Firstly, please allow me to thank you for your support! That 86 cents really did make me smile. Twenty or so more of those whopping commissions and I’ll be able to pay for another giveaway prize!
Now, I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that you are not just the average consumer of the standard American diet of McDonald’s and Hungry Man platters — no. Tofu connoisseurs such as yourself are choosing this food for a reason. You are someone who cares about your health. Hopefully, that was why you had visited my site in the first place.
Please forgive me for not having already provided you with information about why buying 9.7 pounds of genetically engineered tofu is not anywhere near a healthy, wise choice.
How could this possibly be, when the USDA gives us a recommendation that all Americans increase their intake of soy products and fortified soy beverages to prevent heart disease?
Or when soy has increased from a $1 billion dollar industry, to over $4.5 within 13 years, thanks to its promotion as a “health food?”
And doesn’t everyone know that soy products such as tofu are a staple in Asian cultures such as the Japanese, where incidences of heart disease, cancer, and other illness are so much less than in America? Why not do what they’re doing, huh?
Oh, we should absolutely do what the super-healthy Japanese are doing. They’re eating a diet of foods high in those dastardly saturated fats and cholesterol, such as the lard they cook all their food in. And pastured meats and organs. And such.
9.7 pounds of “extra-firm” tofu.
Traditional Japanese diets include only small amounts of fermented soy, such as traditionally fermented soy sauce, natto, and tempeh. Miso is the byproduct of making fermented soy sauce, natto is fermented soy beans, and tempeh is fermented soy cultured with a beneficial strain of probiotic bacteria. See a trend here?
The Japanese didn’t and don’t eat more than very minor amounts of unfermented soy products such as tofu, despite what subsidized soy growers and the government agencies who profit off the bioengineering giants who control the industry tell you.
Also, I don’t know how much you value your endocrine system, but you might wanna ease up on the soy anyhow. Even the purest, non-biotech-corporation-tainted soybean is loaded with a scary little substance called phytoestrogens. These are the plant versions of the hormone itself, estrogen, and can throw off your body’s hormonal balance to the point of inducing cancer. These girly hormones floating around in excess as we chow down on our tofurky are also responsible for giving our boys boobies. “Heart-healthy” sex change, anyone?
I just want to ask you, dear reader, why you thought you needed so much tofu to begin with. (Let’s be real, it’s not because it tastes good.)
Is it because you’re avoiding meat? You know how they say that eating meat causes increased rates of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illness? Oh, they were right. When they’re talking about meat from animals that live knee-deep in their own feces and eat a steady diet of animal waste, plastic, drugs, and of course, a good helping of liver-disease-inducing corn engineered by those same friends of the FDA, Monsanto. Oh yes, that’ll give you all kinds of unhealthy. For sure.
But you know what never gave anyone cancer or heart disease, but instead nourished mankind for millennia? Real meat. From animals allowed to be real animals, eating real animal food. Like grass.
So please, dear tofu consumer, don’t be swayed by the deceptive marketing, the baseless claims of health promotion, or the omnivore-bashing propaganda. Processed soy products are a joke. Please do your body a favor and try to get out and find yourself some real food. From a farm, perhaps, instead of Amazon.
Wait, no, please keep supporting us by buying other things from Amazon. Meat ain’t cheap. (You’re the best.)
Emily, and concerned friends of ButterBeliever.com
Adrienne @ Whole New Mom says
Hi Emily. The soy problem is a big one. We used to eat TVP a lot (I know – sad thing) until I heard years ago about the hormonal effects. Let’s just say that I know someone personally who noticed a “male hormone reduction effect.”
Also, I lived in Japan for awhile. Sadly, again, their culture was already becoming modernized. I am not sure how they are eating now, but I do have friends there who could share with me. One thing that they do not eat much of is sugar. Their Baskin Robbins ice cream tasted simply awful to this sugar a holic. Flavorless.
They did eat quite a bit of soy sauce, but you are right. In general, the tofu they ate was small bits in their miso soup, except on occasion there was a dish called “Mabo Dofu” that was borrowed from the Chinese. That one was a tofu only dish.
No TVP there that I ever saw. And I don’t remember seeing tempeh either.
Not to say that the Japanese are all healthy either. They smoke cigarettes like chimneys, and their “Ajinomoto” MSG flavoring is in almost everything (almost all women cooked with it as much as I could tell), white bread and white rice about and then socially they have plenty of issues that cause wear and tear on the heart.
Anyway – I lived there a long time ago (I shudder to think) so I can only imagine that things have Westernized even more. Divorce was a rare thing when I lived there and it is really rampant now.
