America’s Heartland Episode 521 – Soybean Special

America’s Heartland Episode 521 – Soybean Special


  America’s Heartland
is made possible by…. They make up a small
part of our population, but have a huge impact
on all of our lives. They take business risks
that few others would tolerate all on our behalf. They’re American farmers who feed, fuel
and clothe the world. Monsanto would like
to recognize them for all they do
for the rest of us, because ultimately our success
and everyone else’s depends on theirs. ….and by
the American Farm Bureau Federation
– the voice of agriculture. Jason: It insulates….  >>….we’re not talking
  about toxic chemicals, right?  >>That’s correct.   It is a soybean base….. Jason: ….it fuels….  >>….we use the soy diesel
  in the trucks on the road.   So we figure, why not…. Jason: ….even cleanses
and nourishes skin!  >>I shave with that.  >>You shave with this? Jason:
We’re talking about soybeans. How could one little legume
be packed with so much power? We’re about to find out.  >>Edamame!   ♪ You can see it in the eyes
  of every woman and man ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close to the land. ♪   ♪ There’s a love
  for the country ♪   ♪ and a pride in the brand ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close, ♪   ♪ close to the land. ♪ ♪♪ Jason:
Welcome to another edition of  America’s Heartland . I’m Jason Shoultz. We’re not
on top of a tractor today. We’re actually cruising
the back roads of Iowa in a Ford Mustang convertible. Why a Ford Mustang? I’ll tell you
more about that later. It has something
to do with soybeans. Yes,  soybeans . We’re talking
all about soybeans today and for good reason. There’s 76 million acres
planted all over the United States. And Iowa is the number one
producing state for soybeans. Why so many? Well, let’s just say
some folks call it the  miracle bean . ♪♪ Jason: It’s harvest time
in the heartland. And for many farmers,
that means bringing in the beans. Harvesters creep along fields
of  light brown gathering up
these tiny bean pods to get at the soybeans inside. US farmers harvest
more than 80 million metric tons of soybeans
each year. Nearly half gets exported
as soybeans, soy meal or oil. You’ll find them grown
throughout the eastern half of the US. The biggest
soybean growing areas are the upper Midwest
and Ohio River Valley. If you live
outside of that area, you likely don’t see,
let alone think about, soybeans too much. But just check out
the ingredients on items
throughout the grocery store, and you’ll find soy. It’s also in fuel tanks,
industrial liquids, foams and more commonly, animal feed. Driving across Iowa,
you’ll find rolling fields of soybeans at every turn. Just how can one little bean
be so versatile? I’ll start my quest
for the answer where the beans grow. My first stop
on this soy story is a farm,
of course. Just outside of Mason City, Iowa
the Andereggs have been growing corn and soybeans here
since the early 50’s. Like most farmers,
they’ve grown over the years and diversified. Jason: Hey Steve,
how are you doing? Steve: I’m doing pretty good! How about yourself? Jason: Good, good! Jason: When I caught up
with Steve Anderegg, he was behind the machine shed
fueling up his tractor. Right now the beans on his farm
are a couple of feet tall, lush and leafy. Spring rains
and the right temperatures mean he’s positioned
for a good crop this year. Jason: Tell me about soybeans. Are they tricky to grow
or more tricky than corn? What’s it like
to grow soybeans out here? Steve: Soybeans is actually
a pretty simple crop to grow as long as you wait
until the soils are warm enough
and you’re out of any danger of freeze. Plant the soybeans,
and they pretty much grow on their own. The soybeans will start to turn
in late August. They’ll start to turn yellow,
and you’ll see ’em drop their leaves
and turn to a brown color. And they dry down
to about 13 percent moisture. It’s where we wanna harvest ’em. And that’s when
we’re interested in the soybeans. Jason: After Steve harvests
his beans, they’ll end up
getting processed. Oil is extracted,
and protein is turned into animal feed. Just under
half of the soybean protein meal produced in the US
goes to poultry feed. The rest goes to things
like pet food and cattle feed, and here in Iowa,
feed for hogs! Steve:
We have a large hog industry, and the soybean meal
gets used up in that hog industry
also along with the chickens and the turkeys
and into some of the dairy feeds. Jason:
Like farmers around the Midwest, you’ll find Steve embracing them
using diesel fuel with a blend of bio diesel
made from soybeans. There are different types
of bio diesel made out of everything
from discarded fryer grease to algae. But here in soybean country,
