Making Tofu — From Ancient Wisdom to GMO (Part 2) : The Renegade Health Show Episode #931

Thursday Apr 19 | BY |
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Today, I have Part 2 of a three part series with Minh Tsai from Hodo Soy…

In this second part of my interview, we talk about GMO soy, sourcing organic soy beans, how tofu is made, how it was discovered, and more.

Minh is a great interviewee, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I did.

Also, please note, if you have any soy questions, I’ll be answering them on Monday, so be sure to post them in the comments section and I’ll get them early next week!

Here’s Part 2 now (my thoughts follow)…

Your question of the day: Do you know a place where someone can get high quality soy food products like tofu, tempeh or yuba?

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

My wrap up of this interview…

1. How much soy is GMO?

Minh gave some shocking stats about the amount of soy that is genetically modified.

I haven’t verified all of them, but some of the numbers are ones I’ve heard before.

Here they are…

1. 85% of all soy is GMO.

2. 95% of total soy produced is not for human consumption.

3. Of the 5% that is for human consumption, less than 2% is organic.

The first two numbers I’ve heard from numerous sources. The last two… that about 98% of soy consumed by people is GMO, was the most shocking. I don’t have the source to confirm this, but it’s not that crazy to assume that it’s true. Even if 50% of the soy consumed by humans is GMO, that’s still too much.

2. Local and distant farm cooperatives.

Minh sources his soy beans from some local and some non-local farm cooperatives. Doing this creates stability in the organic farming industry and is good for everyone who reads this blog — as well as eventually anyone who eats.

We need to support local farmers and conscious farmers for them to stick around. This may mean you have to pay more for your food. Your vote is with your wallet. So if you want good food, you may have to pay good prices.

Our Walmart, cheaper-is-better-for-me belief may work in the short term for the individual (ego-based), but doesn’t work in the long run for our environment, health and society.

3. Soy milk + acid = the first tofu!

Minh explains how tofu was discovered. It was a combination of soy milk and vinegar. This caused the protein to coagulate and “poof!” now you have tofu. It didn’t taste that great though. Nowadays, calcium sulfate is used to keep the natural soy flavor.

4. None of Hodo’s products are pasteurized.

One of the reasons you won’t see Hodo soy in New York is because it’s not pasteurized. Just be clear, tofu is not a raw product. The soy milk is boiled before it’s made into tofu. But after that, there is no other heat processing. This makes for a great product, but also one with a shorter shelf life — which in my opinion is how food should be.

Most foods in a package with a long shelf life aren’t really foods. Think Twinkies.

Your Question of the Day: Do you know a place where someone can get high quality soy food products like tofu, tempeh or yuba?

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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  1. QC says:

    Kevin, is calcium sulfate something good to consume?

  2. Donaji says:

    WOW, this is weird, 2 seconds ago I was writing to my mother in law, sending her articles about soy and GMOs and why to avoid them. I also was reading Dr. Mercola’s soy articles which are very informative. And then poof! your email came up! You read my mind. My question is, can we really trust organic soy to be fully organic these days?

    Thanks Kevin!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Dear Kevin,

    I am so confused about soy. Is unfermented soy OK? Is it not OK?

    FYI, I lived in southeast mainland China on the coast for 3 years. I dated a Chinese man, so I ate exclusively what the locals eat at home and out. We also travelled all over China together, so I ate in many different regions. Chinese people eat A LOT of unfermented tofu in various dishes. It is sliced and chunks are put into soups. It is wok fried. It is simmered in spicy sauce. It is almost always a part of each meal. There is also stinky (fermented) tofu available as a snack by street vendors, but that was the only fermented soy that I saw in China. As a side note, the first time that I saw an overweight Chinese person was in Beijing where Western fast food restaurants such as KFC and McDonald’s are common. As well, despite all of the horrible pollution in their environment, my fiance’s grandparents both lived well into their 90s.

    Thanks so much in advance for clarifying this issue for us!


  4. Patricia says:

    I feel lucky that Hodo tofu products are available in my town. I first sampled and bought this excellent tofu at our year round farmers market. Then it wasn’t available for a time. Recently I was pleasantly surprised to see Hodo tofu being sampled at Costco. I’ve been buying it and keep some in the freezer, at their recommendation. I do this so Costco will keep it in the store.I was told a new product gets 6 month trials to see if it stays or not. All the Hodo products are excellent. They have 5 Spice tofu squares that are delicious… I’ve slivered them to make a sandwich for work, the Yuba strips are hot, spicy and a bit sweet.. a little goes a long way with that punch of flavor. And the plain tofu is amazing. We have a local tofu company as well, that I trust also holds to high standards, but since tasting this brand, I am hooked. My smallish town is blessed to have an abundance of health food sources as well as year round farmer’s markets at least 3 days a week. If it’s in Costco in Santa Cruz, I’m wondering about the bay area…. check to see….that is if you happen to go there. I know it’s a giant box store and all…I need to help out with elder parent care, and now it’s not such a drag to go and do some boring shopping for adult diapers!

