History of the Soyfoods Movement Worldwide (1960s-2019)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-948436-09-0

Publication Date: 2015 July 5

Number of References in Bibliography: 4288

Earliest Reference: 1958

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Brief Chronology/Timeline of the Soyfoods Movement in the Western World

This is the story of how soyfoods came to the Western World, especially to North America, but also to Europe, Africa and Latin America. Before the 1970s, soyfoods were not available in these areas (except in Oriental grocery stores) and thus were not consumed - except for soy sauce, especially Kikkoman soy sauce. A new wave of businesses started in the 1970s, founded and run mostly by young people, with great energy and creativity, but little or no business background or experience in running a business. The foods they made, in approximate order of popularity, were tofu, soymilk, tempeh, miso, edamame, yuba, and natto.

The soyfoods movement that is the subject of this book started in the 1960s. However one might contend that there was an earlier soyfoods movement in the Western world pioneered by individuals and groups such as:

Society for Acclimatization (Société d'Acclimatation) (1855 on) in Paris, France.

Friedrich Haberlandt (1826-1878) at the Hochschule fuer Bodencultur in Vienna, Austria.

Li Yu-Ying (1881-1973) at Usine de la Caséo-Sojaïne (Les Vallées, Colombes (near Asnières), a few miles northwest of Paris, France.

Agumawerke (1913) at Harburg, near Hamburg, Germany.

Many Seventh-day Adventists (vegetarians) who made soyfoods at companies throughout the Western world from 1921 (La Sierra Industries, Arlington, California) until the present. These companies included Madison Foods (Madison, Tennessee; starting 1922), Sanitarium Food Co./Loma Linda Food Co. (Loma Linda, California, starting 1922), Battle Creek Food Co (Battle Creek, Michigan; starting 1923), Scientific Food & Benevolent Assoc. (Washington, DC; starting 1930), Granose Foods Ltd (Watford, Herts., UK; starting 1935), F.G. Roberts Health Food Products (near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; from 1935), Miller’s Soy Foods (Washington, DC; starting 1938), International Nutritional Laboratory (Mt. Vernon, Ohio; starting 1939), Special Foods, Inc./Worthington Foods (Worthington, Ohio; started soy in 1941), Butler Food Co. (Cedar Lake, Michigan; started 1942), Kellogg Co. (Battle Creek, Michigan; started 1945), etc. The six earliest companies to make tofu in the USA were all run by Seventh-day Adventists.

However these groups were largely unaware of each other (except for the Adventists) and certainly were not involved in a movement.

The next early group was Japanese-American tofu makers. By 1930 at least 293 Japanese tofu shops have been established in the United States and Hawaii. Some were no longer in business by 1930.

1911Ohta Tofu-ten (Ohta Tofu Shop) starts making tofu at 266 Davis St., Portland, Oregon.

1930Azumaya Tofu Seizo-sho (Azumaya Co.) starts making tofu at 1636 Post St. in San Francisco, California. They sell mostly to the Asian-American community. By the 1970s they will become an important part of the soyfoods movement.

1941 Dec. – Concerning early Japanese-American makers of soyfoods (who were not part of any movement):

As of late 1941, 537 different Japanese-owned companies in the United States and the Hawaiian Islands made soyfoods. Of these, 418 (78% of the total) made tofu, 62 made miso, 57 made shoyu (soy sauce), and 4 made natto. Five of these companies made more than one soyfood product. Most of these companies were forced to stop doing business abruptly when Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the USA were sent to internment camps after Executive Order 9066 was signed on 19 Feb. 1942.

As of late 1941, 311 of these 537 companies operated in California (58% of the total), 156 in Hawaii, 22 in Washington state, 15 in Utah, 10 in Oregon, and 4 in Idaho.

1947 MarchHinode Tofu Seizo-sho (Hinode Tofu Co.) starts making tofu at 706 E. Sixth St. in Los Angeles, California. Shoan and Shizuka Yamauchi purchased Tomoe Tofu Co., which they renamed. They sell mostly to the Asian-American community. By the 1970s they will become an important part of the soyfoods movement.

1951 Jan. – The earliest known document shows that Quong Hop & Co. is now making tofu at 133 Waverly Place in San Francisco.

1960 – Scientific research on tempeh at the USDA Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, begins when KO Swan Djien arrives from Indonesia to study industrial fermentation. Dr. Hesseltine, another world-class microbiologist, encourages him to start by studying the tempeh fermentation; he knows tempeh well but has never studied it. The first of their many pioneering papers is published in 1961.

1963 – “Investigations of tempeh, an Indonesian food,” by Hesseltine et al. is the first scientific article to investigate many different tempeh cultures (including 26 strains of Rhizopus) and to select one strain (NRRL 2710) as being best suited for making tempeh from soybeans. They later find it is also best for making tempeh from cereal grains, and from mixtures of both. This strain soon becomes the first choice of tempeh makers, big and small, in North America. This 1963 article also contains the first detailed discussion of tempeh starter culture in English.

1963 – Matsuda-Hinode Tofu Mfg. Co. is now making tofu in Los Angeles. It is the biggest tofu maker in the Western United States. In 1964 the company established three milestones: (1) It became the first company on the West Coast (and perhaps in the world) to package tofu; (2) It became the first U.S. company to get tofu into a supermarket chain (Boy's Market in Los Angeles); and (3) It became the first U.S. company to make natto. In 1969 the company built and moved into a new location at 526 S. Stanford Ave.