Susan W says
So sad to see what has happening to Japan. Such a polite society. We can learn a thing or two from them. We had conquered them and then westernized them. This westernization has been going on since the end of the war, culminating into what we see now.
Well, you’re stretching a bit with that “polite society” bit. You’re talking about the same country that started WW2, ravaged its Asian neighbors in the most inhumane ways, and even today is trying to revise history concerning its wartime role. While certain elements of Japanese society may seem gentle and polite, their history as a whole is confrontational, to put it mildly. Also, saying the West subjugated them is quite short-sighted, in that context, as it was the Japanese who were hell bent on that endeavor, with horrific results.
The topic here is tofu, not international politics. The Internet is a big place so I’m sure you can find a better place for your comment.
Tammy Rodriguez says
i agree… whole heartedly… hope others will too. some of those soy believers are really hard to convince. i have a canola friend who’s also been “conned”.
Leslie @ Real Food Freaks says
Amen BB!! Quite simply, soy sucks!
Susan W says
Atta girl, BB! You tell ’em! I stutter. 😉
That was a expression my dear old dad used. He passed away late last year at the ripe old age of 90, but unfortunately 8 of those years were with Alzheimer’s. Dad had been physically active for as long as I can remember: bicycling, running, walks… Since the early 1970’s he ate healthy, or so he thought (and so did everyone else at the time): snacked on soynuts, drank shakes with soy lecithin granules in it (gag). But back then and up until recently, folks were told that soy is HEALTHY! By the time I researched and found out all the horrors of soy, dear dad was already well advanced in his Alzheimer’s so, I wouldn’t have been able to tell him of the dangers. (He wouldn’t have listened anyway while he was still lucid. Lovable, but stubborn daddy). Thanks for writing this. More people need to know.
Well said indeed!
Stealthy Mom says
Well… I’m one of those wingnuts who actually likes tofu now and again. (I buy a brand that is non-GMO.) It’s not a meat substitute, just a nice compliment to summer squash in a stir-fry. Variety. My kids don’t like it, so it is unlikely they will be sprouting man-boobs any time soon.
Beth Stowers says
Thank you for your article! I loved it!
Soy is the worst thing, in my opinion, that someone could eat. Unfortunately, it’s in A LOT of things on the store shelves and most people are getting plenty of it in their diets.
Soy is NOT on our list of heart-healthy foods.
Yes, vegetarians are a tough crowd and soy has been touted as the meat alternative for protein.
This is a good video on the subject as well:
Amber Jackson says
I have been trying to “get off” of soy for over a year now. I drink soymilk daily in my chai tea and it is really delicious. I have tried alternatives to no avail, the taste is atrocious! I am really wanting to find an alternative that is tasty and healthier for me. I know it is not good because when I quit drinking it I felt like I had a low-grade flu, body aches, head blurriness and some other bizarre symptoms. I am also cutting out white flour and white sugar this year so I have my work cut out for me 😉
Not all Japanese eat GE tofu. Just go to Kyoto, where there are many neighborhood tofu shops that have been in the family for years. There are also shoyu (soy sauce) brewers who spurn GE beans. These small businesses grow their own beans or buy from relatives – no GE beans are wanted because they would change the delicate flavor of the tofu or shoyu. You may pay a little more, but it is so worth it. Some of the people making the tofu or brewing the shoyu are Living National Treasures. Tabe mitai! (Taste it, and you’ll see why!)
tofu is a wonderful and delicious food. i eat tofu because i am vegetarian, for religious and moral reasons (let’s not debate those because that won’t go anywhere). i also eat lots of vegetables, minimal processed carbs, and minimal processed fatty foods.
i’m not sure why you pointed specifically to the japanese diet as having small amounts of tofu. chinese, korean, and thai food all use various amounts of tofu in their cuisines. i am asian, and among my asian friends we all eat plenty of tofu – even the ones who are not vegetarian.
i believe in moderation of all things. if the majority of your diet is soy products, maybe that may be a problem somehow, with hormonal imbalance or something. (although i’m not sure where your other reader got the idea that soy causes alzheimer’s.. there has not been any scientific link established. the only thing i have read linked to alzheimer’s is aluminum..) if someone eats a balanced healthy diet, it shouldn’t be a problem. as far as tofu on the shelf coming from engineered soy beans, i’m not really sure what i can do about that. i certainly won’t be planting my own soy bean plants, so… please provide suggestions.
also, concerning your stance on butter, i do think there is some logic to it, and will start cooking with it- in moderation. as someone who is moderately overweight, i don’t think i have that many calories to spare to take in pounds of butter every week. we’ll see how it goes! i do agree butter tastes wonderful tho 🙂
I was rolling at the “healthy sex change” bit. I use little soy regularly, unless it is already in something I am having. Slowly we have been doing away for all the premade/convenience type foods anyhow. If I want Chinese, I go to a local mom and pops joint, the same for Thai. I am learning to make some things myself.
