History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Michigan (1853-2021)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-948436-51-9

Publication Date: 2021 Sept. 19

Number of References in Bibliography: 2549

Earliest Reference: 1853

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Brief Chronology of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Michigan

 

1853 Oct. – Soybeans are first cultivated in Michigan by T.E. Whetmore, North Cannon, Kent County, Michigan (J. of the New-York State Agricultural Society, p. 50-52). He calls them “Japan peas.”

The next time they are cultivated in Michigan is in Nov. 1853 by Wm. Anderson of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1854 April – T.E. Whetmore sends small samples of Japan peas to a number of his correspondents in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, etc. (J. of the New-York State Agricultural Society, p. 96).

1887 – “Soy is a sauce made in China and Japan, it is a thick reddish-brown liquid, and is used in many fish sauces,” says Maria Parloa in Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion: A Guide for All Who Would Be Good Housekeepers (p. 91).

1892Science in the Kitchen, by Ella Ervilla Eaton Kellogg, the wife of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, is published by the Health Publishing Co. in Battle Creek, Michigan. Her most influential book, it discusses the principles and methods of the dietary system employed at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. It alludes to tofu.

1896 May – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of the Battle Creek Sanitarium first mentions soy when he says, in an editorial titled “Bean cheese”: “A variety of cheese known as tofu is much used by the Japanese. It is made from the soja bean, which, after soaking for twelve hours in water, is ground to a uniform pulpy mass, then boiled for an hour in three times its quantity of water, and afterward filtered through a cloth. The milky liquid thus obtained is allowed to stand two or three days, when lactic acid develops, by which the vegetable casein is separated as in sour milk. Ten per cent. of concentrated brine is added by constant stirring, which causes a flocculent precipitate. This is separated by a cloth filter, and is formed into tablets by a slow pressure.

Tofu is eaten in the form of soup and in many other ways. The solid nutriment which it contains amounts to only about ten per cent. Sometimes the greater part of the water is separated by freezing, and the block of frozen tofu afterward allowed to thaw in the sun” (Modern Medicine and Bacteriological Review, p. 112).

1898 – Harry N. Hammond Seed Co., in Decatur, Van Buren Co., Michigan, is the earliest known seedsman to sell “Soja Bean (Coffee Berry).”

1902 April – The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, in its Bulletin No. 199, first mentions and recommends the soy bean for Michigan farmers to use as feed (forage) and green manure. It recommends five varieties.

1904 – Evans Seed Co. in West Branch, Michigan, is the first to offer an early-maturing soybean in its mail-order catalog – the Ito San – named by Mr. Edward E. Evans in honor of Marquis Ito, the Japanese statesman. The 4-page section on “Soy beans (Glycine hispida)” gives the most information about this crop to be found in any American seed catalog up to this time. “We are the pioneers of the soy seed business at the north; have grown and sold them for the past 8 years [since about 1896].

1918 Feb. – “The soy bean,” by John Harvey Kellogg. M.D., is published in Good Health – his first article on the subject (p. 111).

1918 Oct. – The Clipper (“dustless”), a simple machine used for cleaning dry beans and grains, made by A.T. Ferrell & Co. (Saginaw, Michigan) is first mentioned (with a large photo) in connection with soybeans (Bean-Bag. p. 7).

1919 – The four leading soybean producing states this year, listed in descending order of acreage are:

North Carolina 47,041acres / 498,048 bu.

Virginia 10,283 acres / 111,353 bu.

Tennessee 7,649 acres / 49,731 bu.

Michigan 6,257 acres / 78,515 bu.2

(Source: Fourteenth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1920. Volume V. Agriculture. 1922).

1920 Sept. 3 – The American Soybean Growers’ Association is founded in Camden, Indiana, at Soyland, the farm of Taylor Fouts. Over 1,000 soybean growers from Indiana and four neighboring states – Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin – are in attendance (Indiana Farmer’s Guide, Sept. 18, p. 1728-29).

1922 – La Choy Food Products (Detroit, Michigan) introduces its first commercial soy product, Soy Sauce, fermented and imported from China. By Nov. 1931 they began buying HVP soy sauce from Huron Milling Co. (now Hercules) and A.E. Staley, and selling it in small bottles as La Choy Soy Sauce.