soybean-based bio diesel is king. Jason: So what’s the percentage
of soybean oil in this fuel? Steve:
We use 20 percent soybean oil in our fuel. We blend it down
from spring to summer or to fall. We start out
with 20 percent blend in the spring. And we work it down
to about 10 percent blend in the fall. Jason: And really,
farmers are the number one users of soy bio-diesel right? Steve: They are! They really promote the products
that we grow. Jason: Today 700 million gallons
of soy bio-diesel are produced. Just in case I wasn’t convinced
about the growing popularity of soy bio diesel
in these parts, Steve suggested a road trip. Jason: How do you like
those seats, Steve? Steve: Pretty comfortable! Jason: Let’s go! ♪♪ Jason: Where are you taking me? Steve:
We’re headed to New Hampton, over to the tractor pull. Jason: Are you an  edamame eater? Steve:  Ed-a-ma-me ? Never had it! Ha, ha. Jason: This is the National
Tractor Pullers Association tractor pull
in New Hampton, Iowa. You won’t find these machines
pulling a wagon on the back 40. Jason: So this is a pretty
high octane environment here, right Steve? Steve: It absolutely is. They can really get up and move. Jason: Here they call them
  Super Farm Tractors . They’re beefed up
and attached to a huge sled that digs into the dirt
as the tractor goes forward. Good times,
but…. Jason: What does a tractor pull
have to do with soy bio-diesel? Steve:
They burn it in their tractors, make their tractors
more efficient. And so we wanna see
how they do that, and you know,
high class. Jason:
A handful of the pullers tonight are using soy-bio diesel
in their tractors. We stopped by to talk
with one of them, Ted Leichty, a corn,
soybean and wheat farmer from Indiana. Ted: It’s a 1976,
I-H 1066. We’re pulling
in the super farm class. It’s 640 cubic per inch. We’re running a 3 X 3 charger. Jason: How much horsepower? Ted: We’re running
probably about 1100 horsepower. Jason:
So you’re not gonna use that to plant your corn? Ted: Nah, it’s only good
for 9 seconds. Ha, ha. Jason: So you’re using soy bio
diesel in this thing? Ted: Yes, we are! We use soy diesel on the farm,
and I use a premium diesel. And it’s mixed with soy oil. We’ve been running anywhere
from 2% to 5% depending on the cost factor,
the economics of the whole thing. Whether it’s plastics
or soy diesel or whatever,
that’s that many more bushels of beans
that we’re gonna burn. And in the end,
it’s gonna translate in more dollars
per bushel of beans which is gonna make me
more profitable. Jason:
And that’s a good thing right? Steve:
That’s what we strive for. Jason:
Good thing for Steve, too. Steve: That is the game we play. We’re trying to grow something,
make a little money doing it. Jason: Soy bio diesel
is created by combining the oil from crushed soybeans
with methanol. That chemical reaction
produces bio diesel fuel along with glycerin
and fatty acid by-products. It’s commonly blended
at 20 percent bio-diesel to 80 percent
petroleum. Critics of bio diesel
say it’s inefficient and takes more energy to create
than it produces when burned. Steve: I know that
there’s that fear out there. But it doesn’t concern me at all
because it’s a cleaner fuel. And right now we need to look
at our environment, and look at the fact
that we need to clean it up. And soy bio diesel
burns so much cleaner than our typical diesel fuels. It just needs to be used. Jason: Any time you’re using
food items like soy or corn for fuel,
people start getting concerned about food prices, right? Steve: That’s true! But right now
we grow enough crops not only
to supply the food chain but also supply
the fuel chain both in corn and soybeans. We have partners
across the world that grow soybeans
down in Brazil. Jason: As Americans look
for more energy independence, a debate about bio fuels
has emerged. There are many ideas
besides soy bio diesel on the table. Some scientists believe
higher oil-base materials like algae
make for a better long-term bio fuel option. Jason:
There’s lots of different kinds of bio diesel out there
in terms of animal fat, grease,
and that kind of thing. How does soy fit
into that whole mix? Steve: I think
it’s a piece of the puzzle. I know we grow a lot of soybeans
in the United States. And we need
to use up those bushels. But in order to supply
diesel fuel for across the United States,
it’s just a piece. The rest of the bio diesels
have to be used also. They’re all good,
but we just like to support the soybean
because that’s what we grow. Jason:
There’s a lot more to learn about soybeans
and many more uses for them. In fact,
there are soybean ingredients underneath
these leather-covered seats! The seats are made with foam
made from soybean oil. Ford first introduced
the soy foam in Mustang seats in 2007. They now have soy foam
