The soybean dates back 5,000 years ago to China, where the crop was cultivated from its wild state into a food crop.
In the early 1800s soybeans made their debut in America, arriving as ballast aboard a clipper ship from China. By the end of the century, many American farms were growing the crop for food.
In the early 1900s, agricultural scientist George Washington Carver conducted studies that showed soybeans to be an excellent source of protein and oil.
Automotive pioneer Henry Ford saw the potential to use soybeans in industrial products. He manufactured car parts made from soybean based plastic.
In the 1940s, soybean fields in China – the world’s major supplier of soybeans – were devastated by World War II and an internal revolution. By that time, soybeans became a major crop in the United States as we filled the gap and became the world’s leading soybean producer and exporter.