Soy is being billed as the “miracle bean” not only because it can help fill the gap between food production and food consumption on our planet, but also because it is a highly versatile option for many other types of products in categories ranging from automotive to construction to personal care. These products are just beginning to play a role in the drive to produce more soy. (98% of all soy grown in the US goes to make animal feed.) But, over time, soy’s economic impact could grow exponentially as more diverse markets are developed.
Aside from food, there are tons of products made from soy. Since most soy is GMO right now, I’m much more comfortable and enthusiastic about soy products that we are not ingesting! When he spoke to us bloggers as a group last Tuesday, farmer Jim Caroll told us that Ford motor company has replaced all the petroleum based foam in the seats of all american-made Ford vehicles with soy-based foam. I was quite surprised – I had no idea that soy could be used in such a way. Jim went on to tell us that
Henry Ford himself actually developed a soy based plastic in the 1930s. As Jim explained, soy is essentially three things: oil, protein, and fiber. Those three things allow soy to be incredibly versatile, replacing many petroleum based products with a more eco-friendly option. (GMO or not, I’d rather have our country leaning on soy as opposed to oil since it’s so much more renewable and thus less costly.)
Some of these products you’ve probably heard of already, like soy ink and soy candles. In the afternoon at Bean2Blog, we got to meet Ron and Connie Locke, owners of LockStars Soy Candles. It was fun to see how they make their product and even more entertaining to smell the different scents, including Butt Naked and Monkey Farts. I’m not kidding. You can see more about them on Ashley’s Bean2Blog post at The Ederington Family blog.
And then there are those products you might be surprised about. Check out some of these soy products (I’ve linked to examples, but there are several different companies making these products in most cases):
- 3-D Wall Decor
- Haircare, Lotion, and Sunscreen
- Furniture and Mattresses
- Cleaning Products
- Spray-foam Insulation for buildings/homes
- Paint and Stains
- And tons more! I learned about all these products from a booklet called Using Your Bean that we were given at Bean2Blog. You can view it here.
Do you know of other products made with soy? P. Allen Smith’s production crew interviewed each of the bloggers in attendance and asked what their favorite soy product is. Do you have a favorite soy product?