in one million vehicles. Forty percent of the seat foam
comes from soybeans instead of petroleum. Debbie: You are conserving
petroleum products, and you are utilizing
a renewable resource instead of something
that’s limited. Jason: Ford expects
to decrease its use of petroleum oil
by one million pounds and reduce
its carbon dioxide emissions by five million pounds annually. Henry Ford was a big proponent
of the soybean even fashioning
this old soybean extruder. In the 1930’s
he experimented with using soy for plastics. He even unveiled a car
made out of soybean plastic in 1941. It weighed 1000 pounds less
than a similar car made from steel. Christian:
He actually had the idea,   Could I grow a car? He thought of all
these different things that he’s putting
into his company as far as raw materials
and resources.   Is there a way to reduce cost
  by using   an agricultural product? Jason: The soy car never made it
into mass production. But more than 60 years later,
Ford would likely be happy to see his soybean lab
in Michigan going strong today. My next stop
to find out more about soybeans? Iowa State University! In the heart of farm country,
it’s a school with a rich agriculture program. But before I talk
to any experts, I find myself stopping off
at a construction project on campus. With my hard hat on,
I dropped in on Joe Steffes and his crew
from  Iowa Foam Insulators . Joe: We do soy foam insulation. What we’re doing
is doing a lot of the sealing up of the gaps
and the creases around the building
and doing a lot of production on that. Jason:
The foam being sprayed today is made from soybean oil
instead of petroleum. Using a water base
instead of CFC’s adds
to the environmental benefit. Jason: And so what we’re seeing
being sprayed here, that’s soybean based. We’re not talking
toxic chemicals, right? Joe: That’s correct! It is a soybean base. Instead of using petroleum oil
in the chemical, they use soybean
in the chemical. Jason: And so he’ll fill up
this whole little roof area here, huh? Joe: Yeah! Jason: Yup! Joe: He’s gonna go
all the way around it. Jason: Now obviously,
the other way to do this could easily be
with petroleum-based foam which might be a little cheaper. What’s the real reason
they went and used the soy? Joe: Well it’s natural,
renewable. It’s always nice
to use a product that doesn’t come
from oil or petroleum based. This is naturally something
grown in Iowa, in the Midwest,
that we’re using to help support the economy. Jason: So when it’s sprayed,
it comes out as a liquidly,
foamy kind of stuff. But within seconds,
it hardens. Soy foam insulation! No air
is going to get through there! Jason: I would think
that in the Midwest where there are soybeans
everywhere, people might be
a little bit more receptive to that kind of thing. Joe: Yup! A lot of our customers
actually grow soybeans, or they know somebody
that grows soybeans. So yeah,
it gives you a real nice feeling
that you’re supporting those neighbors. Jason: The foam is growing
in popularity outside of the Midwest
in places like California where home building
has gone green. The soy foam
does cost more than traditional insulation. Joe: And it’s a growing market. I mean it’s gonna be
a growing market for, I think,
the rest of our lives because we’re on this earth
to sustain it and keep growing. If we’re not,
we’re not gonna be here very long. Jason:
So as long as those farmers keep growing those soybeans… Joe: ….we’ll keep spraying it. Jason: To get some insight
into why this legume is so versatile,
I visited Dr. Palle Pedersen a soybean agronomist
at Iowa State. Jason: So these are some
pretty good looking soybeans here Dr. Pedersen, right? Dr. Pedersen: They are awesome. They are tall. They are start… …close to canopy here
pretty soon, as you can see. Jason: When it comes
to soybeans in Iowa, he’s the go-to guy. He’s in charge
of the university’s soybean research programs
looking into ways to increase
the amount of beans harvested, reduce disease threats,
and find new ways to grow a better bean. Farmers and other agronomists
turn to him for insight into growing soybeans. Jason: So how soon
before these are ready to be harvested? Dr. Pedersen: Oh right now,
we’re in the middle of July, and this field here
is an early planted field. So we can probably
start finding…. See here? We can start finding some pods. So I will expect in seven to
eight weeks. So middle to late September! Jason: Good looking beans! But the real question
is how can it be used in so many things? Dr. Pedersen: You probably heard
that we call it the miracle crop
because it’s high oil and high protein content. It’s used for many things
in industry today. Jason: How much protein? In a 60 pound bushel of beans,
48 pounds of protein! The rest is oil. Initially oils were discarded,
