Soy could save the world
Soy is a core part of the traditional Japanese diet. Recently, researchers around the world have been taking notice of the high nutritional value and great potential of soy. Professor Yukio Yamori, Director of the Mukogawa Women’s University Institute for World Health Development, has studied eating habits and global longevity for 30 years. In the WHO-CARDIAC Study, an international collaborative research study on cardiovascular disease and nutrition conducted in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), he focused on the various functional components of soy. ‘Japanese longevity is deeply related to the intake of soy in the diet,’ Professor Yamori advocates, ‘Soy could save the world.’ Motivated by the WHO-CARDIAC Study, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has been supporting Professor Yamori’s joint research with the WHO since 1985.
Soy is good for the planet
Japanese people, who have the longest life expectancy of any population in the world, eat the greatest amount of soy, at 8.19 kg annually per capita*1. Most Japanese soy consumption is of processed soy products such as tofu and fermented soybeans, called natto. In recent years, however, soy consumption by people aged 40 or younger has tended to be below average, due to changes in lifestyle habits such as skipping breakfast and the Westernization of diets*2.
No more than 6% of soybeans grown worldwide are eaten directly by people*3. The U.S. is the world’s largest soy producer, but its population only consume a per-person average of approximately 40 grams*4 of soy per year, less than the amount eaten in one day by the average person in Japan. It takes 10 kg of soybeans or other grains to produce 1 kg of beef, a common source of protein. Soybean production consumes only 1/50th of the water, and 1/20th of the energy required for the production of beef*5. If more people were able to eat soy directly, it could represent a major step towards the resolution of both health and environmental issues.
- 1Source : FAOSTAT Food Supply
- 2Source : National Health and Nutrition Survey 2014, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
- 3Source : U.S. Department of Agriculture data
- 4Source : UN Food and Agriculture Organization data
- 5According to Prof. David Pimentel of Cornell University (U.S.)
New soy food products for the world
Based on the concept of “Soylution,” Otsuka Pharmaceutical is offering the world, including people who have never eaten soy, new ways to enjoy whole soy nutrition.
The first Soylution product was the baked soy bar SOYJOY. Launched in 2006, international distribution, with an initial focus on Asia, has been expanding steadily.