Lori @ Laurel of Leaves says
LOVE! Your sass makes me so happy 😛 Definitely sharing this post on Facebook.
Awesome article, well said. I agree completely.
Tofu fan says
Not true. Ever heard of isoflavones? Google it. Yes tofu that has been processed to make imitation meat like tofu hot dogs, tofu chicken, tofu breakfast sausage etc. is really bad for you and so yes, don’t even touch that stuff. Organic tofu, miso, natto fight cancer, heart disease, helps you lose weight, etc etc… just do your homework please. You can’t just say tofu is this or that, it’s more complicated than that, but the health benefits of isoflavones are tremendous.
I’m kinda disappointed at how snarky (“sassy” as one other poster put it?) this post comes across. I’m a vegetarian of 15 years and looking to broaden my horizons a bit more and came here for information. The condescending and somewhat patronizing tone turned me off a bit. I myself eat non-GMO tofu maybe once every few months, and the facts do speak for themselves, I just don’t think you accomplished much in this entry other than pat fellow believers on the back for doing what’s “best”.
If I could go back and do things over again I would go back and not be a vegetarian or consume tofu/soy products. I raised my kids on tofu, makes me want to throw up thinking about it. I also raised them vegetarian or at least tried to. They didn’t always agree with me. So in the last couple of years I have tried going grain free off and on and I have now been grainfree (except white rice now after reading your article) since a week before Xmas. I feel better and I have lost 15 lbs. I also stopped being a vegetarian after 24 years a few months ago. Was really surprised at how easy it is for me to digest meat. My overall digestion has improved tremendously. I am still working on getting my diet as healthy for me as I can. I keep the processed foods to a minimum and am trying to stay organic as much as possible. Hate those GMO’s. Keep it coming Butter girl (I know it’s not your real user name, but I like it:)
I totally agree that a lot of Americans overdo it with soy–esp vegetarians who eat it every day and as a protein staple/substitute. And the “healthfood” industry TOTALLY overdoes it with soy filler. I could be wrong, but I tend to think that making any one food a megadose staple might not be the awesomest healthymove. (Although I can’t say that about people who chomp massive quantities of garlic because they love it. ^_^)
However, I hate to say this since you sound pretty emphatic about your points, but I grew up in semi-rural Japan and we did not cook everything in lard. Maybe some book has said otherwise, but sadly (since I know you won’t like this), we used vegetable oils. (Although one processed food we all ate was curry, which had lard and tripe in it. YAY!) Also, we ate lots of fresh tofu. But we ate tofu as a food that tastes good, not as a protein source b/c it’s ‘supposed to be healthy.’ And not a lot of fake soy filler. And I never ate tempeh till I came to the States (I think it’s originally an Indonesian thing). But yeah, we ate a lot of good real food in moderation [like not a giant hunk of meat w/ no carbs](and enjoyed processed snacks full of MSG–not awesome but moderation never killed anyone) and white rice (which people say has no nutritional value) and there were tons of healthy people in their 90s+ and you are right that there are other things that go into those equations that nutritionists are always trying to distill and replicate. (Of course in general, esp in cities, people are eating a lot more processed foods than decades ago, so we’ll see how that impacts statistics eventually.) I honestly still struggle with how dogmatic Americans [with money] are about food rules and their hyperbolic scientific food statements/plans/claims. Just wanted to put this in there since this blog is trying to stay away from dogma…which indeed seems to suck the goodness out of a valid desire to eat well and be healthy.
I have no problem discontinuing tofu (takes so much effort to make it palatable anyway, i just thought it was a fun experiment) , but what about edamame? Are soy beans bad too? They just taste and seem so good! I would love to know your thoughts.
Also, with the tofurkey and all that packaged vegetarian meat-alternative nonsense, what really gets me is how hard it is to find even a black bean burger that is made with real ingredients. I find it best to stay away from all that crap and just make everything myself. To be clear, I am not even a vegetarian I just love exploring new (real) foods.
But I have some edamame in my freezer that I was thinking about steaming up tonight. I am going to eat it no matter what you say 😉 but I have been wondering about it.
What about soy milk?? I love soy milk in my morning cup of coffee… ;(
I really don’t recommend consuming soy products regularly. Every now and again is probably fine (as are most things, in moderation), but I do make a point to avoid it for the most part. Are you dairy intolerant? I’d recommend coconut milk instead! It’s pretty tasty.