We should increase our development of alternative fuels, taking advantage of renewable resources, like using corn and sugar to produce ethanol or soybeans to produce biodiesel.
Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.
The ancient Asian practice of fermenting soybeans and eating soy in the form of curds called tofu makes a healthy diet from a plant that eaten almost any other way would make people ill. The soybean itself is a notably inauspicious staple food; it contains a whole assortment of "antinutrients" compounds that actually block the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals, interfere with the hormonal system, and prevent the body from breaking down the proteins in the soy itself. It took the food cultures of Asia to figure out how to turn this unpromising plant into a highly nutritious food.
American farmers produced 600 more calories per person per day in 2000 than they did in 1980. But some calories got cheaper than others: Since 1980, the price of sweeteners and added fats (most of them derived, respectively, from subsidized corn and subsidized soybeans), dropped 20 percent, while the price of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 40 percent
Corn is an efficient way to get energy calories off the land and soybeans are an efficient way of getting protein off the land, so we've designed a food system that produces a lot of cheap corn and soybeans resulting in a lot of cheap fast food.
The history of the ubiquitous soybean begins in China. But the Chinese did not eat unfermented soybean products because they recognized them as quite toxic. In fact, the early uses of soybeans in China were for the nitrogen-rich root systems that worked to rebuild soil with crop rotation - not for eating.
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