Creativity comes in many flavors

Breeding soybean is a fascinating pursuit. There is always some new angle, some new tool to deploy, some new end use to target. And I value the challenge. It never gets boring.

There are folks among us who are tasked with finding new uses for things… things such as soybeans. There are new spins on old food items. New food items altogether, and then a whole host of non-food items. For the last few decades increases in the yield of soybean have outpaced increases in population. As a result the supply too quickly outpaces demand and the price declines. Find other end uses and the demand can be stimulated. Prices can stabilize.

The company I work for sells soybean as a raw material to make foods such as tofu, soymilk, meso, and soy sauce. Our quality control lab keeps a small sample of each lot of soybean that is shipped. For us, new uses are all about the food side… the human food side. But every now and then someone gets an idea, something creative, something offbeat. And so here I offer you a photo of such an idea. Someone passing through the QC lab picked up one of the sample containers and marked the top of the jar. And a new use is born!

A few days after a meeting at the Ohio Soybean Council where new uses were discussed… this appeared on my desk.

If anyone just has to have a soybean paperweight, I can make it happen. Leave a note in the comments and we can discuss prices and availability. If the new uses folks at the United Soybean Board get wind of this – a hand writing sample will exonerate me. And a list of potentially guilty creative types will be difficult to produce… but you can rest assured our R&D group is hard at work breeding new varieties to fill future paperweight containers. It’s the least we can do.


  1. Looking across my desk and I realize that my “paper weights” are just clutter. The tennis ball? I don’t even play tennis. A screwdriver set for very tiny screws (eye glasses). A wrench. Packets of seeds (do they count, not really heavy enough. Certainly not a container of soybeans). A couple of coasters. Why those are on my desk I don’t know. Because my coffee mug is perched on the checkbook. Perhaps, If I went to the trouble of removing all of my “paper weights” I might find a clean-ish desk. But, where the is the fun in that?


    1. Where is the fun indeed.

      There was a cute suggestion posed by a colleague who spied the marked jar… that we should put a competitor’s soybean in the jar instead of our own… the notion being that ‘paper weight’ is all their beans are good for. Dark humor? To the competitor perhaps.

      As for desk clean-ishness… I suppose it may be worthy goal for some. But I have so much more I enjoy doing (or am obligated to do) that desk organizing waits (and waits… and waits…)

      Liked by 1 person

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