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What about soybeans?

 
Joe Braxton
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Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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I see many suggestions for nitrogen fixing plants but never for soybeans.
I know they are good fodder for most any animal and can certainly be eaten by humans, so why wouldn't they make a great pasture/land building crop?

A quick google gave many sources for heirloom, open pollinated, organic seed, so the GMO concern isn't valid.
Am I missing something? (My normal state..... )
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Joe, I have often wondered the same thing but never got around to asking the question.

This year I ordered three different varieties of organic soybeans from peaceful valley and planted them. It was a haphazard planting and I wish that I had paid more attention to them - I want to save the seed for replanting as I think there may soon come a day that non GMO seed might not be available.

I try to use a lot of soy in my diet and I am getting to the point that I don't trust that 'organic' soy is not GMO so I guess the only way to be sure is to plant my own and save the seed from year to year.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I am anti-soy for medical reasons, so it doesn't even cross my mind. I suppose I could grow some as animal feed, but I plant clover in my pasture instead.

Getting soy from they way it comes out of the field to what is in most foods is a pretty industrial process. How much can you do at home? I really want to know. I know you can roast and grind them, but can you make your own tofu? milk? TVP?
 
Jeanine Gurley
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You can make soy or any nut milk using a nut bag (isn't that great - I'm a woman with my very own nut bag) and a blender.

One cup soybeans, almonds, brazil nuts - any kind - I've even used pecans. And two cups water. Blend on high. Pour in nut bag and squeeze out milk. Super fast / super easy / no chemical processing. You can adjust the amount of water if you want it creamier or less so. I use the pulp in granola bars or give it to the birds.


My mom turned me on to soy (NOT the processed stuff) 20 years ago to avoid hormone replacement therapy. She is 72 now and more active than I have patience for. I am now post menapausal and have only had one serious hot flash in the last ten years. Used to get a few night sweats but not anything major. That is my reason for using soy. Well, also I use it for added protien because I only eat meat that is raised in my back yard or my friends farm - so I don't eat much meat.
 
Joe Braxton
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Clover is a great plant, but I've seen soybeans 3' deep and full of foliage. Lots of fodder/green manure if cut wile still green. That's why I was wondering why they never seem to get mentioned.

As for the menopausal uses, I knew that would help but my wife can't take soy, so.......
 
Leila Rich
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I think uncooked, unfermented soy beans have very high levels of trypsin inhibitors, and long term use can have a negative affect on human health.
I'm pretty sure the trypsin inhibitors in raw soy beans are also dangerous to stock.
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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To be very clear about this:
The problem is not that a food contains antinutrients like phytic acid, but whether those antinutrients can be destroyed by f.e. heating or fermenting that food.
And soy, like cereal grains, peanuts an a few other staple foods, contains substances that'll survive common preparation practises.
 
wayne stephen
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Soy milk and tofu do not need industrial processes to make . They are easy to make in your kitchen. For soymilk you soak the beans and then crack them in grinder on coarsest setting . Simmer them for 1 hour or so in water and strain , the leftover bean is called okara and is used easily as a filler in many dishes.
Soy milk is made into tofu the same way cheese is made , except the curdling is done with nigari - a seaweed product . Do not be afraid , it's only a bean. TVP is an industrial process though. Miso , soy sauce are all done at home too.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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I used to work with a young man from Cambodia. We had this 'dangers of soy' discussion one day. He told me that he really didn't understand what the problem was with soybeans since his people had been eating them for generations.

He was a pretty fit young fella and he said his elders had a habit of living long active lives. He told me that he thought the biggest problems came from altering our foods in the laboratory and eating too much of one thing rather than a large variety of things.

I'll be following his advice and the advice of my 72 year old mother. The only 'old lady' that I know that is in better shape than her is the 71 year old bodybuilder that has been in the news lately.

I'm not to good at understanding the science of numbers and technical data, so I generally like to look at an example of what a plant or animal looks like when they have followed a certain regemin for a long time. Are they healthy? Are they fat or spindly, strong or weak? Are they long lived and productive? If all of those answers look good then I want to do what they are doing.
 
J D Horn
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R Scott wrote:I am anti-soy for medical reasons, so it doesn't even cross my mind. I suppose I could grow some as animal feed, but I plant clover in my pasture instead.


