Soybeans are an oil seed crop: When we crush soybeans for oil, 20% of the crop is oil. The other 80% is soybean meal, which is a great source of protein and essential amino acids.
Soybean meal is used to feed livestock, including poultry, beef, and pork. The oil is used in many food items we eat, such as cooking oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and many prepared foods. But it is also used in many other products: Paints, soaps, crayons, newspaper ink, sunscreen, road sealants, plastics, and even Chapstick. Another major use of soybeans is in producing biodiesel. Biodiesel is diesel fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats. It is biodegradable, and it produces less air pollutants than regular diesel.