Tofu is a very nutritious food made from soybeans. It originated more than 2,000 years ago in China, from where it quickly spread to Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand. Apparently, this food arrived in the West in the 18th century, but it became more famous in the middle 20th.

There are different types of tofu, some are firmer and others are smoother. This means that the nutritional properties of each type of tofu vary depending on the amount of liquid they contain. But all are excellent sources of protective antioxidants, high in protein, low in calories and cholesterol-free, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Due to its versatility, tofu is a widely used ingredient in vegan dishes. It can be used as a base to prepare desserts, ice creams, snacks, sausages and cheeses without ingredients of animal origin and with excellent consistency.

Around 350 million tons of soy are produced each year globally, and there is a myth that veganism drives the expansion of its cultivation by regularly consuming soy-based foods, such as tofu. However, tofu is not the leading cause of global deforestation by the extensive monoculture of this grain. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of this production is used to feed farm animals raised for human consumption.

According to 2017 estimates, the average European consumes around 61 kilograms of soy per year, of which 93% (more than 55 kg) is considered “ghost” because it’s not consumed directly but through products of animal origin, such as meat from chickens, pigs, fish, milk and eggs. On the other side, a 2010 study estimated that the average vegan in the West consumes between 10 and 12 grams of soy protein per day. Which is equivalent to between 11 and 13 kilograms of soybeans per year.

By becoming vegan you can eat delicious and nutritious preparations free of animal exploitation, and at the same time reduce your ecological footprint. Take the step!

Matilde Nuñez del Prado Alanes is from La Paz, Bolivia. She made her thesis in Sociology on cockfighting, as a result of an undercover investigation in the field for 4 years, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Critical Theory. Her topics of interest are the relationships between humans and other sentient animals from the perspective of Critical Animal Studies, the socio-ecological issues, and the intersectionality between different forms of oppression, domination and exploitation.