Even if you’ve never seen an individual soybean before, you’ve probably eaten the byproduct of one, especially if you’re vegan. Whether it’s soy milk, tofu, or tempeh, you’ve likely consumed soybeans at least once.
With soy being so widespread now, it’s interesting that so few people actually know where it comes from. To remedy that, we’ve written this quick article about where soybeans are grown and other soybean-related questions.
Keep on reading to learn more about the soybean…
Where are Soybeans Grown?
Top 5 Countries for Soybean Production
Soybeans Produced Annually (Tons)
Given that some of the most common uses for soybeans include tofu and soy sauce, you could be forgiven for assuming that most soybeans are grown in Asian countries. The surprising truth is that much of the world’s soy supply actually comes from the western hemisphere, although soybeans were originally from East Asia.
Brazil, the United States, and Argentina make up the world’s top three soybean-growing countries today. These countries are followed by China and India, but the top three still greatly outpace China and India in soybean production.
So, where exactly in the United States do soybeans come from? Soybeans are very commonly grown in the Midwest, but there are many southern states and east coast states that also grow them. You can view a chart of states that grow soybeans here.
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What are soybeans used for?
Protein-rich soybeans have a stunning array of uses. They’re especially popular in vegan and vegetarian diets. Soybeans are used to make foods like tofu, tempeh, soy sauce, edamame, and meat substitutes.
But their use doesn’t just end in human consumption. Soymeal is also often used as a nutritious feed for farm animals across the United States.
What’s more, soybeans have some utility as a fertilizer. Their fertilizing property was discovered by the USDA in World War II.
What are the benefits of soybeans?
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you know that finding ways to incorporate protein into your diet can be tricky. Soybeans are one of the best ways to do so, since a single cup of soybeans equals 29 grams of protein.
There are plenty of other benefits to soybeans, too. For instance, they’re extremely low in carbs, which also puts them low on the glycemic index. As a result, eating them doesn’t cause spikes in your blood sugar, which could make them an excellent food for diabetics.
Additionally, soybeans have a decent amount of fiber in them. This can help with your digestive and gut health.
Read Also: Where are Onions Grown?
Why is soy so bad?
Do a lot of research on soybeans, and you’ll come across sources saying that they’re not necessarily good for everyone. Why is this the case?
Soybeans have isoflavones in them, which is a compound that may aid in the growth of some cancer cells in addition to impacting your thyroid. This is why some professionals recommend avoiding soybeans if you have thyroid-related health issues.
There are two sides to just about every food out there. We believe in doing your food research carefully, which is why we chose to write this post about where soybeans are grown in the first place.
But don’t let your research stop here. Take time to learn about other plants, too, by reading our guide on where blueberries are grown.