1964 May – The use of perforated plastic bags and tubes as containers for tempeh fermentation is first proposed by Martinelli and Hesseltine in an article in the journal Food Technology. This new idea and new technology is quickly transferred to tempeh makers in Java, where it becomes widely used.

1964 – Heuschen B.V., later renamed Heuschen-Schrouff B.V., starts making tofu in The Netherlands. They soon become by far the largest tofu maker in The Netherlands. They sell commodity tofu to many other companies.

Overview: The soyfoods movement which began in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, as part of the natural foods movement, was a tremendous burst of creative energy on the part of hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly young people who came of age during this time.

A similar but unique movement began in Western Europe starting 5-10 years later.

1966 April 9 – Erewhon opens as a small (10- by 20-foot) macrobiotic and natural foods retail store at 303-B Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Aveline and Michio Kushi are the founders and Evan Root is the first retail store manager. Erewhon is the first food store of its kind in America, and it soon serves as a model for many other similar natural foods stores across America. Erewhon starts to grow in Oct. 1967 with the arrival of Paul Hawken.

The natural foods movement in America is in its infancy, advocating a return to traditional whole foods, naturally grown and processed.

1968 Aug. – Erewhon starts importing foods from Japan. The initial orders include red miso and shoyu (soy sauce).

1969 fall - Erewhon Natural Foods in Boston, Massachusetts, starts to distribute macrobiotic and natural foods. They are America's first natural foods distributor, and remain the largest for many years.

1969 Nov. 4 – Eden Organic Foods is incorporated in Ann Arbor, Michigan by Bill Bolduc, and their macrobiotic retail store begins operation, selling soyfoods including tamari and miso purchased from Erewhon. The company grew out of a loosely-knit food buying co-op which had started in about July 1967 but which had no name, no formal structure, and no bank account. Bolduc was joined 9 months later by Tim Redmond.

1969 Nov. 17-21 – United Nations Industrial Development Organization Expert Group Meeting on Soya Bean Processing and Use held at Peoria, Illinois.

1969 – The first of the new wave of tempeh shops in the Western world, Handelsonderneming van Dappern (later renamed Tempeh production Inc.) started by Robert van Dappern in Kerkrade, The Netherlands. It soon becomes the world's largest tempeh manufacturer.

The second wave of the soyfoods movement started in about 1971-72.

Robert Rodale (CEO of Rodale Press. Inc.; Emmaus, Pennsylvania) publishes three important articles about soyfoods:

1971 Dec. 25Chicago Tribune “Organic Living: Dine on Soybeans” (p. 26).

1972 Jan. 6Washington Post “The case for soybeans” (p. E16). Note: This article is similar to, but much longer than one by the same author cited above.

1972 Feb.Prevention. “The greatest bean of them all.” That bean is the soybean. “Make 1972 a memorable year for good health and good eating." Make it your goal to put some great soybeans on your table before Christmas. Not any old soybeans, but ‘edible soybeans’ as opposed to the regular kind. Yet stores that sell soybeans rarely tell you which type or named variety they are selling.

“I recently had one of those euphoric soybean experiences, and it was with a variety called Kanrich, which we grew in our garden last summer at the Organic Gardening Experimental Farm.” He first realized they had a special variety when he and his wife enjoyed the Kanrich soybeans as tender green soybeans. The ‘taste was out of sight.’”

You can buy Kanrich variety soybean seeds to plant in your garden from Burpee Seed Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1972 March – The Farm, a large spiritual community in Summertown, Tennessee, sets up a small “soy dairy” to make soymilk and tempeh for members, whose plant-based/vegan diet contains no animal products, not even dairy products or eggs. Alexander Lyon is the pioneer tempeh researcher and maker. This is the earliest known tempeh produced in a Caucasian-run tempeh shop in the U.S., although it is not sold commercially. The soymilk is rationed for use by babies and children.

By Feb. 1973 some 500 adults and children reside at The Farm. Their teacher is Stephen Gaskin.

1975 Feb. – Gale Randall starts the Indonesian Tempeh Co., the first Caucasian-run commercial tempeh shop in North America, in Unadilla, Nebraska, making Soy- and Wheat-Soy tempeh (History of Tempeh, p. 49).

1974 Oct.Yay Soybeans! How You Can Eat Better for Less and Help Feed the World, a highly creative, 14-page booklet, is published on The Farm by The Book Publishing Co. in Summertown, Tennessee.

1974Hey beatnik! This Is The Farm Book, by Stephen Gaskin and the Farm (100 p.), is published on The Farm by the Book Publishing Co. It is a rich source of original information about soyfoods.

1975 Feb.The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook (128 p.) is published on The Farm. Expanding on the ideas in Yay Soybeans! (1974), it contains many soyfoods recipes, plus the first popular information on tempeh and the first tempeh recipes to be published in any European language.

March 1975 – Welcome Home Bakery and Tofu Shop started by Alec Evans in Corvallis, Oregon. Tofu production began in March. Alec decided to start a tofu shop because of a "desire for a relatively pure source of protein." Other products he made included organic grain breads and baked goods, soymilk, okara products, and sprouted wheat bread.

