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There are 26 comments on Tofu: It’s What’s for Dinner

  1. Yay! You guys are awesome :) Happy World Vegan Day everyone! This article came out at the right time, seems like BU Today is doing their research. November is vegan month in case you don’t know.

  2. While I agree with reducing meat consumption (and food consumption, in general, in this country), I don’t agree with promoting tofu, especially when over 90% of soy planted in the US is genetically engineered. Humans, the planet and animals are all better off if you eat a burger twice a week made of free-range, organic, grass-fed beef than any GM soy-based product. One of thousands of scientifically researched sources that demonstrate the harms of consuming GMOs:

    1. Dear GS,

      The number one cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is meat – creating cattle grazing pastures and growing soybeans to feed to livestock. According to “60-70 percent of deforestation in the Amazon results from cattle ranches while the rest mostly results from small-scale subsistence agriculture. Despite the widespread press attention, large-scale farming (i.e. soybeans) currently contributes relatively little to total deforestation in the Amazon.” Even the relatively small amount of deforestation from soybeans is caused by animal agriculture; the soybeans are used as animal feed to produce meat for fast food chains and supermarkets in Europe. Because of a campaign by Greenpeace, there has been a moratorium on planting soy on newly-deforested Brazilian rainforest land since 2006. But despite the moratorium, soy farming still contributes to deforestation because land that might have been used for other types of agriculture is taken up by soy, causing cattle ranchers and other farmers to seek newly deforested land. This is yet another example of the inefficiency of animal agriculture; the solution is veganism.

      1. Thanks KC Mackey for adding more important information to my comment, but I am not defending large-scale farming or feeding cattle with soy. Be vegan if you like, but do not blindly promote the consumption of products made from soy, corn, canola, etc. which are genetically engineered. “Love trees, don’t kill animals” is a beautiful concept but it’s not a holistic solution to a complex problem. BU can make all the tofu scramble it wants but we’re still eating sick food.

      1. I’m sure that most short term industry funded research would only show positive outcomes. That is why we need more long term studies, such as the french GMO maize one. However flawed it might be it does raise concerns. Outcomes for livestock on long term non-GMO corn/soy are not so positive either.

    2. GS, thank you so much for this comment- there’s a lot of good stuff for me to respond to and I just love talking about this issue.

      You seem pretty worried about GM soy, so I have good news for you. Given that 90% of the soy crop in the US is fed to livestock, it would stand to reason that if we stopped eating meat (and therefore stopped raising livestock), we wouldn’t need GM soy. So there’s a solution to the use of GM soy- veganism.

      You suggest that consuming less is a positive thing, and I agree. Consider, then, that it takes an average of 5,000 gallons of fresh water to produce one pound of meat, even that grass-fed beef you seem so eager about. Compare this to the 10-20 gallons that it takes to produce a pound of vegetables, fruit, soybeans, or grain. Clearly, the plant based choice requires way fewer resources. While water use is just one example, the same principle applies to other resources. When you cycle plant foods through livestock to produce meat, you end up with way fewer calories then you started with. If used to grow vegetables, grain, and/or legumes, one acre of land produces 10-15 times more protein than if used to produce meat. Thus, the number one way to reduce the amount of resources you as an individual use is to eat plants instead of animals.

      You assert that eating grass fed-beef is preferable to eating GM soy. Consider that, according to a study done by the World Bank and the World Watch Institute, livestock already makes up 51% of greenhouse emissions globally- way more than transportation or energy. Another study found that grass-fed cows produce 20% more greenhouse gasses than grain fed cow. Now, imagine what would happen if we didn’t decrease the amount of beef we consumed, but switched to all grass-fed beef. The amount of greenhouse gasses coming from livestock would increase tremendously and the planet would suffer even more. Grass-fed beef is not the solution.

      Like KC said, the best solution is veganism. If you look more closely at the numbers, you realize animal agriculture and the current demand for meat is the primary source of the problems in our food system. It’s a connection that most people aren’t willing to make because it means we need to eat a lot less meat, dairy, and eggs.

      As for tofu, non-GMO tofu is readily available. At Super 88, it costs $1.45 for 19 ounces. I’m not sure if the tofu in the dining halls in from GM soy or not. But what difference does it make? Way more GM soy and grain was needed to produce one pound of the meat that’s in the dining hall compared to one pound of tofu. So ya, eating plants in always the better choice.

