Do they use chemicals to grow soy? Is that unhealthy?

Americans today spend upward of $4 billion yearly on soy food products. Although the versatile soybean provides many health benefits, some 90 percent of the U.S. crop is grown using genetically modified seeds, engineered to withstand repeated dousing with Monsanto’s herbicide, glyphosate (popularly known as RoundUp). Photo by Timothy Valentine, courtesy Flickr

Dear Earth Talk: How healthy is soy? I heard that, despite its healthy image, most soy is grown using chemicals like other crops and is even being genetically modified.

D. Frinka

Syracuse, N.Y.

Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the United States and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a year on soy food products; today we spend over $4 billion.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.