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History of soybeans

soybean history Soybeans originate from China. In 2853 BC, Emperor Sheng-Nung of China named five sacred plants – soybeans, rice, wheat, barley, and millet. Soybean plants were domesticated between 17th and 11th century BC in the eastern half of China where they were cultivated into a food crop. From about the first century AC to the Age of Discovery (15-16th century), soybeans were introduced into several countries such as Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and India. The spread of the soybean was due to the establishment of sea and land trade routes. The earliest Japanese reference to the soybean is in the classic Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) which was completed in 712 AC.
The first soybeans arrived in America in the early 1800's as ballast aboard a ship! It wasn't until 1879 that a few brave farmers began to plant soybeans as forage for their livestock. The plants flourished in the hot, humid summer weather characteristic of the northeastern North Carolina. Around 1900 the US Department of Agriculture was conducting tests on soybeans and encouraging farmers to plant them as animal feed.
In 1904, the famous American chemist, G. W. Carver discovered that soybeans are a valuable source of protein and oil. He encouraged farmers to rotate their crops with soybeans. To the surprise of farmers, this produced a better crop.

In 1929 Morse spent two years researching soybeans in China, where he gathered more that 10,000 soybean varieties. It wasn't until the 1940's that farming of soybeans really took off in America.

Although soybeans are native to Southeast Asia, 55 percent of production is in the United States. The US produced 75 million metric tons of soybeans in 2000 of which more than one-third was exported. Other leading producers of soybeans are Argentina, Brazil, China and India. Much of the US production is either fed to animals or exported, though US consumption of soy by people has been increasing. Brazil is expected to become the world's biggest soybean exporter in 2004, displacing the United States from the top seat.

Soybeans are one of the crops that are being genetically modified. Since 1997 GMO soybeans are being used in an increasing number of products. There's a lot of controversy around GMO soybeans. However, GMO soybeans have never caused any harm to people. The possible negative aspects of GMO are more of environmental and economic nature: dependence of farmers on a few multinationals and contamination of wild plants.


Check Again

How much does Monsanto pay you to cover up the truth, because all my tests so far debunked your so called safe eating product for humans. Even though your website provides a good educational history on Soy Beans, it failed horribly on telling the truth about Soy Beans consumption. My father grew Soy beans for 83 years, he died at 104 and not once he eaten it which maybe reason he lived so long... As for me well how to avoid it, today there are many sinister plots to reduce our health by the globalists and such, culling the masses, all our food is infested with this crap and Thank God I no longer eat out or by products that has soy bean added to it. You better do more research and save your dignity before you are ridiculed by the masses...Peace
VeggieMan - 17/08/2014


@Kelly & Veggieman,
Are you guys serious?
You're both sound like, "Omg do ur hwk thats not truu"
When in reality, it should be your sorry butts that should be doing the research and getting your facts right.
Perhaps you don't actually understand what GMO is?
You shouldn't try to correct someone who obviously knows more about the subject than you.

Seriously, think before you post

Umadbro - 27/09/2014


It's the roundup on the gmo soybean that harms people dummy.
glenn - 28/04/2015

History of soybeans

Thank you guys with this information it assisted mie to write mie final project
Ronald Machekano - 20/10/2015

history of soybean

Thanks for helping me with my soybean project.
Jack - 19/04/2016

GMO Anything

How can anything that has been genetically modified be healthy? Man is always trying to change what God designed. It's increasingly difficult to find virgin seeds of most vegetation because the government has modified them to not produce more seeds that will reproduce!
Dianne - 30/11/2016

Phyto Estrogen

The real problem of soybeans is NOT how it is modified or produced. The real problem of soy beans is that is is a phytoestrogen. The over consumption of this hormone causes many health problems for both men & women. It was meant for ANIMAL food, not human food.
Mary - 20/06/2017

Loved this article

I see y'all are getting some hear about soy beans but I read your article and it's not recommending one to eat it . You are simply informing us of the history which wasn't as long as I thought it would be (like the other articles online) but that's what I love about it. I mean who has the time to read the longest article about the history of soy bean? That's why I love this article, it's also accurate and it's helped me write my article about soy. So thank you for this and sorry on the behalf of the people shooting you down for such great content.
-from one writer to another. Keep up the good work!
Sabrina Banks - 21/07/2017

Be thankful!

Eat organic, including organic soy and soy milk and you will be fine. Thank God for everything.
Maggie - 22/11/2017


thank you gyz for yo help um now able to write my final project for my A lvl stndrd
tobbias musariri - 26/11/2017


a fact very few people actually know, 10mg/kg of vitamin d is toxic to humans, while 5600mg/kg of glyphosate (round up) is toxic. Meaning glyphosate is 560x safer than vitamin d for a human being to ingest. GMO's were created for plant vigour and additional weed control. The hybrid varieties use less fertility, are better adapted to our changing climate, use less water, and help farmers fight off disease pressures. GMO's are truly a blessing for the industry. The GMO varieties also provide bigger yields, meaning more of the world's people can eat at the end of the day. An organic crop yields far lower than a GMO crop, and land used to grow GMO's contains better performance due to lack of weed competition. Glyphosate was considered a "probable carcinogenic" by the WHO (world health organization) when the active ingredient was first tested. Its now over a decade later and the WHO tested glyphosate again, and found it not a carcinogenic.

-A knowledgeable farmer who PROUDLY grows GMO's
sydney dk - 12/02/2018


There will be consequences in the future for manipulating and perverting the way seeds and land were designed to be used and stewarded. We are foolish do deny the already obvious consequences, our country is in a health crisis.
Jake - 07/04/2018

Science Says....

There are pros and cons but phytoestrogens mimics BPA, which is not good. Like all things its seems in moderation its benefits can be helpful and the cons are minimized.
Valentine - 17/04/2019

Genectically Modified Organism = Science kills again.

In 1997 GMO Soy hit the markets. 22 years later testosterone levels in m/f generations never peak (trying to avoid soy now... impossible). 10mg of soy reduce testosterone by 1% in humans. Estrogen overdose affects sex function, mood, memory and drive. Also the mice in the study colored their fur red, blue and pink then cooked and ate the males (last part not true... but why so serious?).
Jo Kerson - 22/04/2019

GMO's are GOOD

Thank you for this very helpful article. Now on to the matter of GMO's that everybody got triggered on. GMO's are in fact good and used to increase yield as well as help the product become cheaper all while increasing the nutritional value, and much much more. Do the research. In addition to that, there are only 10 GMO crops. So next time you see a label on your Orange Juice that says non GMO think well obviously because NO ORANGES ARE GROWN WITH GMO'S. If you wish for the farmers to feed almost 10 billion people in 2050 I suggest you do your research on why this is being done. Thanks
Drew - 07/10/2019


My dad was the first farmer to start soy beans in Stclair county Illinois. He bought 2 sacks of seads. He sold them back and bought more. He sold them to the elevator in Southern Illinois. Each year it was more and more
Fern Reiker - 08/12/2019

GMOs are good. Soy beans are delicious. Eating tofu won't kill you. Organic food is white privilege on a plate. There is ZERO scientific evidence that GMOs cause any negative health effects.
Patrick - 18/08/2020

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