I know they’re called soyBEANS, but is soy actually a bean?
The Short Answer
Yes, soy is a bean.
The Long Answer
Soybeans are legumes. The bean of its pod is what we call soy or soya.
A legume is fruit-bearing plant. The fruit of a legume grows in the form of a pod. Within that pod, there are seeds, much like any fruit. Those seeds are beans. So, while all beans are legumes, all legumes are not beans.
One important fact to remember with soybeans is that they must be cooked, as raw soybeans are poisonous.
Soy is a very versatile food. It is used in the creation of tofu, soy milk, and a variety of substitutions for both meat and dairy.
Soybeans originated in Eastern Asia, but over 90% of today’s soy production comes from the United States.