Be careful with that. Using soy as feed may still trigger a reaction once the animal is harvested.
http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/soy-ling-america.htm
 
Corky Love
Posts: 63
Location: Tacoma, WA [8B-7B]
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J D Horn wrote:Be careful with that. Using soy as feed may still trigger a reaction once the animal is harvested.
http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/soy-ling-america.htm


This is what I've been worried about. Of soy, only fermented soy is allowed in my diet.

I found this in a thread on facebook and I've added your link to said thread; "We have found two possible feed suppliers. One is based in Deer Park, WA, out near Spokane. The other is based in Winlock, WA, about half an hour south of Centralia. Halfmoon Feed (out of Deer Park) is GMO free, based on Farmer's Promise, and also Soy Free, though they charge more for that option since non-soy protein is more expensive. Patriot Farm feed (out of Winlock) is also GMO free, based on Farmer's Promise, and is not Soy Free."

J. Harris; "I have done research regarding soy in animal diets too and find that it is highly likely to cross into the tissue. Yes, it's common in feed and used in organic productions too ~ but many people who are sensitive to soy (myself included) have reactions when eating meat or eggs from animals who were raised on a diet that includes soy. It is a recent introduction into the feed supply in the U.S. I talked with Scratch 'n Peck Feeds in Bellingham, at length, and their motto is "you are what your animals eat." They do believe that animal meat/eggs is affected by what they eat. In addition, http://pasturedsensations.com/ is a local farm in Snohomish that grinds their own feed (and sells it to the public) and is corn-free, soy-free and non-GMO and non-medicated. This is the type of feed I desire a local producer using for their animals. Soy is a deal breaker for us."

Would love to know what 'research' J. Harris has done, but she didn't offer it. Hoping more science can be found, thanks for having the discussion.
 
Brenda Groth
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i planted soy for the first time this year for fresh soy beans..or fresh frozen..for a vegetable..however I'm careful of eating a lot of processed soy myself. The beans came up well and seem to be growing well, this will be new to me but I plan to try them with some mixed protein grains or other beans as fresh cooked or possibly blanch some to freeze if we like them and have extras.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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There will be no soybeans for me this year. Last night something ate every single plant - all gone. I don't mind sharing but not that much. I have used up all of my seed for this year.

So, next time they will be planted in rows in an area covered with wire.

If I had acres and acres to spread it out amongst other plants, and hundreds of pounds of seed then I could probably afford to lose a hundred plants or so - but when a hundred plants is all you have? No, I'll have to go back to a protected bed of plants.
 
Judith Browning
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We don't grow soybeans but are fortunate to live within 100 miles from Lone Pine organic rice and soybeans. We drive there once a year for both and I have been making tempeh with their beans and tempeh starter from GEM on the west coast for several years. Both GEM and the Farm inTN sell starter and have great guidelines for making it. It is well worth the slow but simple process if you like tempeh.
 
Tim Crowhurst
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Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
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wayne stephen wrote:Soy milk and tofu do not need industrial processes to make . They are easy to make in your kitchen. For soymilk you soak the beans and then crack them in grinder on coarsest setting . Simmer them for 1 hour or so in water and strain , the leftover bean is called okara and is used easily as a filler in many dishes.
Soy milk is made into tofu the same way cheese is made , except the curdling is done with nigari - a seaweed product . Do not be afraid , it's only a bean. TVP is an industrial process though. Miso , soy sauce are all done at home too.


You can also use lemon juice or vinegar, although they do affect the flavour.

Nigari is mainly magnesium chloride, with a few other salts mixed in. It's a by-product of sea salt production.
 
Tony Gurnoe
Posts: 21
Location: Encinitas, California
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I'm a lifelong vegetarian and soy has been an important part of my diet since I was young. I only get sick with a cold once a decade even as a student. My dad, who eats soy (and other beans) as his primary source of protein is the healthiest 65 year old I have personally ever met. I even have an electric soymilk maker but only really use it for making tofu. Other soy based foods I make at home include okara which is a byproduct of making soymilk, tempeh a cultured bean patty, miso and soy sauce. My tempeh, soy sauce, and miso are all living foods rich in beneficial microbes. I buy good quality dry beans in bulk for these products but grow edamame at home. None of this is in any way industrial, I try to use rural methods intentionally. I've used ocean water to make my tofu on several occasions but our water quality concerns me too much to do it regularly. I'm not sure why people seem to think soy and Morningstar junk are one in the same and can be used synonymously. I'm lucky because San Diego Soy Dairy where I live makes the best firm tofu I've ever been able to find commercially.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Tony, could you share your soy sauce recipe with me? Sometimes it is difficult for me to find a soy sauce that meets my requirements so maybe making it myself might be the answer.
 