1975 Dec.The Book of Tofu, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi is published by Autumn Press in Japan.

1975 – Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. starts making Sasa-no-Yuki brand Buro-Dofu (Sealed Lactone Silken Tofu). This product was introduced before the law protecting small tofu makers in Japan was passed in 1976.

On 31 July 1975 Morinaga applied for U.S. Patent No. 4,000,326, “Method of manufacturing an aseptic soya bean curd.” They are issued the patent on 28 Dec. 1976. This is the world’s first patent for making aseptic tofu in Tetra Brik cartons. Morinaga starts to make this tofu in 1977 in Tokyo, Japan. The product has a 6-month self life without refrigeration or preservatives.

1976 Jan. – Swan Gardens, started by Jocelyn McIntyre, starts making tofu in St. Ignatius, Montana.

1976 July – The Farm is now making and selling tempeh spores (starter culture) together with a leaflet titled Tempe, by Cynthia Bates.

1976 Aug. – Farm Food Co. (San Rafael, California) starts to make and sell Ice Bean (a non-dairy frozen dessert based on soymilk - honey sweetened). In Sept. they launch Carob Soymilk and Soyanaise (a non-dairy mayonnaise).

1976 Aug. – America’s first soyfoods restaurant or deli is established in the Farm Food Company’s storefront restaurant in San Rafael, California. With a menu, a counter, and chairs and tables, it features tempeh in Tempeh Burgers, Deep-fried Tempeh Cutlets, and Tempeh with Creamy Tofu Topping. The first tempeh dishes sold in an Americans-style restaurant, they are made from tempeh produced by Don Wilson in the rear of the building (History of Tempeh, p. 44).

1976 Aug. – The Learning Tree Tofu Kit, America’s first widely sold and important tofu kit, is launched by Larry Needleman of Bodega, California, based on designs from The Book of Tofu.

1976 Aug.Beatnik Tempeh Making, by Cynthia Bates, Alexander Lyon, et al., a 20-page booklet, is mimeographed at The Farm in Tennessee.

1976 Sept. 23The Book of Miso, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi published by Autumn Press in Japan.

1976 Sept. 29 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi leave on their Tofu & Miso America Tour. Traveling in a large used Dodge van packed full of books, tofu kits (from Larry Needleman), etc. On this 4-month tour, the Shurtleffs, trying to do for soyfoods what Johnny Appleseed did for apples, presented 70 public programs attended by about 3,646 people, did many media interviews and appearances, and traveled 15,000 miles.

1976 Nov. – Island Spring, Inc., founded by Luke Lukoskie and Sylvia Nogaki, starts to make tofu on Vashon Island, Washington (state).

1976 Dec. – The term "soyfoods" (spelled as one word) is coined by Benjamin Hills, organizer of Surata Soyfoods in Eugene, Oregon, for use in their company name. It is first used in a book (Tofu & Soymilk Production) by Shurtleff and Aoyagi in July 1979, and as a magazine title in July 1980. It soon comes to define an industry, a market and a movement.

1977 Jan. – Laughing Grasshopper, founded by Richard Leviton and Kathy Whelan, starts making tofu at 3 Main St., Millers Falls, Massachusetts. Tom Timmins joins as a partner in February. It soon becomes the largest of the new breed of Caucasian-run U.S. tofu manufacturers.

In Nov. 1977 the company was renamed New England Soy Dairy.

1977 Jan. – The Soy Plant starts making tofu inside Wildflower Community Bakery at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Steve Fiering is one of the organizers of America's first soyfoods cooperative.

1977 April 5 – Takai Tofu & Soymilk Equipment Co. in Japan works with consultant William Shurtleff to acquire an English name, develop a unified equipment catalog, and establish international operations.

1977 AprilThe Heartsong Tofu Cookbook, by Bob and Toni Heartsong self-published in Florida.

1977 May – Flying Cloud Tofu (later renamed The Tofu shop, then Northern Soy) starts making 150 lb/week of tofu in a small shop located downstairs on Rochester Zen Center property in Rochester, New York. By July 1978 they are making 1,000 lb/week. Early tofu makers are Greg Mello, Greg Weaver, and Andy Schecter.

In Nov. 1977 they start making tempeh.

1977 May 10 to June 7 – Shurtleff and Aoyagi travel to Indonesia to do field research on tempeh in preparation for a book on the subject.

1977 July – The Tofu Shop, founded by Matthew Schmit, starts making organic nigari tofu and Fresh Joy o’ Soy soymilk (unflavored) in Telluride, Colorado. They also have an early soyfoods restaurant (renamed Far Pavilions in late 1979). In 1980 they moved to Arcata, California.

1977 Aug. 16Miso Production, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi published by New-Age Foods Study Center, the Center's first publication.

1977 Sept. – White Wave, founded by Steve Demos in Boulder, Colorado, starts to make four types of tofu: Organic Bulk, Organic Packaged, Black Walnut Mushroom, and Lemon. He makes it in a small, compact commercial shop, in a bathtub.

1977 Sept. – Swan Foods, founded by Robert Brooks and Mary Pung, starts operation in Miami, Florida.

They make America's first commercial soymilk yogurt. After doing extremely innovative pioneering work with second generation tofu products and advertising them nationwide, they go out of business in Dec. 1978 from trying to grow too fast.