but more recently people are starting to realize
the value in soybean oil. Dr. Pedersen: That’s one thing
we’re looking today (and the breeders
are looking at, too) are how can we develop
new varieties that both have good quality oils
that we can use for human consumption, but also have
high yields. And the farmers
can get paid well to plant
these specific varieties. So we have tried
to look at both angles right now. Jason:
So the protein gets separated and turned into animal feed
and food products. The oil becomes everything
from bio diesel fuel to salad dressing. Dr. Pedersen:
So today we have developed varieties that have
no Trans fat, meaning that we have
a high quality oil that is comparable
to other edible oils like canola oil. That’s why it’s such
a great crop to work with. There’s always new markets
and new opportunities. And there will always be
a very strong demand for this crop because of that. Jason: Of course,
the story of the soybean goes back
long before farmers were planting it in Iowa. The first soy beans
have been traced to China in the eleventh century B.C. After the Chinese-Japanese
war of 1894-95, the Japanese began to import
soybean oil cake for use as fertilizer. Ever since,
soy has been a main component in Asian cuisine. Jason: But before I get
to explore the importance of soy in Asian food,
I discover soy bio diesel at work
hundreds of miles from those Iowa fields. This is the  Harbor Queen ,
part of the  Red and White   Cruise Line Fleet
docked at San Francisco’s   Fisherman’s Wharf . This tourist area
brings in people from around the world. And seeing the city
and it’s landmarks by boat is a popular choice. And the Red and White Fleet
has gone green with bio diesel fuel. Joe: The vessels
have large engines in ’em. And we consume
about a 100,000 gallons in an average year. It reduces
some of the noxious gases that contribute
to the depletion of the ozone layer. Jason: Admittedly,
most passengers don’t even know about
the soy bio diesel being burned down below. They’re more interested
in the San Francisco scenery. Joe: So we’re out here
with dolphins and sea lions and pelicans and whales. And we’re really interested
in being able to get people
out here on the water without, you know,
having a negative impact on the environment. Jason:
Now to a more likely place to find soybeans in use:
San Francisco’s Japantown. Twelve thousand
Japanese-Americans live in San Francisco. They started arriving here
in 1860. One hundred years later,
the city created the  Japan Center
  Shopping and Cultural Area . That’s where I find
  Juban Restaurant . Juban
is a Yakiniku style restaurant where diners grill the meats
at the table. The meats
are served with sauces. The main ingredient? Soy sauce! Charles Kusuma
is Juban’s dining manager. Charles: It’s basically
a fermented type of a soybean. So they fermented that. Then they mix it
with some sugar, and everything
becomes soy sauce. And almost every single
Japanese dish now comes
with the whole soy sauce. If it’s not a soy sauce
in the dish, then maybe
it’s the dipping sauce that has the soy. So for Japanese culture,
if there’s no soy sauce, basically you cannot cook. If you tell the chefs,
“Oh, don’t put soy sauce on it,”
they will get confused. What? How can I cook that? Jason: From soy sauce
to small white chunks of gelatinous goodness
called Tofu! Originally from ancient China,
tofu is made from coagulated soy milk. Jason: It’s slightly harder
than Jello, right? Charles: Yes exactly! Jason: So you’d throw
a little soy sauce on this or whatever? You could eat this
whenever, right? Charles: Yeah, exactly. Jason:
But there’s not much flavor. Charles: Not much! And that’s why you have to add
the soybean sauce. Jason: But people eat this
instead of meat. That’s one of the big things. Charles: Many people, yeah,
exactly, exactly, because of
the very high in all protein, because of the soybean itself. Jason: How popular
is this sort of thing with just tofu and salads
and that kind of thing? Charles: In here? It’s quite popular. We also have the tofu salad. We have to mix it
with different kind of sauce to make it more flavorful
just like lettuce. Lettuce doesn’t have
too much taste if you give it just by itself. But if you add some sauce,
some Caesar sauce or something, then it will become very,
very great and rich of the taste. Jason: Chef’s love tofu
because it’s a great flavor carrier. It doesn’t bring much flavor
of it’s own. So add some great seasonings
and sauces and you are able to create
some delicious dishes. And Japanese meals
aren’t complete without edamame. Talk about soy on the menu! These baby soybeans
are picked off the plant and boiled inside their pods
with salt, a popular appetizer or snack! Jason: So you use your teeth
