/ ©: Adriano Gambarini / WWF-Brazil

Solving the soy problem

Few of us are aware of how much soy we eat. Why? Because we consume it indirectly. For example did you know that most commercially produced beef, fish, chicken, egg and dairy products contains soy and soy has been linked to deforestation in some of the world most valuable ecosystems?

Why are women the future of responsible soy? 

Cynthia Moleta Cominesi, a conservation analyst at WWF-Brazil, talks about efforts by WWF and other NGOs to support female soy farmers who play a key role in sustainable development.
Most of us are unaware of just how much soy we consume.
 / ©: WWF
Discover how much soy is hidden in your food, and what the environmental impacts are

Soy and you

You may not consume large quantities of soy directly. But the animals you eat do in fact 80% of the world’s soybean crop is fed to livestock, especially chickens.

So if you eat meat, cheese, eggs or milk, there's a strong chance you're indirectly consuming soybeans that had a negative impact on the biodiverse ecosystems they were grown in.

These areas include the Cerrado in Brazil, the Chaco Region in Argentina and the Atlantic Forest in Paraguay. Soy cultivation is even moving into the Amazon, the world’s biggest rainforest and a major carbon sink.

In other parts of the world where soy is also grown, such as India, China, and the US, the crop can also cause negative environmental impacts such as soil erosion and water contamination.

► More on the connection between soy & you
Hungry for change? Saving the Cerrado savannah, one bacon butty at a time…

Unacceptable impacts, urgent solutions

At WWF, we are deeply concerned about irresponsible soybean plantation expansion. We are especially worried about deforestation, which leads to the loss of valuable natural habitats such as forests and savannahs, and the negative impacts on communities and workers.

One tool to tackle the problem is the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). A multi-stakeholder initiative involving companies and civil society groups like WWF, the RTRS is the best available global solution with the potential to move the mainstream soy industry to adopt less destructive, more responsible practices.

Meanwhile, WWF tackles the impacts of soy on many fronts. Among other efforts, we are:
  • strengthening law enforcement and land use planning in producer countries, such as supporting the soy moratorium in Brazil.
  • encouraging the use of degraded land for agricultural expansion
  • promoting more responsible consumption of livestock by consuming countries
  • investigating the potential of alternative, sustainable protein sources

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