1923 – Battle Creek Food Co. (Battle Creek, Michigan) introduces its first commercial soy product, Soy Biscuit, followed by Soy Meal (1927; renamed Soy Flour by 1934), and Soy Gluten Biscuit (For Diabetics) (1927). Then Soy Beans Baked (1934, renamed Wonder Soy Beans by 1936), Soy Gluten Bread (For the Diabetic – Canned) (1934) and Soy Bean Biscuit (For Diabetics) (1934).

1926 Oct. 2 – The first article about chemurgy is published in the Dearborn Independent (Michigan). The title is “Farming must become a chemical industry: Development of co-products will solve present agricultural crisis,” by William J. Hale. Chemurgy, the idea of using agricultural crops by industry, which is championed by Henry Ford and many others in Michigan, is a steady supporter of soybeans for decades to come.

1926 Dec. – The USDA’s Crops and Markets. Monthly Supplement, gives the most detailed nationwide statistics on soybeans seen to date. Michigan is in 4th place among the leading states.

1928 – Dr. Edsel Ruddiman, Henry Ford’s boyhood companion and deskmate, formerly dean of the School of Pharmacy at Vanderbilt University, working in his laboratory at the Ford Motor Co., starts research on food uses of soybeans, and soon develops soymilk, made from whole soybeans (Chubbuck 1937). Ruddiman is the first man who got Henry Ford interested in soyfoods.

1929 Oct. 29 – The stock market crash heralds the Great Depression, which lasts until 1942. Thus, most of Ford’s work with soybeans and chemurgy was done during the Great Depression. Ford soon came to believe that the soybean could play a major role in lifting America out of the Great Depression (Wik 1962).

1929 – The Edison Institute of Technology is founded by Henry Ford in honor of Thomas A. Edison. “The purpose of the Institute is to train students along the lines that Edison pursued in his work and to give them an opportunity to study farm products for industrial possibilities” (Oil and Soap. 1935 April. p. 68-70).

1930 Sept. – “Soybeans as human food,” by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, is a paper (20 pages) presented to the American Soybeans Grower's Association, Sept. 11. Here he shows an excellent understanding of the world literature on the subject.

1931 – Henry Ford plants about 500 acres of soy beans near Dearborn, Michigan. He thus becomes by far the largest soybean grower in the state. At about this time, Henry Ford starts to get very interested in soybeans. During 1932 the figure was increased to 8,200 acres (Ford News, March 1933, p. 49-51). He was the largest soybean grower in the United States.

1932 Jan. – Robert A. Boyer, of The Ford Motor Co. writes a summary of the development and progress at the Chemical Plant of the Edison Institute (Dearborn, Michigan) during the past year. The task is finding industrial uses for farm crops. Boyer is the main person who got Henry Ford interested in soybeans.

1932 Dec. 2. – Henry Ford tells the press that he is going to paint his cars with “Michigan soy bean oil” (Detroit Evening Times).

1933 March – An article in Ford News, titled “Experimenting with the soy bean,” contains the following quotation by Henry Ford: “For a long time now I have believed that industry and agriculture are natural partners and that they should begin to recognize and practise their partnership. Each of them is suffering from ailments which the other can cure. Agriculture needs a wider and steadier market; industrial workers need more and steadier jobs. Can each be made to supply what the other needs? I think so. The link between is Chemistry.”

1933 Dec.Fortune magazine writes that “Mr. Ford is now as much interested in the soya bean as he is in the V-8” (p. 134).

1933 – By this year Henry Ford’s experimentation, at a cost of $1,250,000, had been rewarded with the discovery of soybean oil which made a superior enamel for painting automobiles and for oiling casting molds and a soybean meal which was molded into the horn button. (David L. Lewis. 1972. Ford Life May/June, p. 14-24).

