Vegetarianism, Tofu, and Well Water

pressing tofu

pressing tofu

One of my goals for 2014 is to eat healthier, and to do that I am venturing into the world of vegetarianism–before 6 PM that is.

I explained this a little more thoroughly in an earlier post, but suffice it to say that I am interested in eating healthier. I am not interested in giving up meat entirely, because let’s face it, animals are tasty (sorry PETA). There’s also the fact that I don’t do the majority of the cooking in our house, and I don’t want to make Max eat veggie just because I do.

This is not my first experience with vegetarianism. When I was eleven, I watched something that made me just frustrated enough with the treatment of animals to want to take a stand against eating them. I announced, just before dinner time, that I had sworn off meat.

My parents celebrated by taking us out to a steak house. I settled for chicken wings.

Since then, I haven’t paid much attention to what I eat. A gaggle of my friends in high school all came down with eating disorders at once, but that never affected me, happily stuffing my face at every chance. I ate a lot of salads in college, but only because they were the only thing on the meal plan that didn’t look like slop–those kids have it so nice these days! I’m probably half preserved from the amount of sodium and alcohol I ingested in my 20s: pickled by 30.

So now: veggies, beans, fruits, smoothies, stir fries, and the holy grail of all veg cooking: tofu. Can’t you see it glowing in all its pale beige glory? It floats gently in the albumen of its well water–more on that later–just waiting for you to unwrap, bathe, dry, press, slice, fry, and enjoy.

Or so they say. I’m still in the pressing stage. According to Yahoo Shine, the definitive source on all things tofu–who are we kidding–on all things, the pressing stage is the most important because it removes all the package water so the tofu can “soak up even more of those delicious ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and scallion flavors in the pan.”

The pressing stage is particularly important for my tofu because the number one ingredient listed on my package? Well water. I’m not squemish, and I’m certainly not a wimp. I don’t have a degree in advertising or marketing, but I think these guys went a little over the top with this. When I read “well water,” I’m thinking sulphur smelling, yellow-tinged, pulled from a hand-pump water.

Granted, I was pleasantly surprised that the water that spilled from my tofu container was clear and clean-smelling, but let’s do a little bit of positive marketing? How about spring water? Artesian well water? Maybe these are just simple folk who make simple tofu for simple hipsters, but I’d appreciate some foresight.
Is the lack of animal blood making me testy? I’m going to go meditate.

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