Tony Gurnoe
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Location: Encinitas, California
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You'll need a starter and I'll warn you it's a very long fermentation but I'm glad to share.

This recipe makes about 1 gallon of Shoyu:
-7 cups dry soybeans
-6.5 cups whole soft wheat berries
-starter culture
-3.5 cups sea salt
-1 gallon of water.

Soak the beans overnight. Cook the beans until they crush very easily between two fingers (a pressure cooker cuts the time way down). Meanwhile roast the wheat berries, slight charring is good for flavor. Grind it coarsely, I use an old Samap stone mill. Drain beans and toss with the wheat. Allow to cool to body temperature. Mix in starter and move to a broad shallow container, or several. Make furrows in the mix, to avoid hotspots as the mold (yes it's mold) creates its own heat. Cover with plastic or clean cloth right on the surface. Incubate at 85 degrees checking the temperature and stirring it regularly. After a couple of days it will be covered in mycelium, this mix is called Koji. In a container with plenty of headroom combine a gallon of drinking water with 3.5 C of salt and mix until dissolved. Stir in the koji. This is now called Moromi. Cover with a close fitting lid and stir the moromi daily for the first week. The fermentation should occur around 77 degrees (I live in a great climate for this). After the first week use a piece of cloth secured rather than a lid and stir weekly for 6 months to a year. When the moromi has finished fermenting it is put in mesh and pressed. the liquid that runs out is your shoyu. Keep it in a bottle in a cool dark place because the soy sauce is still alive and has no artificial preservatives. There is a series of books titled the Book of Tofu, Book of Tempeh, Book of Miso, etc. and they have some great information.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Thanks Tony! My husband has just recently become interested in fermentation so maybe we can share the project.
 
Shelly Randall
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Location: Central Valley California
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Soybean health benefits vary with blood type. If you are blood type O or B, you should stay away from them as they are a toxic food, something about digestion or inflammation, can't remember. Blood type As benefit greatly from this vegetable base protein. I make my own TVP from the tofu I make at home. I put the tofu in the freezer to get it to change to a meat like texture, then I crumble it and dry it out. I can store it in jars and when I'm ready, rehydrate it and crumble it in ground meat as a meat extender. I prefer ground chicken or turkey as red meat is hard for me to digest.
 
John Polk
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When my daughter was in High School, her science project was about mouse dietary habits.
For the 2 years 'they' lived with us, tofu was the only thing we ever put into their cage that they would NOT eat.
We didn't offer any other feed for a couple of days, and they were obviously weakening with hunger, yet still would not eat the tofu.

Perhaps it was the 'Plaster of Paris' that is used to 'set' the commercial tofu, but they wanted nothing to do with it.

Their favorite foods seemed to be peanut butter, and potatoes (baked, fried, mashed, boiled...didn't seem to matter).

 
Judith Browning
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Joe Braxton wrote:I see many suggestions for nitrogen fixing plants but never for soybeans.
I know they are good fodder for most any animal and can certainly be eaten by humans, so why wouldn't they make a great pasture/land building crop?

A quick google gave many sources for heirloom, open pollinated, organic seed, so the GMO concern isn't valid.
Am I missing something? (My normal state..... )


I think soybeans would be as good as any bean for nitrogen fixing whether you eat them or not. Organic rice farmers use them as rotational crops. I think I'll plant some along with my buckwheat and just cut them for compost before a frost. I have always heard that you shouldn't eat any soy that is not fermented (as tempeh, miso, shoyu) and recently that too much soy can interfere with thyroid function.
 
Corky Love
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sheila reavill wrote:Blood type A's benefit greatly from this vegetable base protein. ... I put the tofu in the freezer to get it to change to a meat like texture, then I crumble it and dry it out.


I have type A blood and do not tolerate non-fermented soy. I found that out 3yrs after I married a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I agree though, I always liked the firmest tofu and enjoyed the way the freezer changed the texture.
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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