Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Soybeans have been surprisingly visible in the news over the last few months, but what does this mean for the presence of soy in products?
The United States is a major producer of soybeans and, as a result, is a net exporter of soybean products. Over the last several months there has been a lot of discussion in the news of tariffs, particularly between the US and China, and one of the affected products is soybeans. I didn't realize this previously, but the US is a major supplier of soybeans to China.
Any changes to tariffs will result in a change to the cost of exporting soybeans from the US, which will affect other soybean-producing countries and their exports. Since the cost of selling soybeans internationally will change, the domestic soybean market will also be affected. Due to the uncertainty in price, famers may decide not to plant as many soybeans next year, which will change supply and ultimately further affect the price of soybean products. As a result, it is practically impossible to determine if the price of soybean products will rise or fall in the coming years.
What does this mean for the use of soy in products? Price is one factor when companies choose which ingredients to use in their products, so a price change will have an effect (i.e., if the price goes up, soy will be found in fewer products), but there are numerous other factors that contribute to the decision to include soy in a product. Nutrition, allergies, processing capabilities, and more also play a role when companies decide which ingredients to use. Ultimately, while we cannot predict what the impact of these soy-based tariff discussions will be on the presence of soy in food in the coming years, these discussions serve as a good reminder that product ingredients do change from time to time and it is valuable to look through the ingredient list of your favorite products every so often.
Either way, keep checking on your favorite products and don't hesitate to let a company know that you'd prefer a soy-free variety due to allergen requirements.