The Fridge Light

Blank Slate

Tofu: vegetarian superfood or toxin-ridden poison? (Spoiler alert: it's neither!)
(Ben Shannon/CBC)

The Western world's classification of tofu tends toward one of two extremes: it's either a vegetarian superfood, or a toxin-packed poison. This week, we marinate in what happens when different groups project their hopes and fears on to those soft cubes of curdled soybean milk.

  • "We are a little bit antiquated and we make the tofu one batch at a time." Eileen Ota shows us around the century-old Ota Tofu factory in Portland, Oregon.
  • "It will kind of absorb anything." Christine M Dubois, author of The Story of Soy, discusses the surprisingly long history of the soy bean in North America.
  • "It definitely did reflect values. The people who ate tofu...did so because they had strong feelings." Tofu historian Bill Shurtleff on how soy became synonymous with social activism.
  • "I just remembered being taken by my grandfather to the neighborhood tofu shack." Minh Tsai on how his childhood memories inform his passion for homemade tofu.
  • "I grew up eating a lot of tofu." Chef Missy Hui cooks up some of the best tofu Chris has ever tasted.