The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently released the 2014 WWF Soy Report Card, and the news isn’t good for soy again. The report zooms in on 88 of Europe’s top retailers in the food service industry, consumer goods industry, animal products industry and animal feed companies, and looks at how well they incorporate sustainable practices in their operations. While a few companies have taken a sustainable soy stance, the majority are not even close.
What‘s So Wrong With Soy?
This time, soy’s low score doesn’t have anything to do with health. While there are a ton of soy products on the shelves, soy is mainly grown as feed to fatten farm animals. The overwhelming demand for animal products means that a lot of soy is needed to keep up.
The environmental, animal and human costs are also overwhelming. Vasts parts of the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco have been destroyed in order to produce soy. Pesticides and toxic chemicals have also been introduced to these rainforests, which are literally the “Lungs of our Planet,” and that we in turn inhale. Animals’ habitats have been degraded or lost. Indigenous peoples, namely in South America, have been forced out of their traditional lands. Besides the gross human rights violations, many areas are now hot spots of violent land disputes where many innocent environmental activists have been killed.
What Does Responsible Soy Look Like?
The WWF report would like to see companies using 100 percent responsibly sourced soy by 2015. In a perfect world, the soy wouldn’t come from areas where the forests, savannah or grasslands have recently been cleared. The soy should also come from producers equally committed to sustainability and best practices.
WWF Soy Report Card Highlights
Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights from the report:
How You Can Help
Consumers don’t have to wait for countries or companies to solve the issue of responsible soy. Here are a few ways that you as a consumer can make a huge impact:
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