Although most of my life has been as a city and suburb dweller here in Chicagoland, step just outside that mushrooming corner of the state of Illinois and you inevitably will run into acres upon acres of soybeans, among other crops, as the landscape takes on a decidedly rural feel.

Chicago’s ties to agriculture helped catalyze the city’s growth, and that rich tradition continues today.

And soybeans are one of the state’s crops that just keep increasing in planted acreage.

Soybeans are one of those seemingly magical crops that find so many functions in our lives—particularly when it comes to food.

Processors transform the useful, nutritious legumes into a wide range of ingredients, from flours to oils and analogue options to replace or supplement meat and dairy.

New types of soybean oils particularly draw current interest due to the ongoing need to replace trans-laden ingredients in foods across the board.

Today’s soybean industry continues to evolve, and a solid source of current information is more than welcome to product and menu developers.