agri-business

ToFurkey Is ToFunky

Tofu is not natural. It is a processed food, a highly processed food as a matter of fact. ToFurkey is tofu that is processed over and over and over again. Then it’s processed some more.

Now if you’ll recall I have already exposed to the world that everyone who says they like tofu is lying through their teeth.  No person in the history of mankind, from the wheel to the moon has ever actually liked tofu.  There is no universe where tofu is appetizing.  Those who eat it do so because of peer pressure, insanity or some combination of the two.

Psychologists estimate that 1 person in 10 is completely incapable of recognizing sarcasm.  So for those of you in that 10% I’ll take this opportunity to point out that the previous paragraph was a stellar example of sarcastic hyperbolism.  It is my favorite way to make a point because, well, it amuses me.

That, by the way, was an example of narcissism.

So back to tofu being a nasty, highly processed food.  Most people do not like it’s texture because, well, it’s nasty.  In all honesty it is hard to find any fault with its taste because it doesn’t have any.  Tofu is like eating Styrofoam, only a less appetizing Styrofoam.

Amy’s, a veg-friendly processed food company probably makes some of the most wholesome mass-produced foods on the market and they process their soy beans nine different ways in order to produce a batch of tofu.  You can watch their process HERE.  I have a lot of respect for Amy’s but even they get a few things wrong.

In their video they state that they only use organic soy beans which means they are not genetically modified.  Genetic modification does not disqualify something from being organic.  It should, but it doesn’t.  I guess that’s the result of having a President that’s in the pocket of agri-business lobbyists.  Or more accurately, four Presidents in a row.

So if Amy’s, a company committed to natural, wholesome food, processes soy beans nine times to make tofu can you imagine how many times less scrupulous companies do it?

Now that you know that tofu is a highly processed food dig this.  Recently the History Channel did a segment about how ToFurkey is made.  It starts with tofu (which is processed at least nine times) and processes it even more adding tons (literally) of additives and chemicals.  You college kids may want to try the Processed Foods Drinking Game – just grab a bottle of Jack and take a swig for each new process.  But be forewarned, you may not be around for the end of this video.  Check it out and then read on:

After watching that, the pink goo McDonald’s uses to make their McNuggets doesn’t seem quite as gross.  An interesting note is that the narrator actually referred to ToFurkey as healthy.

There is an important distinction to make here and it is probably the closest you’ll come to an actual point in this ramble of a post.  Thanks to Weight Watcher’s, Jenny Craig, et al along with Hollywood and print media we have confused low-fat/low-calorie with healthy.  Low-fat/low-calorie is not pseudonymous with healthy.

Cyanide is low-fat/low-calorie.

Sarin Gas is low-fat/low-calorie.

Weapons-grade Plutonium is low-fat/low-calorie.

E-coli is low-fat/low-calorie.

Herpes is low-fat/low-calorie.

Get it?  Low-fat/low-calorie is not the same as healthy.  Coconut oil is very high in fat and very high in calories but it is healthier than extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, butter and it is damned sure better for you than margarine.  Both the medium chain fatty acids and the calories in coconut oil will ramp up your metabolism helping your body to burn fat cells better than just about anything out there.  Coconut oil is a classic example of high-fat/high-calorie being healthy.  ToFurkey conversely is a classic example of low-fat/low-calorie being unhealthy.  Plus, it just doesn’t taste very good.

So before you start spouting off about how healthy or ethical tofu is I invite you to go ToFurk yourself.  We ain’t inner-stead, thank ya.

Review: Food Tech

Technology is an amazing thing. It is the reason that when the animals are living with adverse weather conditions we sit warm and toasty in front of our 70″ LCD’s watching “24” on Tivo. But one place I’m not comfortable with an over abundance of technology is at the dinner table.

The History Channel’s new series, Food Tech, is a tour of the nation’s food processing facilities. It shows the things we eat as they are transformed through the magic of bright shiny conveyor belts and auto-robotic presses. Suspiciously absent are the images of disfigured animals crowded together in cages until the blissful release of death.

So Food Tech is less documentary and more like a celebration of progress.  There is no attention paid to the repercussions of food processing just a childlike appreciation for bagging 75,000 tons of chips a day.  It’s like Food Network’s Unwrapped only longer.

The episode I watched was entitled Cheeseburger & Fries but it wasn’t about real burgers.  It was about those drive-thru things that pass for burgers.  Technically to be a burger the patty must be 5 ounces or more.  Anything under 5 ounces is called a slider.  These were the ubiquitous quarter-pounders that are machine-made and designed to go straight from freezer to assembly line.

Host Bobby Bognar tours the imitation cheese plant where dairy bi-product is molded into one 1000 foot long sheet of cheese-food.  He narrates how it is cut into uniform slices and automatically wrapped and sealed. Then they move to a laboratory to “prove” that processed cheese is better than natural cheese because it provides a more even melt.  There is more to cheese than even melting like say taste.

Bognar then heads off to a Salinas, California lettuce farm to show how it is harvested for use in the drive-thru.  He even says that lettuce is all about the crunch and nothing is better than Iceberg.  Except Romain, Green Leaf, Red Leaf or any other green lettuce.  Why not just tell the truth, “Sure Iceberg is devoid of flavor and nutrients but it is extremely cheap to produce.”

I know the goal of the show is to trumpet innovation but I have to wonder if at anytime Bognar thinks, “maybe that’s something I shouldn’t eat.”  Just because something can be chewed, digested and passed does not make it food.  All I am asking is a little equal time on the subject rather than a series of propaganda films for agri-business.  This series is a glorification of everything that is wrong with America’s food system.

Cheeseburger & Fries

Follow Stuart via “the Online”

Sip & Chew with Mike and Stu

Add to Google

addtomyyahoo4

Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

Archives

Subscribe to this blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ISO 9000 Culinary Arts Certification