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Essay On Soybeans

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Soybeans: The Commodity Chain and Consequential Effects
Soybeans are a popular substitute for animal protein that is used both in a variety of products and for a variety of uses. Soybeans are a legume that is “considered the world’s foremost source of protein and oil” (Globalization101 2009). Within the United States, their crops are present in nearly every single state. Soybean crops are also grown in most of South America. The soybean crop is one of the most plentiful commodities in the world and produces a wide variety of products. There are three markets for the soy crops: whole soybeans, soybean oil, and soybean meal. Yet most of the crops of soy are allocated for production of vegetable oil and animal feed, leaving only a small portion for these soybean food items.
Supply Chain Processes
The first step in soybean production is to thresh the soybeans, meaning to remove the beans from the pods in which they are stored. There are machines that perform this function for the farmers during harvest season. The beans are then transported to the storage location where they will be dried, cleaned, and packaged for distribution. Since soybeans have a good storage life, they can be transported in bulk and to longer distances. The soybeans must be stored in a cool and dry location for shipping; they must be kept away from heat as well as kept dry to prevent mold growth.
Soybean and GMO
The biggest controversial issue surrounding soybeans is the addition of genetic modification organisms (GMO). GMO crops are more resistant to diseases and weeds, are more nutritious, and produce a more plentiful harvest. GMO is a gene that is taken from bacteria and used to create soybeans that increase crop yields with less effort.
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...vent weeds and diseases in the plants could be absorbed into the fish or animals in the area, presenting a danger to citizens who later consume them. The problems of deforestation in the soybean industry are running rampant, leaving areas barren; Brazil being the perfect example.
One must also take into account the socioeconomic impact that soybeans have in areas like Brazil. The commodity is making the wealthy richer, while leaving farmers poor because of the amount of capital needed to begin production of the crop and the farmer’s inability to obtain these funds. In end, the benefits gained by the soybean commodity are outweighed by the overwhelming amount of negative factors associated with it. There are plenty of other vegetarian sources of protein that are safer for humans, less damaging to the environment, and less polarizing of the socioeconomic systems.
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