‘Tis the Season…for Soybeans?
The holiday season is a special time of year. Whether you’re busy wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, or catching up with family and friends, the magic of the season is all around us. No matter what your holiday traditions involve, one thing that always brings people together is food.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting all year for holiday recipes. Whether it’s homemade Chex-mix, chocolate fudge, or a beautiful Christmas ham, some things always remind me of this time of year. In fact, I’d like you to do me a favor and finish this sentence: “Nothing gets my mouth watering during the holidays like _____________.” While everyone may have a unique answer, I’m confident nobody mentioned soybeans. But, did you know soybeans play a big role in getting your favorite holiday dinner or dessert on your plate?
Soybeans are one of the major crops grown in Nebraska, and experts are continuously developing new uses for this miracle crop. A soybean is made up of roughly 80 percent protein-rich meal and 20 percent oil. Almost all of the soybean meal produced worldwide is used for feeding livestock and poultry. In Nebraska, more than half of the soybean meal is used to raise pigs. On the flip side, a majority of the oil finds its way into household products such as cooking oil, margarine, and salad dressing. Lecithin, a byproduct, is also used as a binding agent in many desserts.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Tofu Whipped Topping
Nebraska soybean farmers are dedicated to producing a better crop in a more sustainable manner. In fact, innovative technologies and best management practices have allowed farmers to produce a larger crop using fewer inputs. One major innovation in recent years has been the development of high oleic soybeans. This exciting new variety is inherently more stable, removing the need to hydrogenate the oil to ensure a longer shelf life. While this may not seem like a big deal, it effectively eliminates trans fats from soybean oil.
On the meal side, Nebraska soybean farmers are committed partners with livestock, poultry and egg producers at home and abroad. Did you know animal agriculture supports nearly 78,000 jobs in Nebraska? In an effort to show their support for animal agriculture across the state, the Nebraska soybean checkoff has teamed up with the Nebraska Pork Producers and the Nebraska Beef Council to sponsor www.TasteoftheTailgate.com. This interactive website features grilling tips from local chefs, delicious recipes and giveaway items. Whether you’re looking for tailgating tips or a holiday recipe idea, Nebraska farmers and ranchers have you covered.
Chilly Day Beef Chili
On behalf of all Nebraska farmers and ranchers, have a safe and blessed holiday season.