1977 Oct. – The first issue of Soycraft (6 pages) is published as a folded broadside by David and Danette Briscoe of Lawrence, Kansas. It is the soyfoods movement’s first periodical.

Shurtleff and Larry Needleman provided the address needed to mail it to interested people and organizations – and potential subscribers.

1977 Oct. 14 – Bean Machines Inc., America’s first supplier of tofu and soymilk production equipment, founded by Larry Needleman, begins operations in California. Most of their equipment is imported from Takai in Japan.

1977 Nov. – Redwood Natural Foods, Inc. in Santa Rosa, California, launches the world's first vacuum packed tofu. Redwood developed the packing process using tofu made by Quong Hop & Co.

1977 Nov. – Paul Duchesne starts selling Fried Rice & Tofu Sandwiches in Fairfax, California. His operation later becomes Wildwood Natural Foods.

1978 Feb. 1– New England Soy Dairy (formerly named Laughing Grasshopper tofu shop) moves to a much larger building at 305 Wells St. in Greenfield, Massachusetts. By April the company employs 16 people.

1978 March – The second issue of Soycraft is mailed by the Briscoes. In it Steve Fiering wrote: "Dear Friends,… I am writing to tell you that we are planning on having a convention of Soycrafters here [at the Soy Plant] in Ann Arbor on the 15th and 16th of July…”

1978 April – Nasoya Foods, founded by John Paino and Bob Bergwall, starts making Organic Tofu (water pack) in Leominster, Massachusetts, in a former dairy.

1978 June – The third issue of Soycraft is mailed by the Briscoes. In it are letters from (1) Jerry MacKinnon and Steve Fiering, rescheduling the date of the national conference to July 28-30; (2) Bill Shurtleff, with some ideas for the new organization.

1978 July 30 - Soycrafters Association of North America (SANA) is established in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The idea was Steve Fiering’s, who is also the host. 70 makers of soyfoods attend. Each fills out a form giving their company name, address, phone number and tofu sales. Many photos are taken. Larry Needleman (of Bodega, California) is elected the first director. On 13 Sept. 1981 it is renamed Soyfoods Association of North America.

1978 Sept. – Larry Needleman sends out a news release announcing the founding of the Soycrafters Association of North America and separate leaflet about its proposed goals, activities, etc. He gets a nice reply and congratulations from Dr. Kenneth L. Bader, CEO of the American Soybean Association. The news release is also published in magazines such as Whole Foods, East West Journal, etc.

1978 Oct. – Morinaga Milk Co. in Japan starts to export their tofu in aseptic Tetra Brik cartons worldwide. They issue a color recipe booklet to accompany each carton.

1979 Jan.The Book of Tofu: Food for Mankind. Condensed, revised and updated, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi, is published by Ballantine Books ($2.95).

1979 Jan.Whole Foods magazine (Berkeley, Calif.) publishes an entire issue on soyfoods. The issue, titled “The food of the future” begins: "Why devote an entire issue of Whole Foods to the subject of soyfoods? Soyfoods are a rapidly growing part of the natural foods industry...The bringing of the 'Soyfoods Revolution' to the natural foods industry is the work of individuals,…”

1979 Feb – White Wave of Boulder, Colorado, launches Soya Rice Tempeh, America’s first multi-grain tempeh and the first to contain rice.

1979 early – There are now 13 commercial tempeh shops in operation in the United States, 1 in Canada, and 4 in Europe (all in the Netherlands) (Shurtleff & Aoyagi 1979, p. 148-49).

1979 March 15-18 – “The Soycrafters Association of North America was offered the free use of a booth at the New Earth Exposition in San Francisco from March 15-18. The booth was manned by Bill Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi, Larry Needleman, and friends from Quong Hop Tofu Company. Over fifty-thousand people attended the exposition and an estimated twelve thousand visitors stopped by the booth and tasted free samples of Creamy Tofu Dip and slices of Tofu Burgers and Teriyaki Tofu, all prepared by Quong Hop. Over six thousand 'What is Tofu?' pamphlets were given away and Bill Shurtleff gave two one-hour slide presentations about soyfoods, protein, and world hunger on the main Exposition stage to an audience of about four hundred. Down the aisle, the Gilman Street Gourmet had a large booth where over three thousand tofu burgers were sold while The Farm [Farm Foods] sold delectable soymilk ice cream (Soy Ice Bean), tofu salad [like an eggless egg salad], and tofu cheesecake” (Soycraft, summer 1979, p. 4)

1979 April 12 – The Wall Street Journal runs a front-page story titled “Good old bean curd is suddenly popular, but you call it tofu: Longtime food of the Orient now is providing protein to American vegetarians,” by William M. Buckley.

1979 April – Richard Leviton of Colrain, Massachusetts, writes a 65 page report titled “Itinerary and notes from trip to the Midwest in March-April to study soyfoods and soybeans.” He visits new soyfoods companies, makes new contacts and finds potential advertisers. He is preparing to publish a new and expanded version of the soyfoods periodical now published by the Briscoes.

1979 July 1The Book of Tempeh: A Super Soyfood from Indonesia, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi is published by Harper & Row (New York, NY) in both regular (paperback) and professional (expanded hardcover) editions.

