Farm to Table – Soybeans

Growing up in town, when I heard the word “beans” I thought of the green beans growing in our garden and purchased at the grocery store in cans or frozen packages.  Naturally, when I heard the term “beans” when dating my farmer I pictured the same thing.  Boy – did I learn something when I realized that on the farm in Iowa the word “beans” refers to soybeans.  So, when farmers are talking about combining “beans” they really mean soybeans.  Today we went back to a field of beans(soybeans) that we had started, but not finished because part of the field was planted to a different variety of soybean.  After harvesting a few rows the combine operator(Jacob) decided they were still too wet – not mature enough to harvest, so he brought  the combine home and took the soybean head off and put the corn head on; and, after a little conference over a quick lunch decided which field of corn to harvest.  Now – for more on soybeans.  Iowa ranks #1 in soybean production!


Soybeans 2015 2


Soybeans at HarvestIMG_5259

Soybean Production in Iowa and the United States

  • Farmers in more than 30 states grow soybeans, making it the second most popular crop in the United States.
  • Soybeans were first brought to America in the early 19th century as ballast in trading ships.
  • The first mention of soybean cultivation in the New World appeared in an 1804 publication promoting the soybean as an adaptable crop for Pennsylvania.
  • In 1929, U.S. soybean production was 9 million bushels.
  • U.S. farmers account for 46% of the world’s soybean production.
  • Ninety-eight percent of the soybean meal produced by U.S. farmers is fed to animals such as pigs, cows and chickens.
  • Soybean oil is contained in such items as vegetable oil, salad dressing, and mayonnaise. They are also used for such things as tofu, soy sauce, and high fiber breads like pizza crust.
  • Soy oil is used in inks and paints.
  • One acre of soybeans can produce more than 82,000 crayons.
  • Soy protein is found in many foods consumed by health-conscious consumers.
  • The average person consumes about seven gallons of soybean oil every year.

(Source Center for Food Integrity)


Following is a link for classroom materials and a couple of books that are great resources for teaching about soybeans.  Iowa Soybean Educational Materials

Soybean Book 2

Soybean Book 3

Following is one of my favorite soybean recipes.

Oatmeal Cranberry Soy Cookies

(From The Soyfoods Council)

1 1/4 cups oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup soy flour

1 teaspoon. baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup soybean oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend oats until a coarse flour. Combine oats, all-purpose flour, soy flour, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in cranberries.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Bake in a 350°F. oven, 12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let stand on cookie sheet 3 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies.

Now for a green bean pictures and a recipe.

Green BeansIMG_5038 (2)

JT's Cookbook

This recipe is adapted from Julie Trusler’s JT’s – Volume 1 cookbook pg.105 Snappy Green Beans (This will fill a large crockpot.)  1 1/2 big cans to a crockpot,  1 lb. of bacon (cooked), 1/2 c. onion(cooked) 1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt, and 1/2 c. red wine vinegar.

On a side note – I could write an entire blog post on this wonderful lady.  I have personally known her for many years.  She is a great inspiration!

Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about “beans” (soybeans).

Have a great day!


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