21st Nov 2012

dear cara, 

thank you.
this is extremely good of you to have your nose to the ground and pursue the soya dialogue..
and it is favourable towards our clean, clean soya products..
interestingly, there is still a bunch of urban myths even in this one, he, he..
have you spotted them??!

1. firstly, tofu and tempeh are not fermented.
think of tofu undergoing a similar process like cottage cheese.
milk gets curdled.. sometimes milk is fermented in order to curdle it, but as a rule and certainly not in the case of commercial cheese, they just use enzymatic activators (it would be better if they did ferment the dairy as it makes dairy more digestible, but that's another topic).. certainly no fermentation in the case of tofu.. the magnesium chloride is a mineral rich extract like one finds at the bottom of salt pans when harvesting salt.. it is so bitter that the bitterness splits the milk.. we're fortunate because it sjoeshes the tofu with good mineral content.. the resulting curds are pressed, shaped and firmed = this makes tofu..

2. tempeh is also not really fermented - but it is extremely rich in enzymes which makes it digestible. semi-cooked soya beans are inoculated with a specific spore/ food fungus (think pasta alfredo, i don't think we have an issue with fungi, we like fungi). in the steady warmth of precisely 30 degrees C, within 24 hours the spores mesh into a solid cake right through and across the beans. the result is a fragrant, highly tasty, tasting of mushroom, soya bean cake. the enzymatic activity preps our digestive system to activate intrinsic factor and produce vitamin B12 - we all need that and us veggies get that from tempeh (and miso). 

here's where fermented foods come in: miso and soya sauce (tamari, shoyu) are fermented and traditionally accompany tofu and tempeh (notice how time-honoured recipes ARE healthy!!?? the elders knew therapeutic combinations); digestible and flipping tasty combinations that allow us to use the proteins, the cell-protective phyto hormones and make B12. all in all, a winner.

3. the writer is also a little off the subject in advising processed foods from soya. we can digest well-cooked plain soya beans. 
the split/ paradigm shift is simply - use non GM and/ or organic soya, nuttin' else.
IF you eat GM soya you get the BT toxin (BT refers to bacteria thurengensis; the toxin bursts insects' tummies and has been implicated in equally degenerating our digestive system, think of the explosion (pun NOT intended) of crohn's disease and leaky gut syndrome in soo many individuals).
For a really good movie on GM, click on the video or the link to watch by Jeffrey Smith
jeez, that was quite a dissertation. hope it is crystal clear all around.
warmly, with love, pritam