Where does your food come from
Increasingly, farmers in developing countries are being given subsidies, that is money, to grow soy bean, maize and other grain crops. These have started to be grown in deforested areas of the Amazon and "third world" countries like Zambia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. These are countries that are currently heavily reliant on food aid from developed countries such as America and European countries. The problem with this is that although they are quite able to grow their own crops, they aren't able to utilise what they are growing in a way that they can effectively sustain their own production for their own needs.
The high prices of grain that farmers are being encouraged to grow is being driven by the increasing demand for meat in developed countries that provide these subsidies. A huge 90% of the grain that is produced is destined for animal feed in countries with a fast developing middle class (India, Brazil and China) and every year thousands of miles of rainforest are destroyed for agricultural use. In addition to this, these areas are often home to already endangered species.
The one thing you can be responsible for is your own soy consumption. Supermarkets are being urged to tackle the exploitation of third world farmers by adopting certain ethical standards which govern the way they buy their products and where they come from. This aims to tackle such practises as child labour on coffee farms and environmental damage in the agricultural areas. Next there's the practice of "natural" soya products that are often processed using hexane, which is a neuro-toxin petrochemical solvent, this points to the fact it really pays to go for organic soya that has not been extracted from a rainforest region and is GM-free. Although there is little nutritional difference there is a huge impact that it has on the planet and the local environments in which these crops are grown.