1934 summer – Ford’s soybean exhibits at the “Century of Progress” World’s Fair in Chicago make nationwide headlines and attract more than a million visitors. Ford brought in an entire barn from his childhood home (built by has father in 1863), planted a plot of soybeans around it, put up a sign “The Industrialized American Barn” over the door, and set up inside it an elaborate display featuring one of his small farm-scale solvent extraction plants and a soyfoods kitchen. Soy protein was molded into plastic parts and soy oil, extracted on the spot, was used to fuel a diesel engine, which ran a generator that produced all the electricity for the display. A glass model of the basic Ford extractor was the first in the Western world to use hexane as a solvent. Large seeded, vegetable-type soybeans were deep fried and served like salted peanuts to visitors, providing most with their first taste of soybeans. Moreover, a press luncheon, featuring 14 soy-based dishes developed by Edsel Ruddiman , was served to 30 wary reporters; it included “Celery stuffed with soybean cheese” [tofu], and “Cocoa with soymilk;” and ended with ice cream made from soymilk; no meat was served (Christian Science Monitor 18 Aug. 1934).

1934 Aug. 17 – Menu (printed) of dinner served at Ford Exhibit, Century of Progress:

“Tomato juice seasoned with soy bean sauce.

Salted soy beans.

Celery stuffed with soy bean cheese.

Puree of soy bean.

Soy bean cracker.

Soy bean croquettes with tomato sauce.

Buttered green soy beans.

Pineapple ring with soy bean cheese [tofu] and soy bean dressing.

Soy bean bread with soy bean relish.

Soy bean biscuit with soy bean butter.

Apple pie (soy bean crust).

Cocoa with soy bean milk.

Soy bean coffee.

Assorted soy bean cookies.

Soy bean cakes.

Assorted soy bean candy.”

Note: Several weeks after this meal was served, soy ice cream was added for dessert.

1934 Aug. 21 – The Ford Motor Company now makes 20 automobile parts and all of its car-body enamel out of soy beans, and now the Ford staff at the Chicago Exposition is trying to prove that soy beans are excellent food for people... (St. Louis Globe Democrat).

1934 Aug. – The Farm Chemurgic: Farmward the Star of Destiny Lights Our Way, by William J. Hale is published. This is the earliest document seen that contains the word “chemurgy” (pronounced KEM-ur-jee), or the word “chemurgical” – both coined by Hale (see p. ii).

1934 Sept. – The Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Michigan) introduces its first soy product, Soy Bean Oil and Soy Bean Oil Meal. The oil is used in enamel on Ford cars and the protein in the meal is used to make plastics for these cars.

1934 – Ford is now deeply interested in developing a “synthetic milk” from the soybean. He calls the cow the crudest machine in the world. He soon builds a demonstration soymilk plant in Greenfield village; it produced several hundred gallons of soymilk daily. The beverage was most popular among Ford’s Filipino employees; a little banana oil was added to improve the flavor. Henry Ford loved soymilk. He keep a bottle in his refrigerator and gave his recipe away to friends. He liked it best sweetened with a little maple syrup. Ford’s interest in soymilk is best viewed against his lifelong and unusually strong interest in diet and health (Simonds 1938; Nevins and Hill)

1935 May 7-8 – The First Dearborn Conference of Agriculture, Industry, and Science, is hosted by Henry Ford and the National Farm Chemurgic Council at Dearborn, Michigan. One presentation by R.H. McCarroll, titled “Increasing the use of agricultural products in the automotive industry” describes the many new uses of soybeans in the Ford Motor Co. plant. “Our large scale work on these beans started in 1932 with the planting of 8,000 acres. About 300 varieties of soy beans have now been tried on our experimental farm.” This speech was published in the conference proceedings (256 pages) and later condensed in Ford News.

The purpose of this conference, convened in the midst of the Great Depression and attended by about 300 leaders of industry, was to explore ways of using agricultural crops in non-food industrial products and discussing ways that farmers could process more of their own crops using industrial equipment – such as a simple solvent extractor for the “industrialized barn.”

A similar conference is held each year at Dearborn until at least the Third in May 1927.

1935 Dec. 9 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg writes a letter to William Morse (USDA) about growing and canning shell soy beans, and making condensed soy milk and soy acidophilus milk. He writes: I am having a couple of cans sent you so you can see what our product is like. We think it is very fine. The few thousand cans we put up went off like hot cakes.

“We are thinking of doing rather extensive planting this year…”

“Soy milk produces a much more vigorous growth of the bacillus acidophilus than does cow's milk. The organism is more than twice as large and it grows twice as fast and does not require the long training, 25 to 30 transfers, required when cow's milk is used for the culture medium. In other words, the bacillus acidophilus seems to like vegetable products for a culture medium better than animal.

