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The Secret Financial Life of FoodFrom Commodities Markets to Supermarkets$
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Kara Newman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156714

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156714.001.0001

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Super Soybeans

Super Soybeans

(p.139) Chapter Ten Super Soybeans
The Secret Financial Life of Food

Kara Newman

Columbia University Press

This chapter charts the history of soybean futures trading. Soybean futures are one of the most active markets in the United States—second in crop production as well as trading volume, both second only behind King Corn—and traded widely on other bourses around the globe. The soybean's by-product, soybean oil, was at the center of the 1960s debacle now known as the Great Salad Oil Swindle, considered by many to be one of the boldest acts of hubris and corruption in recent commodities history. This chapter first looks at how soya beans reached the United States and how soybeans replaced cottonseed as a major crop. It then examines how soybeans became a lauded food item during World War I and how Chicago emerged as the financial center of the soybean universe. It also recalls the Great Salad Oil Swindle and how it happened.

Keywords:   soybean futures, futures trading, soybean oil, Great Salad Oil Swindle, corruption, commodities, soya beans, cottonseed, World War I, how Chicago

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