      Like I said, I love discussing this topic, so please feel free to challenge me on anything here and keep the conversation going!

      1. So, what do you say about GM corn, canola, rice, and cotton seed oil? And soy is found in absolutely everything now. Read your labels.

        What profoundly bothers me about your and KC’s veganism discourse is how ideological and borderline cult-like it sounds. Your black and white thinking makes you unable to see that I’m not advocating for grass-fed beef per se, I’m simply trying to introduce another important way of looking at this argument. Eating vegan has some benefits but it does not stop Monsanto from poisoning the world’s food supply for profit.

        A few years back, American over-consumption of beef was cited as the leading source of heart disease. Chicken was touted as the solution. Look at where that got us. As you would likely agree, large-scale chicken farming is hardly something to be proud of. Are Americans healthier for eating more chicken than beef? Perhaps, but what about all the hormones and antibiotics? Should chicken proponents dying from cancer say: “What difference does it make? At least we’re not dying of heart disease!”

        That seems to be your argument about GMOs. You did say, “What difference does it make?”.

        Your arguments for veganism as the end all be all solution to everything sounds pretty close to religious fundamentalism. Stop wishing there was a way to go on with life, blissful and ignorant. “I eat vegan, therefore I do no harm” is not a better way of life, it’s a lazy way out of critical thinking.

        1. I don’t think it’s rational for any movement to see themselves as a solution to everything. Graham was saying veganism could be a solution to getting rid of genetically modified soy, which (obviously hypothetically) if you got rid of 90% of the demand, it has all the potential in the world to be.

          No one thinks in black and white here. Eating vegan doesn’t stop Monsanto. A consumer boycott doesn’t stop Monsanto. Buying organic doesn’t stop Monsanto. But each one of those things is a step. If we’re not even taking those steps because we don’t see our end goal as being attainable, then what are we doing? Why shouldn’t we push ourselves?

          To the chicken as a solution to beef argument, that’s hardly comparable. The USDA still needs to promote meat to function, so they promoted chicken. They would never promote more natural meat because it’s not really attainable on such a large scale that they need to be functional.

          No one sees their veganism as blissful and ignorant. It is absolutely not a final solution – but it’s sure as hell a great step in the right direction.

          1. Also as a follow up, the USDA would never EVER promote not eating meat, and most certainly not eating specifically free-range grass fed beef because that’s not how they make money! So of course they promoted chicken! It keeps people eating meat.

            And to add more, veganism is a window for a lot of people, specifically white middle class people, into a lot of other issues – including that of GMO’s! Don’t strike down an entire movement because some stupid rich white people do it for apolitical reasons.

            It’s not a cult or even a borderline one. It’s a movement of people educating themselves and making the best that they can of their privileges as informed consumers in a neo-liberal individualist first world, AND one where they recognize that individuals – including non-human animals – should not be oppressed.

  3. Please leave the rest of us alone. I get it that you want to be a small little herbivores but some of us want to eat meat like our ancestors have for thousands of years, as opposed to breads and things from the past few hundred years. Do not push your radical ideas on us. If 3% don’t like the dining hall food get an apartment and chew your lettuce there don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

    1. Sure, but your ancestors didn’t eat the kind of meat you are probably eating today. I don’t think our ancestors were splicing pig DNA and inserting E.coli bacteria and mouse DNA.

    2. There is nothing radical about reducing meat consumption. Factory farming is a recent phenomenon, and the sheer amount of violence that goes into the manufacturing of your meat is simply something people must be aware of, in order to make informed choices. I’ve never forced my views on to anyone and I can say the same for all of my vegan friends at BU. PS. Regarding “thousands of years” you speak of, animal consumption has been consistently linked to higher rates of disease and as far back as ancient Egypt, efforts were made to reduce meat consumption for personal health reasons. Now, we extend that into the realm of ethics because the torture these animals experience is unprecedented.

      Relax, and remember nothing is being taken away from you.

    3. CARNIVORE_1,

      We appreciate all feedback, even criticism. We need to ask ourselves: If the abuse “food animals” is so bad that we can’t even evaluate factory farms in the defense of meat eating, is it something we should be willing to support when we sit down to eat? These animals are abused because we pay people to abuse them when we buy meat, eggs, and dairy products. The only way to end their abuse is not to hide their suffering from the public, but rather to show it to as many people as possible, so we can each make an informed decision about whether or not we want to support such cruelty. I hope this helps. Please feel free to respond, or email me at


    4. we’re not “ruining” it for you or pushing our ideas on you. we’re just getting the word out there. you don’t have to read this, you don’t have to listen. but in the event that you do want to listen, this is what we have to say. that’s all. go ahead and eat your meat, just know where it comes from.

