Soy milk and tofu are also made from whole soybeans. While mature soybeans are rarely eaten whole in the Western diet, edamame is a favorite high-protein appetizer in Asian cuisines.
Edamame purchased fresh is preferably eaten the same day, with flavor degradation being noticeable in as few as 10 hours after harvest. However, fresh edamame will stay edible for three days when stored in the refrigerator. Damaged pods brown more rapidly however, mainly due to the enzyme polyphenol oxidase.
Many plant foods are perfectly safe to eat raw, but soybeans aren't among them. Some of the components found in raw soybeans can cause short term digestive problems, as well as possible long-term health issues. Cooking or fermentation neutralizes some of the negative side effects raw soybeans could have on your health.
Due to their short shelf life of immature soybeans and many alternatives they are not really eaten in the US.