1979 July 26-29 - The Second Soycrafters of North America Conference: Producing and Marketing Soyfoods, is held at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. It is organized by Richard Leviton. About 230 people attend. Over 50 workshops and lectures are presented on all aspects of the soyfoods industry. The conference attracts positive nationwide media coverage (Vegetarian Times, New Age Journal, Whole Foods, East-West Journal, etc.)

1979 July – The first issue of Soycraft, a real 60-page magazine (8½ by 11 inches, summer) is published by Richard Leviton of Massachusetts (64 p.). Major stories: The soyfoods deli. Of soybeans, the soil, herbicides and farmers – a visit to the Midwest Soybean Belt. Choosing soybeans for tofu-making.

1979 JulyTofu & Soymilk Production: a Craft and Technical Manual, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi is self published (336 p.).

1979 summer – Pesach Lazaroff introduces David Mintz to tofu. That summer Lazaroff spends more than 100 hours working with Mintz as a consultant; they work to develop a soft-serve tofu ice cream.

1979 Sept. – The Tempeh Works, founded by Michael Cohen in Greenfield, Massachusetts, starts making tempeh in a former gas station. It is the first U.S. company to set up shop in a commercial building strictly for the purpose of making tempeh. By Sept. 1981 The Tempeh Works was making 6,800 pounds/week of tempeh.

1979 Nov. – “Soycrafters – A New-Age Guild,” by Judith Rubenstein, published in New Age Journal (Boston). Excellent 3-page article.

1979The Tofu Cookbook, by Cathy Bauer and Juel Andersen, is published by Rodale Press (xix + 188 p.).

1979 – Svadesha Pflanzen-Feinkost, founded by Swami Anand Avadesha (Rűdiger) Urban, starts making nigari tofu and Herb Tofu (Kräuter Tofu) in Einwegig, West Germany. This is the earliest known tofu maker in Germany.

1980 Feb. – Leviton and Shurtleff issue a news release titled “Estimates of production and sales of tofu and other soyfoods in the USA.” It is the first attempt to gather such statistics. For example: 188 tofu companies, employing 680 people, used 13,500,000 lb of soybeans to produce 33,750,000 pounds of tofu that retailed for $33,750,000.

1980 Feb. – The second issue of Soycraft magazine (winter) arrives (64 p.). Akiko and Jeremiah Ridenour appear on the cover. Major stories: Second Soycrafters Conference report. Sanitary practices and soyfoods production. Tempeh – the soyfood with culture. Soyfoods: filling the burger gap.

1980 Feb. – By now Soycraft magazine and the Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) are subscribing to a press slipping service (probably Luce). This subscription continues until early 2001.

1980 Feb. – Plenty, a Third World development and relief organization run by The Farm in Tennessee, works with the people of Solola, Guatemala to open a solar-heated soy dairy. They make tofu and soy ice cream. Partial funding comes from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). A promising, original concept and model for taking soybeans and soyfoods to Third World countries.

1980 March 10Tempeh Production by Shurtleff and Aoyagi published by The Soyfoods Center (176 p. 8½ x 11 inches).

1980 March – Trader Vic (Bergeron), internationally famous San Francisco restaurateur, publishes a poster titled "Put a Little Tofu in Your Life," containing a drawing of a lovely Polynesian girl and names of tofu recipes served at his restaurants. Three major newspaper stories on his tofu cuisine follow.

1980 May 5 to Aug. 3. – Shurtleff and Aoyagi take “Soyfoods America Tour,” their 2nd national tour to introduce soyfoods. This trip had five purposes: (1) To introduce tempeh to America; (2) To promote the authors' newly published Book of Tempeh. Harper & Row, the publisher, paid most of the trip expenses; (3) For William Shurtleff to attend the University of Illinois Short Course in Soybean Processing; (4) To visit and study soyfoods companies in America; (5) To introduce people to the many advantages of a meatless/vegetarian diet.

On this trip they did 27 public programs, had 28 media interviews and appearances, traveled 9,000 miles, and found that tempeh was preferred by a ratio of 2 to 1 over tofu.

1980 May – Gary and Chandri Barat start selling soyfoods (Whipped Tofu Mousse Pie, Tofu Muffins, Tofu Spinach Quiche) at street fairs in New York City under the name Legume. During 1980 both Legume and Quong Hop & Co. in South San Francisco introduce tofu quiches (both sold frozen); these are America's first tofu entrees to be sold frozen.

1980 July 9-13 – The Third Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) Conference, titled “Soyfoods Showcase,” is held at the University of Illinois, Urbana. It is organized by Richard Leviton. About 250 people attend from 22 countries. It attracts extensive media coverage, in part because of the prestigious University. Luke Lukoskie of Island Spring is named chairman of the board of directors of the Association.

1980 July – The magazine Soycraft is renamed Soyfoods with this 3rd issue. It is still published by Richard Leviton in Massachusetts. This high-quality periodical is the world's first to have the word "soyfoods" in the title.

1980 July – Jolly Licks Ice-C-Bean is introduced by Mark Brawerman of San Francisco, California. Marketed and distributed by Jolly Licks, it is sold in six flavors. Later that month the product name is changed to simply Jolly Licks and the name of the marketer-distributor is changed to Pacific Trading Co. In Nov. 1982 Pacific Trading Co. was renamed Living Lightly.

1980 JulyThe Book of Miso, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi, is published in Germany as Das Miso-Buch: Nahrung fuer alle. Band 1 by Ahorn Verlag (266 p.).

