This is a sponsored post for United Soybean Board through Kitchen PLAY.
Have you considered the oil that you cook and bake with? What are the benefits of that oil? Did you know that soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the U.S. and that most of the bottled vegetable oil at the grocery store is 100% soybean oil? Time to look into this soybean oil – what do we need to know as consumers?
Soybean Oil – What You Need To Know
I love to cook and bake, and pretty much every recipe I make has a bit of oil in it. As stated above, soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the U.S. and it is important to note that most of the bottled vegetable oil at the grocery store is 100% soybean oil. What does this mean for you and me? It means that we are more than likely enjoying the benefits of soybean oil!
Not only are you more than likely using soybean oil at home, but when enjoying a nice dinner out, that soybean oil is probably helping your plate be even more delicious with a side of health benefits! High oleic soybean oil is sourced from a new variety of soybean that has higher levels of oleic acid. This oil has an improved fat profile compared to conventional oil and offers functional benefits for the food industry. While this sounds like something I want to add to my pantry, it is important to note that the high oleic soybean oil is currently only being used in restaurant meals and packaged products, and it is not available as a bottled cooking oil at the grocery store.
Sustainability of Soybeans
Trends come and go but one fad that I do not see going anywhere soon is the fad of wanting to know where your food comes from and how that food and production is affecting our community and earth. Soybean producers are on board with this fad as 95% of U.S. soybean producers partner with the USDA to implement conservation practices on their farms.
U.S. soybean farmers employ sustainable practices, including crop rotation, reduced tillage, and water management. All of these practices lead to a reduction in soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use, as well as improved water use efficiency.
Currently U.S. soybean farmers are working toward meeting some big goals by 2025. These goals include reducing land use impact by 10%, reducing soil erosion by an additional 25%, increasing energy use efficiency by 10%, and reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Like I said, this trend of sustainability is going nowhere, and the soybean producers know that currently 73% of consumers who are familiar with the term “sustainable farming” say eating foods produced by sustainable practices is important to them. Time to meet those goals!!
Health Factors of Soybean Oil
Like most people, I am concerned with what I am feeding my family, and this includes the products I use while cooking homemade meals. As I said, I use oil in my recipes so knowing the health factors of soybean oil is pretty interesting to me. Thankfully the most widely used edible oil, soybean oil, has a long list of health benefits!
Soybean oil is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic (ALA) omega-3s, which affect cardiovascular health and may reduce blood pressure. The ALA found in soybean oil is the principal source of omega-3s in the U.S. diet. Omega-3 fats are recognized as the #1 most healthy fat, and soybean oil is one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
What is great about soybean oil is that these health benefits can easily be added to any diet with just a small amount of oil. Soybean oil has a favorable fatty acid composition that contains zero grams trans-fat and just two grams of saturated fat per ONE tablespoon serving.
High oleic soybean oil, which is used in restaurant meals and packaged products, also has an improved fat profile, including zero grams trans-fat per serving, lower saturated fat, and three times the amount of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids compared to many conventional vegetable oils.
Home Grown – Soybean Oil U.S. Grown
Soybeans are not going anywhere except into our tummies! Soybeans are the second largest crop in the U.S., with 80 million acres planted! Currently, there are more than 515,000 soybean farmers in the U.S., and they are working hard to make sure we are all able to enjoy the benefits of soybeans! It is pretty amazing that 100% of high oleic soybean oil is grown in the U.S., and clearly that is a big deal as 73% of consumers believe in supporting domestic agriculture by buying foods produced with crops grown by U.S. farmers.
To find out if soybeans are being grown in your state, simply check out this fun interactive map and you can learn some soybean statistics about your state! Here in Colorado, there are 107 soybean farms on nearly 19,000 acres of farmland. It is really interesting to click through different states to find out more about those growing soybeans!
Using Soybean Oil
More than likely the oil you have in your pantry for cooking and baking is made from soybeans. Soybean oil can be used in place of other cooking oils for cooking methods like frying, baking, roasting, or sautéing. Simply use it in place of other ingredients, such as olive oil or canola oil in your favorite recipes.
Soybean Oil 101
To wrap up this discussion I think it is nice to give a few important bullet points to consider as you cook and bake with soybean oil.
- Most vegetable oil at the grocery store is 100% soybean oil.
- Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the U.S.
- Soybean oil is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic (ALA) omega-3s, which affect cardiovascular health and may reduce blood pressure.
- Soybean oil is one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- 95% of U.S. soybean producers partner with the USDA to implement conservation practices on their farms.
- Almost half of the land in the U.S. is devoted to farming, and soybeans are the second largest crop, with 80 million acres planted.
- There are more than 515,000 soybean farmers in the U.S.
Now that you know more about soybean oil, you can feel great about the food you and your family enjoy at home and when eating out.