The Soybean has been around for centuries. According to the Iowa State University Department of Agronomy, the first users and domesticators of the Soybean were believed to be the Chinese in the northeast part of the country, sometime around the 11th Century. It is also known as the soya bean.
Soybeans were first brought to the United States from China by Samuel Bowen in 1765.
The United States leads the world in Soybean production at approximately 32% of the total global output. China is ranked fourth.
During the Civil War, soybeans were used in place of coffee because real coffee was scarce. In 1935, Henry Ford’s engineers developed a plastic that used soybeans. This plastic was used for the frames of his cars. Soy lecithin, a nutritional component of soy oil, was first discovered by a French scientist named Maurice Gobley in 1850. He named it “lekythos” a Greek translation for egg yolks.
Soybeans have been called "meat without bones" because, although this versatile bean is small in comparison to many other beans, it is packed with protein, very similar to the protein in meat, dairy products and eggs.
Soybeans create some of their own fertilizers; they have the ability to take nitrogen from the air. Microorganisms present on Soybean roots can convert that nitrogen taken from air into the usable form of plants.
Soybeans are a main part of the diet of the Japanese. It is believed that this accounts for the fact that Japanese women have been shown to have low rates of breast cancer, osteoporosis and menopausal problems.