Every year the Tofu Shop donates about $1,500 worth of organic tofu products to support the work of local non-profit organizations. We recently made tofu donations to two noteworthy conferences that address the important issue of food justice.
In early November, the California Food and Justice Coalition held its 15th annual national Food Justice Conference in the Bay Area. Over 1,100 people attended.
As we do each year, we are again sponsoring the Eco Farm Conference with a donation. Eco Farm promotes healthy farms, communities and the environment. The 32nd annual conference takes place February 1-4, 2012 in Pacific Grove, CA.
The Tofu Shop is committed to sustainable, healthy food production. We are proud to support food justice work with our 100% organic, artisan, sustainably produced tofu.
The Tofu Shop is very pleased to announce that our score on the Organic Soy Scorecard recently jumped from four to five beans, a jump from the rank of “Excellent” to the highest possible tier of “Outstanding”.
In 2009, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin based advocacy organization, released its study “Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry.” The report includes an Organic Soy Scorecard that ranks many of the country’s soy foods makers.
The Tofu Shop ranks so high because we use 100% organic ingredients and do all of our production in-house, using organic, non-genetically modified soybeans from North American growers. We were also commended for going the extra mile to use organic, fair-trade cocoa in our chocolate soy milk, for our waste reduction efforts, and for full and open disclosure to Cornucopia’s research inquiries.
The Tofu Shop prides itself on using organic, whole foods ingredients and handcrafting our organic, artisan tofu, soy milks and deli products in small batches with absolutely no possibility of hexane contamination. Recent news stories have uncovered concern about this chemical contamination during soybean processing for corporate so-called “natural” soy foods producers.
You’ve probably heard by now about the North Coast Co-op’s Sustainable Agriculture Expo this weekend. It’s a free event where local farmers, producers and advocates for a sustainable food system will share their knowledge.
The Tofu Shop will be there offering samples, including our fabulous new organic, raw cultured sauerkraut.
Come meet your tofu maker! Learn how we make our organic, artisan tofu, soy milk, and deli products.
The free expo is at Redwood Acres in Eureka from noon to 4 pm on Saturday.
Also exciting is the featured talk (not free) by Joel Salatin, the pasture-based farmer featured in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, about food emancipation and sustainable farming from 10 a.m. to noon.
Hope to see you there. For more info, visit the Co-op’s website.
Last week Matthew wrote a letter to the editor in response to the North Coast Journal’s Table Talk Column about Silk soy milk, the use of the chemical hexane to process soy, and the misleading use of the label “natural” on non-organic products. In case you didn’t see it, here’s the letter.
The Journal’s Table Talk column in the last issue caught my attention. The article titled “Un-Natural Foods” made some important points about the quality of certified organic food and also the questionable use of the claim “natural” for some food products potentially exposed to hexane, a processing solvent used during oilseed extraction. The article spotlighted Silk, one brand of “natural”, non-organic soymilk.
First, I would like to assure customers of locally-made and certified organic Tofu Shop brand soymilk, veggie burgers and other tofu products, that our products are free from any potential hexane tainting. We process our own certified organic soybeans in-house in small batches, using traditional methods of grinding and open-kettle cooking.
While there is good information in the article, it passed over the equally important underlying story of the saga of White Wave, the company that first developed Silk soymilk and what can happen to a product’s quality when small companies are bought out by larger ones.
Much like Humboldt’s own Tofu Shop Specialty Foods, White Wave was born in the mid-1970’s. Riding a wave of demand for vegetarian, ethnic and soy food products, White Wave tofu became a national brand. In the 1990’s it introduced Silk, an organic soymilk. At the same time, major research on soy suggested protective health benefits for heart disease, some cancers, and other ailments.
Soymilk sales soared. White Wave approached Dean Foods, perhaps the largest dairy distributor in North America, as an investor. Dean Foods eventually bought out White Wave and over time has changed most of the Silk line from “organic” to “natural.”
Here at Tofu Shop Specialty Foods, we remain a local/regional company and are committed to the well-being of our local community. Regarding the last paragraph of the Journal’s article which attacks soy in general, it is largely held by reputable health experts, that soy—when consumed as traditionally processed, whole foods like tofu and soymilk (as opposed to soy protein isolates or concentrates)—is a very healthy addition to most diets.
I encourage folks to visit our website and go to the page on “Soy and Health” for more information. We also have an informative page about how we make our tofu.
Thank you, Matthew Schmit
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The Tofu Shop wants to share our organic, artisan tofu turkey recipe with you.
This delicious recipe is a seasonal favorite. It was perfected over many years, when it was served to thousands of people at the former East West Center for Natural Health Education in Eureka, California.
Serve with mushroom gravy and fresh cranberry sauce.
Tofu Turkey5 pounds fresh Tofu Shop firm, organic tofu
Homemade Stuffing Seasoning1/4 C sage 2 Tbsp each: marjoram, thyme, savory or rosemary (half the amount if the herb is powdered) 1 Tbsp celery seed 1 tsp black pepper Combine all ingredients
Herbed Bread Stuffing2 Tbsp canola or sesame oil 1 C diced onion 1 C mushrooms, sliced (wild or cultivated) 2 large cloves garlic, pressed 1 Tbsp Homemade Stuffing Seasoning (see above) 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari 4 C whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1/2 C chopped parsley Water
Basting Liquid1/4 C canola or sesame oil 1/4 soy sauce or tamari
1. To prepare tofu turkey, mash it well in a large bowl. Transfer to a large colander lined with cheesecloth. Press down to even out and smooth tofu. Fold edges of cloth over tofu and place a 5-10 lb weight on top for 1 hour (try iron skillets or dumbells)
2. Prepare stuffing by heating oil in a skillet. Saute the vegetables briefly. Add seasonings and 1/4 C water. Simmer for 5 minutes until veggies are soft. Add bread cubes and parsley and stir. Add more water if dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Hollow out tofu to within an inch of the colander. Pack in the stuffing, then cover it with the remaining tofu. Pat surface until firm. Oil a baking sheet and flip the tofu onto it and remove the cheesecloth. Mix basting liquid and brush half of it onto the surface. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, baste again, and return to the oven to bake for another hour, until tofu is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before carving.Per serving: Calories: 232, protein: 18g, carbohydrates: 6g, fat: 14g, fiber: 1g, saturated fat: 2g, cholesterol: 0, sodium: 90mg, calcium: 65mg, magnesium: 11mg, calories from protein: 33%, carbohydrate: 10%, fat: 57% Recipe developed by Linda Redfield, D.C., N.E., www.holistichealing.com, with Matthew Schmit of the Tofu Shop and Meredith McCarty, www.healingcuisine.com