1980 Aug. – “Everfresh Silken Tofu” made by Morinaga in Tokyo, Japan is being sold at Ralph’s (a supermarket chain) in Los Angeles.

By early 1981 Morinaga has sent Mr. Seishiro Ikegami to set up an office in San Jose, California, as part of the Beech-Nut California Co. By 1983 about 80% of Morinaga’s tofu is sold at Japanese/Oriental food stories.

1980 Sept. 24The New York Times publishes a story titled “A couple on a tofu mission in the West,” by Lorna J. Sass. About the work of Shurtleff & Aoyagi, authors of The Book of Tofu.

1980 Sept. - The sushi "boom" in California begins when the very popular TV miniseries and epic drama Shogun, based on the novel by James Clavell, created a great interest in traditional Japanese culture among Americans. With the sushi, they drank Japanese beer and saké. In America, beer is usually served with peanuts. But, true to tradition, Japanese restaurants served edamamé, free of charge, with the beer. Atsuko Kanai of Mutual Trading Co. recalls: “It was a mass sampling of the edamamé without people having ordered it! So the success of sushi, Japanese beers, Japanese saké, and edamamé, are all tied in together.”


1980 Oct. – Richard Leviton starts publishing the Soycrafters Association of North America Newsletter. Printed on the front and back of 1 legal-size piece of paper, folded crosswise into fourths, it is a new benefit of membership in SANA. The first story in this issue, “Introducing,” states: "With this newsletter, SANA begins a monthly communication format to fill in the spaces between issues of Soyfoods magazine. This letter is mailed only to the soycraft industry and SANA members at no charge, and will report on important news that can't wait for the next issue of Soyfoods. Please forward suggestions or information for the letter to: SANA, Richard Leviton, Director, 100 Heath Road, Colrain, MA 01340 (413-624-5591).” One section is “Equipment hotline” where people can buy and sell.

1980 Nov. 1 – First Soycrafter Apprenticeship Program begins at Island Spring, Vashon, Washington (state). Conceived of and directed by Luke Lukoskie, each program lasts 21 days, strongly emphasizes practical experience, supported by books, periodicals, and tapes. Six programs per year. Costs: $20 non-refundable registration fee plus $500 individual tuition; $400 per person group rate for two or more from the same business.

1980 Nov. 28 – Shurtleff and Leviton sign a contract concerning a “Soyfoods Mailing List.” Both signatories will add names in various categories, it will be computerized by Bob Spivack of Parallel Procedures Co., San Francisco, and used primarily by Soyfoods magazine and newsletter. This list proves very valuable in coming years.

1980 Dec. – Farm Foods starts a national ad campaign for Soy Ice Bean (ice cream) with full-page color ads in national magazines: New Age, Whole Foods, East West Journal, and Vegetarian Times.

1980 Dec. – Seth Tibbott of Turtle Island Soy Dairy starts making and selling tempeh out of Hope Co-op, Forest Grove, Oregon, about 20 miles west of Portland, Oregon.

1981 Feb. – Aros Sojaprodukter in Orsundsbro, Sweden, founded by Ted Nordquist and Tim Ohlund, starts making tofu; an early European tofu company.

1981 June – Mintz’s Buffet, a kosher Jewish deli in upper New York City, launches Tofu Time Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert in Carrot-Raisin, Chocolate, Vanilla, Walnut, Maple-Walnut, Peach, Apple, Apricot-Rum, and Peanut Butter-Chocolate flavors. By July 1981 it has been renamed Tofu Time Tofu Ice Kream. Both are soft-serve style.

1981 June – Between Dec. 1975 and June 1981 Wm. Shurtleff writes 22 articles about soyfoods for national U.S. magazines (e.g. East West Journal, Vegetarian Times, New Age). In addition Mother Earth News published a “Plowboy Interview” and many long excerpts from The Book of Tofu). These helped to introduce soyfoods to America.

1981 July 8-12 – The Fourth Annual Soycrafters Association Conference, titled “Soyfoods in America,” is held at the Colorado State University. It is organized by Richard Leviton. About 270 people attend. A Great American Tofu Pie Bakeoff is held and ten tofu cheesecakes are submitted. The first prize winner is Sally Sheppard of Salt Lake City, Utah.

1981 JulyThe Book of Tofu, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi, is published in Germany as Das Tofu-Buch: Nahrung fuer alle. Band 2 by Ahorn Verlag (288 p.).

1981 summer – Issue No. 5 of Soyfoods magazine arrives. The first four issues bore the subtitle The Journal of the Soycrafters Association of North America on the cover and title page. This was discontinued with this issue No. 5 because of lack of financial support from SANA; it became Leviton's private venture. Only eight issues were published between summer 1980 and August (summer issue) 1984. Leviton wrote most of the articles, sold the ads, and arranged and paid for the publishing of all issues except the last.

1981 Aug. – Tofutti is first sold at Mintz’s Buffet, a kosher Jewish deli on Third Ave. in Manhattan’s chick Upper East Side. Developed by David Mintz (and Pesach Lazaroff) this was the product that made soy ice creams famous and attracted huge amounts of free media publicity.

“Mintz, the caterer, loved ice cream but he couldn't serve dairy products in his kosher delicatessen. So he made his own frozen dessert with tofu.”

