While there wasn’t much "mooing" to be heard, there was a bit of "oohing" going on in Nashville, TN, during the recent Commodity Classic.

The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) demonstrated the mechanical "SoyCow" during the annual corn and soybean association convention and trade show.

SoyCow is the name given to a small soybean processing system used in developing countries by international groups like Feed the Children (FTC) and Africare. FTC uses SoyCows to help provide protein-rich nutrition to children from Africa to Latin America to Russia and South East Asia.

The primary components in the SoyCow are a grinder-cooker, steam boiler and manual press that can process 4 lbs of raw soybeans into 4 gal of nutritious soymilk in about 20 minutes. This soymilk can then be further processed into value-added products such as yogurts as well as local food blends. A by-product of the process, a fiber-rich pulp called okara, can be used in breads, spreads and many other foods. SoyCow systems cost from $4,000 to 8,000.

WISHH currently has 3,000 "SoyCows" in operation around the world. The organization works with numerous food aid initiatives and is exploring how soy-based foods can provide essential nutrition. More information about WISHH is available at www.wishh.org