Making Tofu – The Distinction Between Soy and Tofu (Part 1) : The Renegade Health Show Episode #930

Wednesday Apr 18 | BY |
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As I was leaving the Hodo Soy Beanery today, I told Annmarie this was the most fun I’ve had filming in a while…

As you know, here at Renegade Health, we do eat some soy from time to time. We don’t think about it too much, because just about every conscious restaurant here in the Bay uses Hodo tofu! It’s 100% organic and made consciously.

We met some of their people at Expo West and asked if we could do a tour, because I’ve never seen the tofu making process. We were lucky enough to get a private tour, so we want to share this three part series with you.

In this first episode, I talk with founder Minh Tsai about soy, tofu, phytoestrogens, how Americans eat compared to Asians and more!

Take a look (my thoughts follow)…

Your question of the day: Do you eat tofu?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Here are some quick thoughts…

1. Tofu in the U.S. is not the same.

As you can imagine there’s a huge difference between much of the soy that used to be produced in Asia and the soy that is made in the U.S. In this interview, Minh shares that there are only a few large producers of soy products like tofu in the U.S. and they — in my opinion — produce a poor quality product.

At Hodo, they produce artisan tofu — which is crafted carefully and consciously — using 100% organic soy beans. If you’re going to eat soy, Hodo is the one to eat.

2. Love the disclaimer.

I ask Minh a bunch of questions about hormones and phytoestrogens in soy and immediately he gives a quick disclaimer. He says, “remember, I am the guy who’s trying to sell you tofu.”

Anyone who leads with this disclaimer, usually is a pretty stand up person that you can trust. And, yes, while Minh does sell tofu, some of the points he makes are worth listening to, particularly if you have tofu-robia (fear of soy products.)

I have been there before, but we do eat some soy from time to time — in pretty extreme moderation. When we do eat soy, we make sure it’s Minh’s!

3. Distinction between soy protein isolate and tofu.

Minh makes a great distinction about the studies that have come out of our Universities about soy. Most of them — if not all — use soy protein isolate, not a whole food product like tofu.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated protein that when fed in abundance to rats, definitely can interfere with their hormones.

The bigger question though, is how much tofu does someone need to eat to start seeing the negative effects?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but less it better, and too much likely will have certain health effects. (Talk about vague!)

4. Epidemic in Asian population?

A point Minh made about Asian consumption and American consumption of soy products is worth noting here. It’s about the quantity consumed. Americans consume much more soy — particularly in processed forms than the Asians ever have. Minh also shares that if soy was so estrogen disrupting, to the point of complete avoidance, then Asians would have an epidemic of soy overdose.

Luckily, they don’t, which makes leads me to believe that there are many more factors involved than just the soy itself. These include cultural and genetic adaptations to soy, amount of soy products eaten, type of soy products, additional additives put in the soy, level of conscious eating, GMO or non-GMO, quality of production, pasteurization, and many more I can’t think of now.

The argument is by no means black and white like most people think.

5. The phytoestrogen hype?

Soy gets a bad reputation because it contains phytoestrogens. In a world where there are xenoestrongens and other chemical and environmental toxins that interfere with our hormones, it’s right to be concerned about the amount of estrogen you take in — in any form.

But at the same time, almost everything we eat contains phytoestrogens. This leads to the question — how much is too much?

Phytoestrogens have the same structure as estrogen, but not the same function. They attach to receptors but don’t function in the same way as the body’s natural estrogen. When there are phytoestrogens present, and not an excess of them, the body is able to function quite well and may even be able to fight off the development of cancer cells.

When there are too many unusable phytoestrogens (and xenoestrogens) attached to the receptors, then this may cause an issue — though, again, I’m unsure of how many are too many.

Here’s a quick clip from a Suzan Weed article that explains this fairly well…

Virtually everything we eat — grains, beans, nuts, seeds, seed oils, berries, fruits, vegetables, and roots — contains phytoestrogens. Scientists measuring the amount of phytoestrogen break-down by-products in the urine of healthy women found that those with the least were four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than with the most. Phytoestrogens actually appear to protect tissues from the cancer-causing effects of xenoestrogens and other hormonal pollutants..

This seems simple — eat more phytoestrogens, be healthier — and it is, so long as we restrict ourselves to eating plants. But when the difference between food and medicine is disregarded, when phytoestrogens are isolated and concentrated, sold to us in pills and candy bars, then the equation changes: phytoestrogens become dangerous hormones, quite capable of promoting cancer.

Just a few things to think about! Again, to wrap this up, I don’t know how soy-phobic we need to be, but I do know that eating some tofu or yuba (you’ll see what this is on Friday) every once in a while won’t turn males into females and females into mush. 🙂

That’s it for me today, but we’ll be back with Part 2 tomorrow!

Your Question of the Day: Do you eat tofu?

Click here to read more about Minh and his amazing products and team!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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