The golden bean
In Bolivia, a country in Latin America, the landscapes have been changing rapidly. Where peasants once grew potatoes, pumpkins and wheat and raised chickens and pigs and other crops and animals, now you can only see large fields of just one crop: soy. These lively, diverse landscapes that were also filled with people are now devoid of a human presence. People have been replaced by machines such as large tractors and even planes sometimes spraying pesticides from the sky. But why so much soy?
The amount of soy produced has grown rapidly, especially since the beginning of the twentieth century. In the past 50 years the production of soy has grown nearly 11 fold.
Industrial farming uses heavy machinery. This type of farming can only work on large fields where a single crop is grown. This is called monoculture farming. Do you know why it causes big problems for our environment and for biodiversity? Read the following stories!
Soy is an important source of protein, as the amount of protein you get from a hectare of soybeans is higher than that of any other crop. It is very versatile, which means it can be used for many things: to make food, feed and fuel.
Most of the soy, over 75%, is used to feed farm animals. Only 6% of soy is used to make products that we eat directly, such as tofu or soya milk.