How Sustainable Soy Is Changing the Food Industry & Its Benefits to Consumers

Sustainable Soy

The food industry has been evolving to meet consumers’ needs and demands. One crucial trend in recent years is the focus on sustainability. More consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of their food choices and are looking for sustainable alternatives. One such option is sustainable soy.

Farmers in the US have prioritized sustainable soy production. They apply sustainable farming practices such as no-till, reduced-till, crop rotation, cover crops, precision farming technology, and nutrient management. Crop rotations involve moving crops from different fields during different years to lower the burden on these fields. Reduced tillage is when farmers dig up or till the land minutely, or not at all, before or after harvesting.

Nutrient management uses proper fertilizer levels or amendments to optimize plants and soil. On the other hand, precision farming is an approach that utilizes technology to ensure soil and crops receive what they need at the right time. Finally, cover crops are planted to deliberately cover the soil rather than for harvesting to help manage erosion and maintain the soil quality. In this piece, you will learn how this sustainably grown soy is changing the food industry and its benefits to consumers.

Impact of Sustainable Soy on the Food Industry

Many farmers in the US grow soya by sustainable farming so that they can improve and preserve their farms for generations to come. They are also motivated by the idea of providing the food industry with sustainably grown products.

On the other hand, food manufacturers are increasingly incorporating sustainable soy into their products to meet the growing demand for sustainable options. According to the WWF, the need for sustainable soy has increased. Sustainable soy now accounts for a significant amount of the total global soy production.

The production of meat alternatives is an area where sustainable soy is having an impact. This is because consumers are becoming more aware of the effects of meat production on the environment. Consequently, they are turning to plant-based alternatives that are more sustainable. Soy has the upper hand in replacing meat alternatives since it can be made differently. Meat lovers will relish these soy options, from tempeh to tofu to soy-based burgers.

Sustainable soy is also having an impact on the supply chain. Food companies are increasingly sourcing sustainable soy to meet the needs of customers. Some companies aim to source 100% sustainable soy by specific dates. For instance, Unilever pledged to achieve 100% sustainable crop sourcing in the coming years. By doing so, food companies can enhance environmental performance and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to their consumers.


Benefits of Sustainable Soy

The benefits of sustainably grown soy span across different facets. The customer, farmer, and the environment are affected positively by the practices. Below are some of the benefits of sustainably grown soy:

1. Health Benefits

Soy is a rich source of proteins and essential amino acids. To accrue the utmost benefits from the crop, customers need to consume sustainably cultivated soy. The yield is devoid of chemicals and full of the requisite nutrients.

Sustainable soy is different from other beans and pulses. Compared to other pulses and beans, it has a much lower carbohydrate content and is high in protein quality and content.           Moreover, soy is significantly elevated in total fat – primarily polyunsaturated fat, including linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and essential fatty acids.

There have been myths about the adverse effects of soy on the health of men and women. A scientific literature review looked at data from different publications and concluded soy is safe and improves the health outcomes of individuals.


2. Reduced Environmental Impact

Sustainable soy production involves practices that lower the environmental impact of soy farming. Moreover, soy production for human consumption is much better for the environment than meat and dairy. Compared to animal production, it uses lesser land, produces lower greenhouse emissions, uses less water, and causes less damage to water sources.

Notably, most soy grown in deforested areas like the Amazon is primarily for animal feed rather than human consumption. This is not sustainable soy, and it adversely affects the environment.

3. Supporting Local Communities and Farmers

Sustainable soy production supports the well-being of farmers and local communities by providing better pay and safe working conditions. Farmers can increase their yield and income by practicing sustainable agriculture while lowering their reliance on expensive inputs like pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Free Soy Vegetable photo and picture


Sustainable soy is transforming the food industry by providing a more environmentally friendly and socially responsible food option. It is reducing the environmental impact of soy production and supporting the well-being of farmers and local communities. As the demand for sustainable food soars, sustainable soy will likely play a fundamental role in the food industry.

Despite sustainable soy’s superb outlook and benefits, some issues still need addressing. More transparency regarding the sustainability of products is required in the industry. Also, most farmers sell their crops to middlemen, making it difficult for food companies to trace the origin of the soy. If the issues are addressed, then the future of sustainable agriculture and soy production will shine bright.

Ellen Hollington

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