Soybeans provide a major part of plant protein to human body," 81-year-old Gai Junyi said. “As an old saying goes: 'Vegetables and tofu, a healthy life for you.'" Through all these years, soybean milk is never absent from his breakfast.
Gai has dedicated 60 years of his life to soybeans study in China.
China is home to varieties of soybeans. The plant has been cultivated here for about 5,000 years and has for long been an indispensable food on the table of Chinese people. China was the world’s largest producer of soybeans until the 1940s when the United States consistently gained momentum to take the place. In 2011, the soybean output of China dropped to the 4th place around the globe, accounting for only 5.55% of the world's total. Once a net exporter of soybeans, China now heavily relies on import to meet a domestic need for the plant.
The story is one in "The 1.3 Billion" series exploring the diverse lives that make up China.