“I shall be glad to know how you like the milk. If you would like to try making it at home, I will have some more cans and cultures sent to you. The process is so simple any housewife can do it.”

Soon Kellogg and Morse begin a lively correspondence and exchange of products. On 7 March 1936 Morse sends Kellogg 4-6 lbs. of seed of the Bansei and Chusei varieties, which (Morse says) will mature at Battle Creek and have given good results in making a high-quality soy milk.

1935 – A bushel of soybeans now goes into the paint, horn button, gear-shift knob, inside window riser knobs, accelerator pedal, and timing gears of every Ford car (Lewis 1972).

1936 March – A full-page ad for “Soy Acidophilus Milk” from the Battle Creek Food Co. appears in Good Health magazine (back inside cover). This is now a commercial soy product.

1936 July – Battle Creek Food Co. launches Green Shelled Soy Beans (Canned) and Soy Milk Canned. Also this year Saucettes (Meatless Sausages).

1936 April – U.S. Regional Soybean Industrial Products Laboratory is established at Urbana, Illinois. A news release from USDA states: "Twelve Northern Central States and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have opened a cooperative soybean industrial research laboratory at Urbana, Ill. This development follows the biggest production jump in the history of this crop in America. The states are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and the Dakotas.

“Soybean acreage has more than doubled in the last few years.

1936 April – A 17-page article titled “Soy bean seed production in Michigan,” by Robert A. Smith appears in the Edison Institute of Technology, Bulletin, No. 10. The varieties Manchu, Illini, Ito San, Dunfield, Mandarin, and Greenfield have been tested for 4 consecutive years – 1932-1935; Greenfield gave the best average yield, 25.3 bu/acre. Details on the industrial uses of soybeans at the Ford Motor Co. are given.

“Soy beans were not grown extensively in Michigan as a seed crop until the last few years, when the Ford Motor Company became interested in their commercial possibilities and began growing them on a large scale. As a result considerable interest has been shown concerning their value as a Michigan crop and the methods to be used in their culture.”

1936 Sept. 21 – Soy acidophilus milk has apparently saved the life of one of the Dionne Quintuplets in Callander, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Kellogg made the fermented milk and sent it to Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe, physician to and guardian of the quintuplets.

1938 Aug. – Ford Motor Co. starts making Soybean Oil and Soybean Oil Meal in Saline, Michigan. Also in Milan, Michigan in March 1939. And in Dearborn, Michigan in 1943.

1939 – During this year, “Ford Motor Company imports of wool were close to 250,000,000 pounds – approximately 35% of the total used – with the bulk of shipments coming from Argentina and Australia. Fearful of losing trade with Australia because of Pacific conditions, Ford stepped up production of soybean fibers” (Lewis 1972).

1940 Aug. – An article on “The possibilities of soybean milk,” by Edsel A. Ruddiman, is published in the Proceedings of the American Soybean Association (p. 62-63). He writes: “Infants who are not accustomed to cow's milk will take the soy milk as readily as the cow's.”

1941 Aug. 13 – “By late 1937, Ford's research laboratory – under the direction of youthful, self-trained Robert Boyer – had developed a curved plastic sheet which Ford hoped would replace steel in automobile bodies.” Ford unveiled his handmade car with a complete plastic body on August 13, 1941, at the climax of Dearborn's annual community festival.

A famous photo shows Henry Ford, dressed in a coat and hat, swinging an ax at his 1941 trunk lid made of plastic for the press to prove that the lid was ax resistant. The plastic was made from several common crops, including soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax, and ramie.

1940 – Battle Creek Food Co. introduces Soy Gluten Wafers (42% Soya), and SoyKee (100% Soybean Roasted Coffee Substitute), and Soy Spread. Also Soy Protose (Meatless Potted Meat with 32% Soya) in 1943, and Battle Creek Soy Beans (Canned) in Feb. 1944.

