Oops. I've sidetracked a bit. So this person I met, she (let's name her A) was with a friend (B), who was asking me about tofu. B was fascinated with the marinated organic tofu that we have. B then turned to A, and asked if A would like any. A replied "I will never touch tofu." Now, I've met so many vegetarians and I don't think any of them has tofu missing from their diet. Tofu is an extremely important (and easy to cook with) source of protein in a vegetarian diet. A was probably the first I know who does not have tofu in her vegetarian diet. So out of pure curiousity, I asked why. She mentioned she only takes fermented food. I was like "???" From that point, I knew she was part of an extreme group of people who would like to enjoy the many benefits of soybeans but refuse to eat tofu. They have this idea that only fermented soybeans can be eaten, and they claim they have done a lot of research (which was probably just online literature) to prove that.
My point for this long post is to clarify some misconceptions that some people may have. Fermented soy foods like miso and tempeh are made from soybeans using different cultures. Tofu is also made from soybeans, which is ground into soymilk, which is then used to make the tofu using coagulants. So basically, these foods, they all started with the SOYBEAN. Many people know miso is good for health, but they had no idea that miso is also made from soybeans!
Point #1: Miso, tempeh and tofu all started with the soybean.
The literature found online states that fermented soy is good. That is true. No doubt about that. But that does not mean that tofu (which is not fermented) is no good. So long as the soybeans are cooked properly, the tofu made is perfectly good. People with the extreme view of taking only fermented soy fails to note that if the soybeans are not fermented properly, the end product is also no good for consumption.
Point #2: We should not hold extreme views.
Sometimes online literature/resources are views of individuals and they may not have a full picture. Sometimes surveys/research are conducted but the test samples are too little or a skewed part of the full population. Sometimes the articles are 'cut-outs' of a hundred page report - it only takes out a concept or two, but fail to exhibit the final conclusion of the report.
Point #3: We should read online resources with an open mind, and not simply agree with the few reports we see.
Tofu has been consumed by the Asian populations for thousands of years. If tofu was really bad for health, the negative effects would have been exhibited since then. It seemed however, that the Asian populations are generally the healthier ones with longer lifespans.
Point #4: Asians have eaten tofu for thousands of years.
Finally, if fermented soy is the only way to eat soy, I would like to dare this group of people to eat natto. Natto is an integral part of the Japanese diet and has been around for several hundreds of years. I myself have no problem eating it, but would this group of people dare to? I wonder.