Soybeans are a type of legume. They have been being cultivated in East Asia for over 5000 years but weren’t introduced into the Western world until the 20th Century.
They’re an excellent source of protein and are used to create many other food products, such as tofu, tempeh, shoyu, miso, and soy milk. Immature soybeans are also eaten fresh in a Japanese dish known as ‘edamame’. Processed soybeans are the world's largest source of animal protein feed and the second largest source of vegetable oil. The United States is the world's leading soybean producer and the second-leading exporter. Soybeans comprise about 90 percent of U.S. oilseed production, while other oilseeds—including peanuts, sunflower seed, canola, and flax—make up the remainder. the many uses of soybean
Whilst many people eat soybeans or food that contains soy, particularly in countries across Asia, only a small fraction of the soybeans that are produced each year are used for this purpose. The vast majority of soybeans – almost 75% of them – are actually used as animal feed.
Maize is the most important grain crop in Europe and is produced throughout the continent under diverse environments. Successful maize production depends on the correct application of production inputs that will sustain the environment as well as agricultural production. These inputs are, inter alia, adapted cultivars, plant population, soil tillage, fertilization, weed, insect and disease control, harvesting, marketing and financial resources.
In developed countries, maize is consumed mainly as second-cycle produce, in the form of meat, eggs and dairy products.
In developing countries, maize is consumed directly and serves as staple diet for some 200 million people.
Most people regard maize as a breakfast cereal. However, in a processed form it is also found as fuel (ethanol) and starch. Starch in turn involves enzymatic conversion into products such as sorbitol, dextrine, sorbic and lactic acid, and appears in household items such as beer, ice cream, syrup, shoe polish, glue, fireworks, ink, batteries, mustard, cosmetics, aspirin and paint.
Poultry meat is the second most produced and consumed meat in the European Union, after pig meat. The sector is known as one of the most intensive farming systems in the EU, with capital growth limited farms numbering more than 100 000 birds. This intensive system features high stocking densities, indoor rearing and the use of fast-growing breeds obtained by genetic selection. It is estimated that 90 % of meat chickens are raised in such systems in the EU. However, alternative chicken production systems (free-range and organic) are on the increase in many EU countries. As regards egg production, the 400 million laying hens kept throughout the EU produce close to 7.5 million tonnes of eggs a year.
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