1942 Nov. – Reichold Chemicals Inc. launches Agripol (The first commercial production of synthetic rubber from soy oil).

1942 – Butler Food Co. (Cedar Lake, Michigan) introduces Soy-Fruit & Nut Cereal (Ready to Eat), and ViM-eat Soy-Nut-Loaf (Vegetarian Meat), and Soy-Kawfee (Roasted Soybean Coffee) and Entire Soy Bean Flour (very fine) or Entire Soy Bean Wheat Mix (30-70), and Soy Beans with Tomato Sauce, and ViM-ilk (Soymilk), and Soy-Nuts, and Soy-Wheat Cereal, and ViM-eat Soy-Nut-Cheese (Vegetarian Meat). Most products are sold in 8- or 16-ounce cans. And in Aug. 1944 (the company is now named Butler Food Products) Butler's Soya Butter (Non-Dairy Margarine made with Soybean Oil and Soy Milk). And in Sept. 1944 Butler’s Soynut Cheese, and Butler’s Vegeburger, and Butler’s Soya Nut-Loaf. And Butler’s Vegetarian Chops.

1944 Aug. – Russell-Taylor Inc. (renamed Delsoy Products, Inc. by July 1945) (Detroit, Michigan) introduces Delsoy (All-Vegetable Soymilk-Based Non-Dairy Whip Topping). Note: This is the world's earliest known commercial non-dairy whip topping. By 1947 it was Delsoy Super Whip: Instant Dessert Topping (All-Vegetable Soymilk-Based Non-Dairy Whip Topping Sold in a Pressurized Can), and Presto Whip (All-Vegetable Soymilk-Based Non-Dairy Whip Topping in a Pressurized Can with Valve – Refrigerated), in 1960 the same product was also sold frozen.

1945 – Kellogg Company (Battle Creek, Michigan; makers of Corn Flakes) launches Kellogg's Corn Soya Shreds (Breakfast Cereal). Renamed Kellogg's Corn-Soya by 1950.

1947 Sept. – Vegetable Products Corporation (Saline, Michigan) introduces Wonder Whip (Soy-Based Non-Dairy Whipped Topping).

1947 – Lo Hi Food School (Muskegon, Michigan) introduces Hav Al Lu Bread (With Soy), and Canned Green Soybeans, and Lo Hi Milk.

1951 – Battle Creek Food Co. introduces Soy Flakes with Gluten, and in 1955 Soy Flakes.

1953 Dec. – Shedd-Bartush Foods, Inc. (Detroit, Michigan) introduces Willow Run Oleomargarine – Soy Bean Spread.

1958 Sept. – Hercules Powder Co. (Huron Milling Co.) (Harbor Beach, Michigan) launches Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins.

1963 – “Through his experimentation and the publicity he gave it, Henry Ford made a substantial contributing to the increased utilization of the soybean. His work in this field, which started when he was in his late sixties and carried forward until he was eighty years of age, is perhaps the outstanding achievement of his declining years. Of all Ford’s accomplishments, it is possible that none pleased him more than in helping to prove that there was magic in the beanstalk” (Nevins and Hill, 1963).

1963 – Harvey Whitehouse buys out Bob Smith of Presto Products. Whitehouse Products, Inc. (Dearborn) now makes Whitehouse Whipped Topping, Whitehouse Whipped Topping Base, and Whitehouse Presto Whip. In about 1969 they launched Whitehouse Coffee Fresh (Non-dairy Soy-based Coffee Creamer).

1969 Aug. – Gerber Products Co. (Fremont, Michigan) introduces SoBig (High Protein Cereal for Toddlers). It contains soy flour.

1969 Nov. 4 – Eden Organic Foods, Inc. is named and incorporated as a non-profit corporation by Bill Bolduc. Other names on the articles of incorporation are Judith Bolduc, Ronald Teeguarden, Gloria Dunn, and Linda Succop. It is a natural foods co-op retail store at 514 East William St. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bill is president of the company and his wife, Judy, is part-time secretary. The date of incorporation, Nov. 4, was selected by an astrologer, Michael Erlewine, because it was astrologically propitious. Michael also designed the Eden logo of four sprouts in a circle. Also in Nov. 1969 Eden begins selling soyfoods, tamari and miso purchased from Erewhon. Michael Potter was for many years the CEO of Eden Foods, Clinton, Michigan.

Eden’s first commercial soy products (Nov. 1969) was Tamari Soy Sauce, purchased from Erewhon, sold in pints, quarts, or liters, Hacho Miso (Soy Paste), Mugi Miso (Barley Soy Paste).

