By Jessica Domel
If you take medication, bake, eat salad or cereal, soybeans play a role in your life.
Not only are the beans used to make items like soy cheese and milk, they’re also used in a wide spectrum of other products.
Soybean oil, for example, is used to make margarine, salad dressing and other cooking oils. It’s also used in biodiesel and plastics.
Lecithin, which is in soybean oil and extracted, is used in many pharmaceuticals and protective coatings, according to the American Soybean Association.
It’s a natural emulsifier and lubricant, which makes it perfect for certain desserts.
Did you know it’s soy lecithin that actually keeps the chocolate and cocoa powder from separating in candy bars? What a tasty use for soybeans!
Soybean flakes, which are created after soybeans are cleaned, cracked and dehulled, are used in many soy protein products and animal feed. Cows love it!
Love to bake like I do? Soy flour holds moisture so well that it’s often used in baked foods because it keeps foods from going stale. And no one likes stale cakes.
And last, but certainly not least, soy hulls (the part of the plant that holds the beans while they’re growing) are used in cereals and other tasty snacks.
Texas farmers are doing their part to ensure we have enough soybean products to go around. In 2015, farmers here produced more than three million bushels of soybeans. That’s 180 million pounds worth!
How do you like your soybeans?