Tofu is Taking Over Australia, So Is the United States Next?

It’s a big step for tofu, and a small step for humankind. Well, if you’re in Australia. Tofu is now sitting with the big boys — lean meat, protein, fish and eggs — on Australia’s national healthy eating pyramid; dairy alternatives, like soy milk, have also found a spot on the pyramid. I know this seems like a small victory, but the meat and dairy industries fight really hard to keep these alternatives off the pyramid. So is there a chance that we could soon be seeing tofu and soy as recommended staples of the American diet?

Soy Isn’t for Everyone

Let’s get this out of the way — soy products aren’t for everyone. I’ve met a few people with legitimate allergies, so they need to stay away. Others find it too processed, and that’s a valid concern because it can be. Some fear consuming soy GMOs, but as this vegan doctor points out on Free from Harm,”non-GMO soy foods such as tofu, tempeh and soy milk are widely available in stores which offer soy products, and they are clearly labeled non-GMO.”

And others are just too afraid to try it. The one myth that I hear the most is soy will turn men into women because of the estrogen; that’s a lie. Before knocking soy, remember that it’s been a staple in Asia for centuries.

“A Furious Response from the Meat Industry”

And I’d just like to add that my nutritionist didn’t like a lot of the things I ate, but she did approve of tofu. The Australian government approves of tofu, too. As reported in Take Part, Australia’s move comes at an interesting time given the dietary debate in the United States.

A U.S. federal report proclaiming that a vegan diet is the best diet for the planet made the meat, dairy and egg industries livid. The slightest suggestion to eat less meat and dairy is threatening to them, and as Take Part says, “That possibility has spurred a furious response from the meat industry, which spent more than $4 million on lobbying in 2014 and has long wielded political influence over federal dietary guidelines,” and that doesn’t even include the millions that the industries spend on advertising.

Money talks, and the industries know this. Back in the 1970s, proposed federal guidelines suggested cutting back on meat for health and environmental reasons. That didn’t go over well with the meat industry, so meat companies spent a lot of money lobbying, and that recommendation was axed. In its place, the new recommendation suggested “two to three servings of meat daily.” Crazy, right?

5 Reasons Why the Industries Won’t Win Again

But this isn’t 1977, and I’m convinced that the industry can’t swing the dietary guidelines in their favor again, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Social media: Information is harder to hide, and lies are harder to believe. We have different fountains of information to choose from.

2. Food alternatives: Going veg has never been easier. We’re lucky to live in this exciting time for food — you can’t even call it “rabbit food” anymore. I’ve seen a vegan egg, and I feel like I can’t be more wowed than that. But I’m sure I will be, and I can’t wait.

3. We care about animals: Deep down most of us do care about animals, even farm animals. A recent Gallup poll confirms this: our attitudes about animals rights are changing for the better. According to the poll, 26 percent are “very concerned” about livestock and animals used for food, and 54 percent are “very/somewhat concerned.” We also love to hear and share animal stories from special friendships to brave slaughterhouse escapes.

4. We care about the environment: According to a recent Nielsen study, consumers from all over the world are willing to put their money where their heart is by supporting socially and environmentally responsible companies. And current meat, dairy and egg practices just aren’t sustainable. We only have one planet, and we can save it by eating less animal products.

5. Taking action: There’s a thirst for knowledge and truth. And many of us are willing to take big and small actions that make a difference. You never know what you’re putting in motion when you share content, start a petition or attend a protest.

Industries might have a boatload of money. But we have the truth and hearts — two things that millions can’t buy. And on that note, I’d like to leave you with a brilliant quote by author John Robbins:

“Awareness is bad for the meat business. Conscience is bad for the meat business. Sensitivity to life is bad for the meat business. DENIAL, however, the meat business finds indispensable.”

 

Photo Credit: Andrea Nguyen

130 comments

Dana W
Dana W23 days ago

I love tofu. Deep fried is my favorite, followed by baked.

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Jim V
Jim V6 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim V6 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Karen C.
Karen C1 years ago

I come from an asian household, so we eat tofu very often. It's very good!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing...

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Mike H.
Mike H2 years ago

thank you

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Mari Lee Kozlowski
Past Member 2 years ago

I use tofu occasionally, but as a 22 year vegetarian, I rely on vegetables to make a better diet, mainly. Tofu can be quite useful, but it's easy to do without it, too.

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Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Thanks for posting.

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Dawn E.
Dawn E2 years ago

Thanks! Learning to love tofu.

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