Soy Much Maligned, Nutritious, Useful, Survives & Thrives
Soy, especially tofu, was really big in the 70s, 80s and into the 90s. But since then, soy has gotten a bad rep, for various reasons, some legit, but mostly not.
For many years there has been an anti-soy propaganda campaign, focused on health issues related to soy – with a lot of exaggeration, sketchy research and false info, imho.
The Weston A. Price Foundation, among others, has been active on the anti-soy front – and it’s easy enough to trace motivation and funding back to the logical culprits.
But they haven’t managed to kill soy foods yet. Soy survives and thrives. Ha!
There are legitimate concerns about genetically modified foods, and soy is a biggie.
GMO contamination of organically grown soy has been known to happen.
However, since there are numerous safeguards against gmo contamination in growing organic soybeans, I consider it a minimal risk.
Some people are allergic to soy, and some need to go easy because of low thyroid – a minority of possible soy users, thankfully not including myself.
Re Soy and Thyroid Meds – Subscriber Bev C. writes: “I have thyroid issues and my endocronologist is well aware I am vegan. I told her that I drink soy milk in my hot tea and use it in cooking. She has no issues with me having soy milk except that I’m not to have it within an hour or so of my thyroid medication as it can stop absorption.”
I remain a big soy fan, encouraged by positive words from vegan dietitians such as Virginia Messina and Jack Norris, Soy Truth & Vegan for Life, plus Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, Becoming Vegan – all backed by solid research.
I’ve done my bit blogging about soy, and I’m a daily soy consumer.
I use soy milk and/or silken tofu to make vegan yogurt, sauces, and salad dressings. I can take or leave tempeh, but add mellow miso to anything I want to taste cheezy. My favorite vegan store bought cheez (Field Roast Chao) is made with fermented tofu and tastes quite cheesy.
Tofu is one of my favorite high protein soy foods – we eat it two or three times a week. Although not all tofu sold in stores is organic, it’s pretty much all non-gmo, which it will say on the label.
Tofu is a simple whole food with 3 ingredients– soy beans, water and a coagulant such as epsom salts or nigari. It’s something you can actually make at home with basic equipment.
Tofu prices and quality vary quite a bit, with the most expensive being not necessarily the nicest. Freshest is best, and I’ve found very tasty tofu in Asian markets like The Seoul Market in Springfield MO.
Locally made tofu is usually a good bet. Some of the best (and most expensive but worth it) tofu I’ve had is made by The Old Capital Food Co. in Iowa City IA. When we wintered in FL one year, I found a cheap and good local brand at the Publix supermarket.
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A few of my personal tofu faves – the ones I make over & over:
Basic Fried Tofu Recipe:
Versatile vegetarian|vegan cooking staple goes well in easy vegan recipes such as tofu pasta & veggies, spicy tofu rice pilaf, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, on the side – etc. etc.
Quinoa, Tofu and Veggies:
Quinoa, fried tofu, olives and cashews, combined with carrots, celery, zucchini, herbs & spices – making this easy quinoa recipe a tasty main dish casserole.
Tofu Salad Sandwich Spread:
Enjoy high protein tofu salad as a sandwich spread or dip, easy appetizer or gf snack. Use sprouted grain bread & sandwich fixings for a complete meal.
Tofu Veggie Stir Fry
Vary the spicing to your taste, and work with the veggies you’ve got. Being ‘in the moment’ is the nature of stir fries! And tofu is highly adaptable.
Happy Healthy Squishy White Stuff!
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian