Edamame Benefits and Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  10 min read

What are edamame benefits and side effects? Is edamame low fodmap? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Vegan? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are edamame pros and cons: all the info on edamame that every ethical consumer wants to know…

edamame benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on edamame benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about edamame benefits and side effects. This will include edamame benefits for your health and potential risks, edamame water footprint and edamame carbon footprint, edamame sustainability, if edamame is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if edamame is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about edamame benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Edamame Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Edamame benefits for health may include:

Additionally, edamame is…

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Environment

Water footprint: likely low, it takes 2,145 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of soybeans (edamame is immature soybeans in the pod) / 257 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of soybeans

Carbon footprint: low, 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of soybeans, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers

Destruction: depends, the two top producing soya producing countries are the US and Brazil, together they produce about 64% of the world’s supply, soya is Brazil’s biggest export by value, there are serious concerns about how much of it is behind deforestation in the Amazon and surrounding regions, however most of the world’s soya is fed to livestock, only 6% of it is eaten directly by humans, eating soy is much better for the environment than eating animal products, soya may also be planted on Amazon land previously deforested for cattle, be sure to buy organic, as pesticides contaminate soil, water, air, etc., for soy it is best to buy products sustainably grown and not products of Brazil

Edamame is…

Animals

Kills: none, edamame production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, edamame production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from edamame production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Edamame is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Edamame…

Where does most edamame come from? 📍

In the United States, Arkansas is the leading producer of domestic edamame.

Is edamame nutritious? 🥗

Yes! Edamame is high in protein, folate, vitamin K, fiber and provides all the essential amino acids.

Is edamame alkaline or acidic?

Is edamame alkaline or acidic?

Edamame and other soy is alkaline when fresh, once digested.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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Is edamame gluten free?

Is edamame gluten free?

Yes, edamame is gluten free when unseasoned. Edamame does not contain gluten. Edamame is a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

Is edamame a common food allergen?

Is edamame a common food allergen?

Yes, edamame is a common food allergen: soy. Many people may experience allergic reactions to edamame.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

Water footprint of edamame?

Water footprint of edamame?

Edamame has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

It takes 2,145 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of soy / 257 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of soy.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Carbon footprint of edamame?

Carbon footprint of edamame?

Edamame has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

It takes around 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of soy, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

Is edamame sustainable?

Is edamame sustainable?

Edamame production is relatively sustainable unless sourced from Brazil, where deforestation is common in soy production.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Is edamame vegan?

Is edamame vegan?

Yes, edamame is vegan. Edamame is immature soybeans, a type of legume, and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

Does edamame have human rights issues?

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

At this time there have been no major concerns associated with edamame production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even be subjected to harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment has been likened to modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about edamame benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Edamame: A Vegetable Soybean for Colorado

Peas, green, raw – FoodData Central

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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