'The soy you eat comes from the feed in the meat'

Publish time: 20th May, 2015      Source: www.cnchemicals.com
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May 20, 2015



''The soy you eat comes from the feed in the meat''




Just before the annual conference of the Round Table on Responsible Soy held in Brussels, Belgium, on May 19-20, the international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) released an interesting study it had commissioned which found that nearly 100% of the soy consumed by EU citizens is embedded as animal feed in the animal products they eat daily.



The research report, prepared by Profundo, says that the average EU citizen consumes 61 kg of soy yearly, 93% (57 kg) of which is embedded as animal feed in the animal products he or she eats. The highest amount of embedded soywas found in chicken breast (109 grams of soy per 100 grams of breast chicken), followed by eggs (35 grams of soy per egg of 55 grams), salmon steaks (59 grams soy per 100 grams), pork chops (51 grams soy per 100 grams), hamburgers (46 grams soy per 100 grams) and cheese (25 grams soy per 100 grams).



This finding that 93% of soy consumed comes from the feed embedded in the animal products should generally be true not just for EU citizens but for all other nationalities elsewhere.



The study itself helps us to understand better the importance of soy as a key part in the global food supply. As the WWF points out, soy is a beneficial, high-protein crop that can have negative impacts on people and the environment if grown irresponsibly.



WWF points out that its explosive growth over the past 50 years has come at the expense of millions of hectares of forest, grassland and savannah that have been converted to agriculture around the world, particularly in South America, either directly or indirectly as a result of the soy boom.



Over 80% of soy produced originate from Brazil, the US and Argentina, which are the largest exporting countries. In the 2013-14 harvest season, the global soybean harvest reached 284 million tonnes corresponding to a total area of 113 million hectares.



While Sandra Mulder, acting lead for WWF''s soy team, observes that most European consumers have no idea how much soy is embedded in their favourite meat, dairy, eggs and farmed fish products, "even less understood is how this hidden soy has had a devastating impact on some of the worlds'' most valuable ecosystems, such as the Amazon, Cerrado and Gran Chaco."



Responsible soy



"WWF feels that a crucial short-term strategy is for companies that buy soy or animal products raised with soy in Europe to make commitments to responsible soy and start buying it now. This will send an immediate message to producers in South America that EU buyers want soy that has not been produced at the expense of nature, soy workers or communities in soy growing areas.



"It is time consumers start to realize how their consumption can be linked to irresponsible practices. Companies providing these products can no longer wait and need to act. Frontrunner companies in the retail and dairy industries are already showing that sourcing responsibly produced soy is both possible and feasible", Ms Mulder said.



There are reports that several companies in Brazil, led by grains trader Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), are working to certify their soy products to suit the environmental demand of the EU. 



We reported earlier this week that ADM would be launching a sustainable soybean certification program in Brazil to meet European buyers'' demand that soybean production did not contribute to deforestation of the Amazon rain forest or employ slave labour.



Amanda Cosenza, sustainability manager for ADM in South America, said the program would initially include up to 120 of the 6,000 Brazilian producers growing soy for ADM by yearend.



Even the Brazilian government has made efforts to satisfy the EU''s demand. Last year, for example, it extended to May 2016 a moratorium on buying of soybeans grown in illegally cleared land in the Amazon rainforest while it is finishing a registry of all farm properties in Brazil.



Sourcing responsibly produced soy would indeed make both for a better world and a better image for the poultry and all other related industries in terms of corporate responsibility.