  5. zyxomma says:

    I get NY grown soy at an organic food co-op about 15 minutes’ walk from home. I’ve had Hodo once, when I was in the bay area to attend a wedding.

  6. Truthbug says:

    This book has an entire chapter on soy and how it’s processed…. it’s a must read in my humble opinion. “Take Control of Your Health and Escape the Sickness Industry”

  7. hyesun says:

    in korea and china! i loved the fermented tofu that i ate in china. and korea’s version of natto, called chung gook jang, tastes WAY better than natto. i sort of ate it everyday the last time i was in korea. it was weird because i craved it. if i’m low in estrogen (even though i’m pre-menopausal), will eating soy help with that?

  8. Louise says:

    There are three tofu factories in my general vicinity which is the Hilo, HI area. My preference is for Natural Pacific Tofu. They make a GMO-free tofu as well as Organic tofu, both of which are fresh in the stores, regular supermarkets and health food stores, and very tasty! I’d cut back on my tofu consumption over the last year, mainly due to the negative soy press. I was happy to see these videos and plan to enjoy it more!

    Thanks, Kevin and my best to Ann Marie!


  9. joseph lee says:

    Hi, calcium sulfate, is also called plaster of paris used for making molds and figurings, any take on this ? please comment (anybody), on a coagulant called glucono delta lactone, also a japanese product called “nigari”, thanks. joseph

  10. Martine Drabbe says:

    Hi there I don’t think the soy products in the Netherlands are to be trusted even the organic ones because they come from far away.
    I dd like your kale T shirt very much!!

  11. Velda says:

    I had tofu one time and did not care for it. Basically I stay away from anything with soy in it. I figure there are other foods that I can eat that have incedible health benefits, so I just don’t bother with soy and worrying about whether it is non GMO and organic. Thank you, Kevin. This is all very informative.

  12. Maya says:

    I don’t know if Japan produce organic soy, but I know that eating soy product like miso, tofu, natto, yuba will help women to have smooth menopaulse. Its cooling. My mother had no hot flashes when she went through it.

  13. Kym Hutcheon says:

    Maya: While the majority of soy in Japan is not organic, even most standard supermarkets have one or two brands that use organic beans.

    Good news on the GMO front though: despite considerable pressure, the Japanese govt. has not approved GMO soy. There was a huge public outcry about 10 years ago and since then Tokyo has not dared change the law. (Japan has approved a vast amount of other GM food though.)

    There is a bit of wiggle room with the GM law: imported soy, of which there is a large amount, may include up to 5% GMO content and still be considered GM-free. The best bet is to buy locally produced soy products that use organic beans grown in Japan. All this info is always written on the pack as a way of marketing it.


  14. Lorna says:

    I live in Ohio and there really isn’t any where to get this quality of soy products or tofu.

  15. Simone Schnell says:

    Very interesting movie and I would love to try it, it sounds amazing. Unfortunately I leave in Sydney ……. I will do my research and try to find a good quality, GMO free, organic tofu in my area.

  16. satori says:

    we have at least 1 or 2 brands of organic tofu available at a regular super market in Japan. If there is less than 5 % GMO contents, a soy product can be labeled as “Non-GMO.” I don’t buy tofu just because I don’t like the taste and texture, but my mom does. I ask her to only buy tofu that is organic, non-GMO labeled, made with ‘made in Japan’ soy beans only.

  17. Peggy says:

    No one can control cross-pollination

  18. Kimberly says:

    OK, not quite tofu, but a great online source for raw organic miso is I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I just LOVE their miso! Because of the temperature fluctuations, they will stop shipping ground in the next few days and only ship by 2 day air (so the miso doesn’t ferment too much in the warm temperatures.) Just a thought…

  19. Kathy says:
    Spring Creek Soy Foods, possibly the best tofu (and other soy foods) in the east for over 30 years.

  20. Kathy says:

    Lorna, Check with these people and see if they supply a store near you or if you can order from them.
    or maybe these guys if you are western Ohio

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