Soy (glycine max) is a climbing plant belonging to the fabaceae family. It is used to produce the second most consumed edible oil in the world, its young shoots can also be eaten raw or cooked. The largest soybean producers are the United States, Brazil and Argentina, with 80% of world production.
Description of soy
This herbaceous plant, originating in China, is covered with fine gray or brown hairs and has stems which can go up to 1.30 meters in height. Soy is mainly composed of trifoliate leaves and very small white, purple or purple flowers, gathered in clusters of three or five flowers. There are two main kinds of soybeans, the determinants and the indeterminants.
Soybeans need extra care to grow. He likes the heat a lot but also needs a fairly constant watering. In France, the soy flower is generally planted in May for a harvest which takes place in September and October. This ecological plant has many advantages since it improves the soil, cleans the earth and protects the water table. Soybeans should be planted in cool soil, in a mixture of clay and sand.
Soy on our plates
Soy is an essential food in China and Japan and in our regions for vegetarians. It is found in multiple forms: soy flour, soy milk (tonyu), soy oil, tofu (curd soy milk transformed into a kind of cheese), sufu (fermented tofu), tempeh and natto (prepared from of fermented seeds), miso (fermented soybean paste), shoyu or soy sauce, tamari (fermented soy sauce), edamame (immature soybeans).
Virtues of soy
According to some studies, soy protects women against the risk of cervical cancer. Thanks to its vegetable proteins, it would also fight against excess cholesterol. Be careful though, soy contains many naturally allergenic proteins. In 2005, the Afssa (French Food Safety Agency) issued a warning against the use of soy-based preparations before the age of three.