In July 1971 Eden Foods, Inc. (Ann Arbor) introduced Eden Soybeans (Organically Grown in Michigan; Whole Dry Yellow), and Soy Flour (Organic). Then in Nov. 1971 Eden Soy Oil (Unrefined and Pressed) and Kokoh (macrobiotic infant food). In Oct. 1972 Hopi Roasted Soybeans. In Jan. 1973 Hopi Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Cashews, or Soybeans (Each Dry Roasted with Tamari), and Organic Soybean Flakes (34% Protein - Arrowhead Mills). In April 1973 Kome Miso (Soy Paste with Rice) and Soy-Rice Shells (Organically Grown). And many more.

Eden sold many high-quality soyfoods and was perhaps best known for its Edensoy soymilk, launched in 1983 in an aseptic carton.

1974 July – “The Michigan Soybean Association is the 23rd state association to become affiliated with American Soybean Association.” The new association has 234 members (Soybean Digest. 1974 Sept. p. 31).

1975 Nov. – Midwest Natural Foods Distributors, Inc. (Ann Arbor) introduces Soybeans, sold in bulk, and Wholewheat Soy Elbows, Wholewheat Soy Spaghetti, Soya Rice Shells and Soy Milk [Plain, Carob], Tofu Soybean Curd

1976 – INARI, Ltd. (Dansville, Michigan) introduces Solar Soya (Whole Roasted Soy Nuts - Oil-roasted) [Salted, Unsalted, Jalapeno, Chopped, or Ground]. Then in Dec. 1977 Super Soys. Whole Roasted Soy Nuts (Oil-roasted) [Salted, Unsalted, Pizza Flavored, Jalapeno, or Onion Garlic].

1977 Jan. – The Soy Plant (Ann Arbor) introduces Tofu. Then in July 1977 Soymilk [Honey & Vanilla, or Plain]. Then in March 1978 Tempeh, and Dofu-Gan (Firm Tofu Simmered in a Marinade). In June 1978 Miso (made in house) and Missing Egg Salad and Ann Arbor Steamed Brown Bread (with Okara). In Sept. 1978 Miso Cheese (Tofu Fermented in White Miso) and Tofu Tahini Spread. In Oct. 1978 Soysage (Meatless Okara-based Sausage) and Tofu Cheesecake (Non-Dairy) and Soy Scream (Non-Dairy Soy Ice Cream; Soft Serve) [Carob, or Maple-Vanilla] and Tofu Pie [Carob Creme, Maple-Vanilla, or Peanut Butter], and Okara Peanut Butter Balls, and Seitan Roast. In Nov. 1978 Spiced Tofu [Basic with Veggies, Herb, Caraway, or Curry]. In June 1979 Eggless Soy Mayo, and Spinach Tofu Pie.

1977 – Wolfmoon Bakery & Tempeh Co. (Lansing) introduces Tempeh.

1978 Dec. – Yellow Bean Trading Co (The) (Detroit) introduces Tofu. In March, 1979, Renamed Yellow Bean Vegetarian Foods, introduces Tofu Pies (Carob, Cocoa, Peanut Butter) and Tofu Salad (Bulk), and Tempeh.

1980 April – The Soy Plant (Ann Arbor) launches Yuba Rolls and Stuffed Agé Pouches. In July 1980 the company is renamed The Soyplant Co-op Inc., introduces Tofu Spinach Quiche, and Tofu Salad, and Soyanaise: Imitation Mayonnaise, and Miso-Garlic Dressing, and Tempeh of the Sea (Containing Sea Vegetables). In 1981 Tempeh Salad. In July 1983 Tempeh Burgers, and Tempeh-Taco, and Tempehroni.

1982 May – Homefood Co. (East Lansing) introduces a Tofu Kit.

1983 July – Eden Foods (Clinton, Michigan) introduces Edensoy (Soymilk) [Plain, or Carob]. Imported from Japan where it is made by Marusan-Ai Co., Ltd. Contains kombu. Sold in a retort pouch.