1981 Sept. 13 – The Soycrafters Association of North American (SANA) board of directors meets at the home of John and Valerie Robertson, in Walnut Creek, California. The board decides (unanimously) to change the name of the association to Soyfoods Association of North America to broaden its scope and base of support.

That evening a party is held at the home of Shurtleff and Aoyagi. The vegetarian meal is prepared by Akiko and a photo is taken.

1981 Oct.Cook with Tofu, by Christina Clarke published by Avon Books (223 p.).

1982 March – Auenland Tofu und Soja Produkte (Prien-Chiemsee, Germany), founded by Peter Wiegand, starts to make 7 tofu products from day one: (1) Tofu Pizza, Tofu; (2) Apple Tart, or Tofu Slices; (3) Tofunafish Salad or Tofu Salad; (4) Tofu Mayonnaise; (5) Tofu Burger (Ready-to Eat, Vacuum Packed); (6) Auenland Tofu; (7) Baked Tofu Sandwich. Peter had learned how to make tofu at Wildwood Natural Foods, Fairfax, California.

1982 March – Cauldron Foods Ltd. of Brisol, England, founded by Philip Marshall and Peter Fagan, starts making: (1) Tofu: Soy Bean Curd; (2) The Bristol Vegetable Burger (Meatless Tofu Burger); (3) The Bristol Chilli Burger (Meatless Tofu Burger); (4) The Bristol Nut Burger (Meatless Tofu Burger).

Big increase in European soyfoods companies; there are now eleven.

1982 May – Public schools in Hawaii are granted permission to use tofu in meals.

1982 MaySoyfoods Directory and Databook (1st ed.), by Shurtleff and Aoyagi published by Soyfoods Center, the first book of its type listing all soyfoods companies and industry and market statistics, 21 pages. Based on many phone interviews with company owners. Second edition published in June as Soyfoods Industry: Directory and Databook, 52 p.

1982 MayCook with Tofu, by Christina Clarke is 2nd runner-up in R.T. French's Tastemaker awards for cookbooks.

1982 May – Clearway Tofu sponsors the first Mother's Day Tofu Fair in Santa Cruz, California, with tofu recipe competition, music, and prizes.

1982 June – Vitasoy USA runs color display ads for soymilk on San Francisco buses.

1982 June 16The New York Times runs an article on Dieter Hannig, Director of Food Research for Hilton Hotels. His many tofu recipes on microfiche are sent to 86 Hiltons worldwide.

1982 June – Metta Tofu Products in Denman Island, B.C., Canada, introduces Frozen Buddha soymilk ice cream.

1982 June – Haarmann & Reimer debuts flavors for tofu and okara at IFT convention in Las Vegas.

1982 June – Royal American Foods is launched in Kansas City, Missouri, with $1 million startup capital to sell TVP entrees, tofu-like products via multi-level marketing system.

1982 June – Granny Goose Potato Chips does extensive radio advertising in California for a new potato chip. Ad makes frequent, positive reference to tofu. First national radio ads mentioning tofu.

1982 June – Farm Foods presents Ice Bean at American Booksellers Convention at Anaheim, California, along with previews of their new tofu cookbook.

1982 July 7-11 – The Fifth Annual Soyfoods Association of North America Conference, titled “Soyfoods Come West,” is held at the University of Washington, Seattle. It is organized and run by Richard Leviton. There is an expo with 18 exhibitors.

1982 July – The term “Dairy free” first appears in a leaflet titled “Tofutti: Dairy free,” created by Mintz’s Buffet of New York City.

1982 July – “Discover Tofu” published by Cosmopolitan magazine.

1982 July – Farm Foods receives a U.S. trademark for "Ice Bean" as a soy ice cream.

1982 July – Bob Davis of Light Foods excites NNFA convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, with debut of Light Links, the world's first tofu hot dogs.

1982 Aug. – Tofutti begins to be sold outside Mintz’s deli in New York City, including at a number of the city’s most stylish eateries – such as Bloomingdale’s and Zabar’s.

1982 Oct. – Legume Inc. has its first of many public stock offerings (IPO); raises $100,000 from sale of stock plus $100,000 from a loan. Legume thus becomes the first of the new wave of soyfoods companies to be publicly owned. In Nov. 1983 Legume raised $600,000 more, two-thirds from sale of stock and one-third from debt.

1982 Oct.Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler published by The Book Publishing Co., Summertown, Tennessee.

1982 Nov. – Thomas Karas und Ingeborg Taschen start making SoyaStern Tofu in Siegburg, West Germany. The company is renamed Soyastern Naturkost GmbH in Dec. 1985.

1982 – Rodale Research Center in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, publishes an excellent 25-page report titled "Fresh green soybeans: Analysis of field performance and sensory qualities," based on two years of research [May 1980 to Dec. 1981]. It identifies eight varieties found to be exceptional in both field and sensory qualities and gives the address of the seed company from which each can be purchased. Rodale Press (publisher of Organic Gardening & Farming magazine) also did pioneering work in introducing green vegetable soybeans to Americans, with at least 23 articles or books on the subject between 1962 and the present.

