You might have also have heard of soybean foam as bio-foam, soy foam, and other names combining soy-, bio-, or eco-.
No forest green lettering, or image of pastoral fields on marketing materials, can change the truth: soy foam might contain 20% soy content but can contain as little as 3-5% depending on the product. The rest is highly flammable polyurethane foam made from fossil fuels, processed with harsh chemicals and treated with flame retardant chemicals.
If a consumer is looking for an alternative to polyurethane foam for the sake of avoiding chemicals, soy foam isn’t the solution.
But soy foam sounds so healthy … and marketers count on it.
The initial green angle for soy foam was on using renewable plant-based resources* to supplement non-renewable petroleum. Mattress and furniture company marketers, however, soon found that marketing could intentionally lead consumers to make seemingly logical – albeit false – assumptions about what was, and wasn’t, in “soy foam”.
With the addition of green imagery and colors, the trick was complete, and the public assumed that soy foam was made from soybeans.
Seriously. Green lettering can make anything look healthier. Watch.
Looks healthier, friendlier and greener, doesn’t it?
Look at the labels on soy-foam products: the implication is clearly that the foam is primarily made from soybeans and is manufactured with fewer chemicals.
This is clearly false.
*You can read volumes about industrial soy crops. While out of the scope of this post, recent concerns include deforestation in Brazil for giant soybean plantations. More than 90% of U.S. soybeans derive from GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, and as far back as 2007 more than 50% of global soybean crops were GMO.
Additionally, a story published March 23, 2014 in The Telegraph claims “The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices…” Environmentalists have been concerned about biofuel crops and their environmental impact for some time. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to publish the actual report on March 31, 2014. Read The Telegraph’s article at http://bit.ly/1iwMv3K.