• The concept of all-in-one meals envisioned by Cargill in the early 1940s is used today to feed undernourished people around the world.
  • As president from 1936 to 1960, John MacMillan, Jr., oversees many innovations, including Cargill’s early trials with soybeans.
  • In the wake of 2010’s earthquake in Haiti, Cargill gives 18 tons of soybeans to Kids Against Hunger, a non-profit donating meals to disaster victims.
  • Responding to the disaster, Cargill volunteers package soy-based meals that will be shipped to Kids Against Hunger.

Developing a new source of nutrition

Through trials with soy, Cargill works to create a new kind of food, providing people with complete, all-in-one nourishment.

After Cargill’s acquisition of animal feed operations in the early 1940s, the company’s president, John MacMillan, Jr., was inspired to translate the same idea for people, creating a food that was “absolutely adequate in itself for human nutrition.”

In 1942, he met with Newell H. Schooley, a college friend in the animal feed business. Together, they came up with a new idea: a balanced-diet formula for people that would be easy to eat and completely nutritious. John Jr. dubbed it “man food.”

Over the next three years, John Jr. and Schooley experimented with combinations of meat, cornflakes, wheat, rye and other ingredients, eventually removing meat in favor of protein-rich soybeans. But batch after batch, the food’s taste was consistently sub-par—one batch even made Schooley ill.

While the concept was ahead of its time, it brought Cargill’s attention to the possibilities of soybeans. And nearly 60 years later, the idea would play an integral role in disaster relief.

In 2010, a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, severely damaging over 250,000 homes and 300,000 commercial properties. In quick response, Cargill’s texturizing solutions business donated 18 tons of soybeans to Kids Against Hunger, a non-profit organization that packages and distributes vitamin-rich, all-in-one meals to disaster victims worldwide.

Cargill’s original concept had come to fruition by providing soy-based nutritional meals to those in need—from disaster victims to those who face malnutrition. These meals echoed the original premise of man food, combining a balanced-diet formula with great taste, as well as reflecting the wide spectrum of ethnic tastes and religious dietary differences across the globe.