    5. Didn’t “they” find evidence of farming by the Neanderthals? Maybe they were indeed trying to turn away from all the animal killing. How many meat eaters have actually killed an animal themselves for the purpose of eating it?

  4. Marvelous article! I love how it touches upon why people go veg for so many different reasons. For concerned people out there, one of those reasons is bound to resonate. I’m also excited to try this tofu scramble I hear of….

  5. As a person with over 15 years vegetarian mostly vegan, I will not regularly associate with vegetarians. Over the years,I have met dozens of vegetarian fanatics and extremists without a sense of humor. They tend to be like Christians that way.

    I am not saying the student vegetarians at BU are fanatics. I don’t know. I do know that the Boston Vegetarian Society meeting I went to was over 35% fanatics.

    Being passionate can be a great thing. Forcing your passion on others is, IMO, unAmerican.

    Securing concessions from BU meal services seems like a wonderful thing for vegetarians and a reasonable accomodation from BU.

    Promoting vegetarianism to other students should be like promoting a religion – reasonable activity in small doses – unreasonable when it becomes too frequent, pushy or done with unwanted passion.

    1. I really don’t like being compared to a religious group since religious groups base their beliefs in their faith and faith alone. Followers of a religion have no factual or scientific evidence for the existence of God(s) or the afterlife. It’s all based on their unwavering faith that their God(s) really does exist.

      On the other hand, veg*ns, and environmentalists alike, base their beliefs in what we actually know to be true. We know that non-human animals are sentient and feel pain, we know that non-human animals are capable of love and emotion, we know that animal agriculture is in the top three biggest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, and we know that animal agriculture uses significantly more water and land than vegetables do. All of this information can be confirmed with a quick Google search.

      So, in conclusion, please, don’t compare me to a religious fanatic who denounces others for not believing in a God that may not even be real. The things we talk about aren’t based on blind faith, they’re based on reality and we can actually make a difference in our world and that’s why we promote veg*nism.

      I also would to like to apologize for anyone reading this who may be offended by what I’ve said about religion. I understand that for some people, faith is super important to their identity and culture, which by all means is totally awesome and I encourage you to do whatever feels right for you. In short, this isn’t meant to be an attack on your faith and I’m sorry if I’ve been insensitive.

  6. “Harper will discuss the way a vegan diet can overcome sexism and racism.” What, what, what!? I could use a laugh to see how you relate eating animal products to sexism and racism. What a ludicrous connection. What a non-coincidence that vegan month is the same month as Thanksgiving. You’re just another group trying to control what other people put in their bodies. BU, please stand up for liberty and don’t force meatless monday down students’ throats anymore. We all deserve a choice but what this group is doing has crossed into fascism.

  7. I’m a Pescetarian in the US only. The hormones they pump into animals and vegetables give me horrible irritation. I break out and get rashes. At home I eat organic and home grown foods. I don’t think people should ‘cut meat out completely’ because of factory farming, you can just go to a local farmer and it’s much better. This is so you know the effort required to get your meat, not just packaged items on a shelf. That said, don’t cut out meat, just know where it comes from. The hormones they place in vegetables cause me irritation too, and soy is not the best replacement for a lot of people. As a person that prefers nutrition from food over supplements, I hate that my vegan friends have to pop out different supplements in the morning because they don’t get enough calcium. I’m not hating on anyone, you eat what you want, it’s your body.

  8. i HATE tofu its so gross especially at marciano. it doesnt have protein in it too so all the veagans should relaly stop with the flyering. buff chick patty is where its at

  9. Maybe it’s because Meatless Mondays are growing ever more

    popular; maybe it’s because more and more people are becoming aware of the costs of eating factory-farmed meat; or maybe it’s because the U.N. keeps warning that meat lovers will soon need to start eating insects (or skip the meat altogether). Whatever the explanation, alternative proteins are all the rage these days—and tofu is no exception.

    With lots of recipes available online, a boring tofu can be made brilliant and palatable.

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