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The little pea-sized soybean could eventually join switch grass and corn kernels as promising alternatives to help curb America's addiction to foreign oil.

While the folks at Southfield-based Lear Corp. won't pitch the idea that the main ingredient in tofu could cut the U.S. need for oil imports, they did announce Thursday they've reached the next step in developing car seat foam and interior materials using soy-based oil.

"We're ready to provide this product right now," said Ash Galbreath, director of foam and comfort engineering at Lear.

The automotive supplier touted its product, known as SoyFoam, as a greener alternative to petroleum-based foam in head restraints, armrests and seat cushions.

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