared to one another. Remember that different soybeans are grown for different purposes. There are soybeans grown for industrial uses, for animal consumption, and those meant for humans to cook and eat. There are GMO soybeans, Non-GMO soybeans, and organic soybeans.

You can choose your soybeans based on several criteria. In terms of appearance, make sure that the soybeans being sold look clean and have a nearly similar or uniform shape as well as size. Speaking of size, it is best to opt for the bigger soybeans because this indicates higher protein content. In terms of color, know that soybeans come in different colors and if you are making tofu, for example, the color of soybeans you want to buy is beige or light yellow. Another important note when it comes to choosing soybeans to use for making tofu is the hilum (the spot on the soybean that indicates the spot where it was attached to the pod). The best soybeans when it comes to making tofu are those with nearly invisible hilum.

With regards to where to buy soybeans, your best bet is heading towards the nearest Asian market in your area. You can also try your luck looking at the grocery or supermarket. These usually hold soybeans on stock although not frequently and not every grocery or supermarket sells soybeans. Last but not the least, buy from a grower. Do your research and list down the farms or growers near you that grow and sell soybeans.

Soybeans Production & Farming in Texas

Soybeans experience optimal growth in places where there is a mean temperature of 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F). If the temperature is below 20 °C and over 40 °C (68 °F, 104 °F), this will result in the stunted growth of soybeans.


For a plant that has many uses like the soybean, it is important to also make sure the plants are protected especially since it is prone to pests and diseases. Soybeans are susceptible to bacterial diseases, fungal diseases, viral diseases, and pests.

  • Bacterial blight – The solution for this problem is combining copper and mancozeb-containing fungicides. Application of fungicides should take place two to three times at seven to 10 day intervals.
  • Downy mildew – Use dimethomorph, dithiocarbamate, metalaxyl-M, fosetyl aluminium, or propamocarb hydrochloride to fight downy mildew.
  • Corn earworm moth – 
  • Groundhogs – One of the problems of soybean growers is the presence of groundhogs. There are a lot of ways to keep them away. Sprinkle anything that discourages them to return and stay. There are lots of options – blood meal, black pepper, even talcum powder, hair clippings, and urine.


Soybean has been cultivated in Asia, particularly in China (7000 and 6600 BC), Japan (5000 and 3000 BC), and Korea (1000 BC).

Soybeans has become a central trading commodity in the 17th century involving European and Asian traders. It is also during this time period when soybeans reached the Indian subcontinent. Soybeans entered the Americas and Europe in the 18th century. It was introduced in Africa in the 19th century.

The US is one of the major producers of soybean. Around half of what is produced in the country is for export. These are sent to major importers like Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, South Korea, and some European countries. Brazil is another major producer of soybean, as well as Argentina, India, and China.


Soybeans sold in the market comes in different packaging, oftentimes depending on the quantity. There are canned soybeans sold in the grocery. You can also buy organic soybeans in sacks or plastic buckets. Resealable foil and see-through plastic packaging are also used for soybeans sold in the market.

Enjoying Soybeans

If soybean is eaten raw, it is considered toxic for monogastric animals. The human being is a monogastric omnivore.


Storing soybean is easy. Make sure your dried soybeans are placed inside an airtight container. Place the container somewhere at a moderate room temperature. That’s it! Pro tip: if you have containers used for storing kimchi, this is great for storing soybeans too.


Soybean is used in different recipes. This is commonly cooked with rice with herbs and other spices. There are curry recipes that have soybean as an ingredient, while others simply make roasted soybean.  

A popular soybean food is edamame. These are immature soybean pods usually boiled or steamed. Edamame is considered as an appetizer or side dish in Japan. The counterpart of edamame in China and Taiwan is called maodou.

Nutritional Benefits:

Soybeans pack calories, carbohydrates, protein, essential nutrients, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins including folate. 

One of the important health benefits resulting from eating soy foods is improving the ability of the body to fight cancer. A diet including soybean food also has the beneficial effect of lowering the risk of heart disease. Soybeans also contain phytic acid believed to help minimize diabetes and reduce inflammation.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 173 9%
  • Carbs: 9.9g 3%
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 6g 24%
  • Protein: 16.6g 33%
  • Fat: 9g 14%
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3g 6%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 237mg 10%
  • Vitamin C 1.7mg 3%
  • Vitamin A 9IU 0%
  • Calcium 102mg 10%
  • Iron 5.1mg 29%
  • Potassium 515mg 15%
  • Vitamin E 0.4mg 2%
  • Vitamin K 19.2mcg 24%
  • Vitamin B6 0.2mg 12%
  • Folate 54mcg 14%
  • Magnesium 86mg 21%
  • Phosphorus 245mg 24%
  • Manganese 0.8mg 41%
  • Copper 0.4mg 20%
  • Zinc 1.2mg 8%

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