Already 5,000 years ago, Chinese Caesar Shennong, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture, declared soy one of the five most sacred types of grain essential to Chinese culture (together with rice, wheat, barley and millet). Its origins are in North China, from a wild plant named Glycine Ussuriensis.
The process of soy domestication, probably one of the first crops to be cultivated by man, began around the 11th century BC, both as food and for medicinal purposes.
It’s fascinating to ponder what this crop, which has served mankind from ancient times, has had to endure from when it was grown in Chinese fields over 5000 years ago mainly as green manure to improve the soil and enrich the earth for future crops. Today soy has morphed into a source for glue, dye, synthetic fiber, soap, ink, candles, lacquer, a rubber substitute, and of course, biodiesel fuel. From a sacred and dignified seed to a genetically-engineered, labeled, patented prisoner.