to get them out? Jason: Although hugely popular
in Asian restaurants, they are surprisingly
not that well-known in soybean country. Jason:
Do you ever get any soybean farmers that are tourists,
that come to San Francisco and go, “Whoa,
I’ve never seen that before!” Charles: Oh yeah,
actually many people. Many people
doesn’t even know how to eat the edamame, They pick it up. It’s basically
like the artichoke. The artichoke,
you just eat it like that, just kind of pull it
from your teeth. And this is the same
way of eating it! And many people just
say, “What is that? How can you eat that?” But it’s so traditional
that  I want to try it . Jason: Edamame! Jason:
You wouldn’t want to smear tofu all over your skin,
but what about getting some of the good stuff
out of the soybean to use in skin care products? That’s exactly what this
duo did back in the 1990’s. Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg
are the founders of Boston-based   Fresh. Their boutique stores sell
high-end beauty products. I caught up with them
at their San Francisco Fresh retail store. Their soy experimenting
started at the dining table! Lev: And we got addicted
to those edamame’s, where you come home
and you broil them, put salt on top of them? You just,
like eat them like nuts. And then you start…. ….obviously
reading about the ingredient more and more
and you’re finding out that this ingredient
was so rich in so many nutrients. There’s gotta be a connection
between whatever you consume on the inside. Some of those ingredients
must be good for you on the outside as well. Alina: Soy protein
has about 20 different amino acids. And those are the parts
that we need to build proteins in our body. And our cells,
our skin cells, are made of proteins. So it was a natural idea
thinking that well, if they’re renewing proteins
in our body, you know,
to help us sort of survive and nourish,
what could it do to actual skin? Jason: Lev and Alina focus on
natural ingredients in their products. Soy actually came after
successfully incorporating milk into beauty care. Their first soy product
was a cleanser. Lev: It’s an amazing cleanser. Jason: Not long after,
they released a soy-based cream. Lev and Alina wanted to prove
just how refreshing soy is on the skin. And since I’ve got
to sit on soy, watch it race,
see it sprayed, and eat it,
why not? Lev: As you see,
the texture of it is pretty incredible,
very, very unusual. Jason: So this is the Soy Face
Cleanser right here? Lev: It’s the Soy Face Cleanser. It’s a very,
very, very gentle…. Jason: ….oh, yeah…. Lev: ….texture. It’s absolutely incredible. Jason: All right. Lev: What cleanser
are you using right now? Jason: You don’t wanna know. Bar soap! Lev: No, no, no, no… ♪♪ Lev: That’s very, very fresh. Jason: It’s cleaning my pores
right now. Lev: It’s cleaning your pores. And also what it does
is that because in this particular cleanser,
not only are you creating a protection barrier
on your skin right now, because of the amino acids
from the soy, it also gives you
tonifying effect from the cucumber. Jason: We should market this
to some of those Iowa soybean farmers, right? Lev: Oh, yeah. Jason:
It’s their own soybeans, right? Lev: Of course. I mean,
they growing the soy, they know the benefits of it,
so they might as well start using it on their faces. Jason:
They’re gonna have a clinic in some farm field out in…. Lev:
Uh, that’ll be very interesting. Jason: Wouldn’t that be fun? Lev: Guerilla clinics! Jason: Alright,
so we’ll add up the list. We’ve got animal feed and fuel. We’ve got food,
tofu, soy sauce,
lots of different things, and of course,
we’ve got these great skin care products. Yeah, the soybean
really is an amazing plant. That’s going to do it
for this time on  America’s Heartland . Make sure you join us next time. In the meantime,
check out   americasheartland.org
for video streaming from today’s show. We’ll see you next time. To order a copy
of this broadcast, visit us online
or call 1-888-814-3923. The cost is $14.95
plus shipping.   ♪ You can see it in the eyes
  of every woman and man ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close to the land. ♪   ♪ There’s a love
  for the country ♪   ♪ and a pride in the brand ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close, ♪   ♪ close to the land. ♪   America’s Heartland
is made possible by…. They make up a small
part of our population, but have a huge impact
on all of our lives. They take business risks
that few others would tolerate all on our behalf. They’re American farmers who feed, fuel
and clothe the world. Monsanto would like
to recognize them for all they do
for the rest of us, because ultimately our success
and everyone else’s depends on theirs. ….and by
the American Farm Bureau Federation
– the voice of agriculture. ♪♪