Celebrating the global annual ‘Soy Month’ to highlight the significance of sustainable food systems and protein-rich diets
The dedicated protein education initiative, ‘Right To Protein’, is celebrating ‘Soy Month‘ in April. With the focus on highlighting the role soybeans play in increasing sustainable food systems and protein-rich diets, the initiative is inviting all stakeholders to join in increasing awareness and understanding about the benefits of soy, soy-based foods and soy-fed animal sources of protein such as poultry and aqua.
Protein deficiency is a major concern in Sri Lanka, as highlighted by a study published in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, which found that approximately 27% of Sri Lankan children under the age of five are affected by protein deficiency which leads to health problems such as stunting and wasting in children. Soy based food sources address this issue by providing a high-quality, plant-based protein source for consumption. The key to improving the protein status of the population and achieving nutrition security is to promote food innovation and mass education.
Soybeans are a versatile and nutrient-dense legume, with a range of health benefits. Soy foods are the only plant-based source of protein containing all nine essential amino acids, making them an ideal option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Celebrating Soy Month in April 2023 will encourage research and development of soybeans and create more opportunities for farmers in Nepal. This will help create a more sustainable, equitable, and healthy food system and therefore the industry should join this initiative.
Additionally, soy is used as an animal feed to enhance the protein content in animal-based products such as the quality of meat, poultry, and seafood that humans consume. As part of its commitment to promoting soy-based feed, we encourage leading poultry producers to adopt the ‘Soy-Fed Product’ label for animal-based packaged protein products, which helps consumers identify protein-rich livestock products. This also supports the industry’s recognition of soy as a quality protein source in animal feed.
Soy has the potential to help citizens meet their protein requirements and to achieve nutrition security. For instance, soybean oil is considered healthier than many other affordable vegetable oils, while soy foods provide rich plant-based protein with all nine essential amino acids. The soy feed also makes animal protein sources richer in their protein content. The Soy Month in April will further educate everyone – men, women, and children of all ages about the benefits of soy in its many forms, dispel myths, and highlight its potential for improving protein consumption and nutrition in diets. Soy Month also aims to promote the role of soy in sustainable agriculture and food production and encourage greater consumption of these nutritious foods and promote sustainable agricultural practices that benefit both farmers and consumers.
About ‘Right To Protein’:
“Right to Protein” is a public health initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of protein in the diet and the right of every individual to have access to sufficient, affordable, and high-quality protein. The campaign emphasizes the role of protein in supporting good health, reducing malnutrition, and promoting sustainable development.
The “Right to Protein” campaign aims to increase public understanding of the importance of protein and to encourage governments, businesses, and other organizations to prioritize protein production, distribution, and consumption in their policies and practices. This can include promoting sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry practices, supporting research and development in the field of protein science, and ensuring that people have access to a variety of affordable and nutritious protein sources. The campaign also works to raise awareness about the global burden of protein deficiency, which is a significant public health concern, particularly in developing nations. By promoting the “Right to Protein,” the goal is to improve nutrition security to improve health outcomes, reduce poverty and hunger, and support sustainable development.