1984 Dec. – Michigan Soy Products Co., Inc. (Royal Oak, Michigan) introduces Panda Brand Tofu Cheesecake [Strawberry, Blueberry, Cherry], and Tofu Creme Pie (Tofu Cheesecakes) [Carob, Almond, Chocolate], and Cake (Non-Dairy, No-Egg, Made with Soymilk and Tofu Frosting) [Blueberry, Banana, Black Forest, Carrot, German Carob, Poppyseed-Rice]. In May 1986 Tofu Burger, and Tofu Salad. In Oct. 1986 Tofu Manicotti.

1985 Nov. – INARI Ltd. (Mason, Michigan) launches Super Soy Soynut Butter [Sweetened with Fructose], and Super Soy Soyprizes (Confection Coated Soynuts - Whole Oil-Roasted) [Royal Mix, or Cinnamon Coated].

1986 Nov. – American Soy Products, Inc. (Saline, Michigan) starts making Edensoy in the USA in Original, Vanilla, and Carob flavors. It is packed it stylish Tetra Pak cartons.

1987 June – S&P Farm (Perry, Michigan) introduces Betsy’s Tempeh. Vegetarian Patties (Meatless Burgers).

1989 April – Rosewood Products Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan) launches Rosewood Farms Tofu-Rella (Soy Cheese with Casein) [Monterey Jack Style], then in Oct. Rosewood Tofu (Curded with Calcium Sulfate).

1992 July – Bruce Rose has a joint venture with a large Chinese company to make tofu in Michigan. The joint venture is named Tofu International Ltd. Their first products are: Fried Tofu, Dofu-Gan (Savory Baked Tofu, 2 types), Tofu Chicken, Fresh Soymilk (Plain Unsweetened Traditional Style).

1996 Aug. – Eden Foods, Inc. launches Eden Organic Black Soy Beans (Canned).

2000 March – American Soy Products (Saline) introduces Soy Fusion (Soy Beverage) [Berry, or Matcha Green Tea].

2005 – Kellogg Co. (Battle Creek) (Marketer-Distributor) introduces MorningStar Farms Meal Starters: Chik'n Strips, Veggie Steak Strips, Steak Strips Natural, Chik'n Strips Natural.

2018 – This year Michigan produced 109 million bushels of soybeans; a value of $941 million. Soybeans are also Michigan's top food export. In 2018, $185 million of Michigan soybeans were exported around the world (Michigan Ag Facts and Figures).

Henry Ford and Soybeans in America – If you had asked a sampling of Americans nationwide during the period 1936-1950 which person they thought of first when they heard the word “soybeans,” Henry Ford would have certainly been the name most frequently mentioned. Ford was among the first to predict a major role for soybeans in America agriculture – and this visionary prediction proved very accurate and important. A master at generating publicity and the head of one of the world's most effective publicity machines, he promoted the soybean at every opportunity. Soybeans were a major part of the Ford Motor Company's exposition in 1934 at the Chicago Century of Progress World's Fair (which was viewed by an estimated 25 million people). Many people were attracted to the Ford Exposition Building, which was the largest single building at the Fair. Henry Ford even held a gala press luncheon during the fair in which every dish was made from soybeans. This, too, received extensive media coverage - some of it quite humorous.

Ford also exhibited his automotive products made from soybeans at major state fairs, sometimes attended by roughly half a million people.

In August 1941 when Ford launched the “plastic car,” whose lightweight body was made from farm crops (including soybeans), the story was carried by every major newspaper in America - and soybeans were usually featured.

The Ford Motor Company produced the ten earliest known films on soybeans and their uses, from 1930 to 1941.

Most states had one or more county agents, or USDA personnel or university extension workers or professors who took the lead in introducing and promoting soybeans in each state (think Hackleman, Burlison, Woodworth, Meharry, Hurrelbrink, and Staley from Illinois; Fouts (Taylor, Noah, and Finis), Beeson, Ostrander, and Edmondson from Indiana; Briggs from Wisconsin; C.B. Williams from North Carolina; Jacob Hartz and George H. Banks from Arkansas; Strayer (George and Bert) and F.S. Wilkins from Iowa; McIlroy, Wing, and E.F. (“Soybean”) Johnson from Ohio, etc.); but Michigan had no such person – except, of course, for Henry Ford, Robert Boyer, and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg – all in the private, nonagricultural domain.

All in all, Michigan is a state characterized by unusual innovation and creativity with respect to both soybeans and soyfoods. This includes 233 commercial soy products, almost all of them foods.

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