In an effort to lose weight and to cut back on my meat intake, I’ve been dabbling with tofu recipes two to three times a week. Does eating this soybean product actually help lessen my carbon footprint? For a meat lover who now truly enjoys eating tofu as a meat alternative, I’d certainly say, “Aye!”
Soybeans, after all, are a highly efficient source of protein. It supposedly requires around 0.2 calories of fossil fuels to produce a calorie of soybean protein, which is a little more than one-thirtieth of the total for a whole chicken. Soy is also happens to be a much better from a global-warming perspective — in the traditional production process, a kilo of raw beans produces about 150 to 300g of carbon-dioxide (CO2) equivalent, while edible chicken meat would produce 2,500g. What’s more, organic soybeans should create even less CO2 equivalent.
The Ethical Consumer Guide, has provided the chart below as guide for the Australian brands of tofu and and other soybean products. By hovering your cursor over the , you will see the outstanding feature of the brand, which in this case, is “certified organic.”
|Simply Better||Australian Eatwell|
|Blue Lotus||Blue Lotus Foods|
|Mr Lees Kitchen||TLY Australia|
As for taste, a lot of people think they hate tofu and make heaps of jokes about it, but the truth is that if prepared correctly it can be quite tasty.
To add rich flavour to tofu, try soaking it in soy sauce or your favourite marinade. I particularly like my tofu sliced marinated in ginger and honey, hoisin sauce, or teriyaki sauce, and then thinly sliced and stir fried with mixed vegetables. I tried the other night to just use plain old soy sauce to the tofu slices and added bean sprouts and was quite pleased with the result.
For those who would prefer to use tofu as ground beef substitute, just mash up a block and marinate it. To give tofu some crunch, coat chopped-up cubes in flour or corn starch, fry it until all sides are crispy, then mix it with your choice of vegetables. Other tofu recipes can be found at AllRecipes, all suited to Aussie tastebuds.
Image: Sugar Smack