1983 Feb. 6-8 – Sixteen soyfoods companies exhibit at the Natural Foods Expo. in Anaheim, California. A new trade association named Soyfoods Association of America (SAA) is formed; it is basically a restructured version of the original Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA), which was founded in July 1978 and which now ceases to be active. SAA elects a new board of directors; Michael Austin is chosen new Executive Director and Gary Barat of Legume becomes new President. Fourteen companies pledge $12,000. Headquarters established in New York City.

1983 March 10Soyfoods Industry and Market: Directory and Databook 1983 published by Soyfoods Center, accompanied by glossy flyer and catalog of professional publications and services.

1983 March 14 – Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, in Bulletin 810 "Quality of Tofu and Other Soy Products," reports high bacterial and coliform counts. A virtual expose, revealing the tofu industry's erratic quality control, it gets wide media coverage and hurts sales of New England and New York tofu companies.

1983 March – Hinode Tofu Co. starts major tofu ad and coupon campaign, with full-page ads in four national magazines. The most extensive national publicity ever done for tofu, it triggers a lawsuit from a rice company over the Hinode brand, with which Hinode Tofu Co. is subsequently forced to part.

1983 April 27-30 – Six soyfoods companies exhibit at Whole Life Expo in San Francisco, as part of Soyfoods Association's booth. Shurtleff presents a speech and color slide show.

1983 May 8-11 – Hinode Tofu Co. exhibits five flavors of Tofu Parfait at the prestigious and influential Food Marketing Institute convention in Chicago, a major national supermarket convention, attended by 20,000.

1983 May 9 – Dr. Hwa L. Wang of USDA NRRC speaks on "Tofu and Tempeh as Potential Protein Sources in the Western Diet" at the American Oil Chemists' Society symposium on "Potential New Protein Sources" in Chicago.

1983 May 16 – Quong Hop & Co. introduces the first Soy Deli cooler display case to Raley's supermarkets in Reno (Nevada) and Sacramento (California). In July they introduce the idea to Safeway supermarkets in California. By August there are Soy Delis in ten Safeway supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1983 May 24 – Wm. Shurtleff leaves for China for three weeks to study soyfoods, sponsored by Danish Turnkey Dairies; the first trip for this purpose since Dr. A.K. Smith of the USDA went there in 1949. Shurtleff writes a 75-page report on Soybeans and Soyfoods in China: 1949-83. After China, Wm. and Akiko Shurtleff spend 3 weeks studying the burgeoning soymilk industry and market in Japan.

1983 June – Worthington Foods introduces Tofu Garden Patties, developed for the health food market as part of a larger new line of natural food products, all sold under the Natural Touch brand. This is a new trend for the company and they commit money to promoting it.

1983 JuneQuantity Tofu Recipes for Institutions & Restaurants, by Gary Landgrebe published by Soyfoods magazine and Fresh Press.

1983 June – Soyarei-Erich Wallner Tofu starts making tofu in Trauma, Austria. By early 1984 the company had merged with Tofurei Ebner – which made tofu, marinated tofu, tofu ice cream, and tofu Burgers; it was renamed Soyarei Wallner Ebner and had moved to Baden bei Wien (Vienna).

1983 July 25 – Soyfoods Association meeting in Denver, Colorado. Tom Timmins, president of Tomsun Foods Inc. (one of the companies seriously affected by negative publicity on tofu quality) is asked to be head of the Soyfoods Association's Standards Committee, and to appoint people to work with him on the development of standards, especially tofu standards. In October he sends a 4-page survey letter concerning soyfoods standards to the 18-person Soyfoods Association Standards Committee he has appointed.

1983 July – NNFA show in Denver. Eden Foods surprises the natural foods industry by launching designed-for-America Edensoy in plain and carob flavors. Made in Japan by Marusan-Ai and exported by Muso, it is packed in a 6-ounce retort pouch.

Eden Foods is the first Caucasian-American company to import soymilk, and their gamble soon pays off; sales skyrocket, sparked by an extensive magazine advertising campaign. Between Sept. and Dec. 1983 over 1 million packs are sold. A host of competitors rush to follow Eden's lead... and many of them go to Muso. Eden objects.

1983 Aug. 15 – Soyfoods Center makes the first photocopy of the entire Log of the Dorsett-Morse Expedition to East Asia, 1929-31, 6,170 pages. The only original is owned by the American Soybean Assoc. in St. Louis, Missouri.

1983 Aug. – Farm Foods serves Ice Bean soymilk ice cream at the American Soybean Association convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

1983 Sept. – Legume in New Jersey, in their second public stock offering in 15 months, raises an additional $400,000 ($300,000 net).

1983 Sept. 21 – New Ten Speed Press edition of The Book of Miso, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi published. Extensively revised, it shows miso consumption in the U.S. has increased 300% since 1975.

1983 Oct. 9 to Nov. 14 – Richard Leviton travels to Europe as a consultant for the American Soybean Association. Gives six speeches on soyfoods in Italy, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Hungary. The 50-minute speech in Italy is about the soyfoods industry in the USA, presented to 150 members of EUVEPRO, the European Vegetable Protein Association. Leviton studies soyfoods throughout Europe, the first representative of the American soyfoods movement to do so. He reports that virtually all tofu in Europe is vacuum packaged. On Oct. 28, ASA Belgium Office expresses interest in sponsoring a European Soyfoods Conference and a European Soyfoods Newsletter. Leviton writes a 56-page report on the trip.

1983 Oct. – New England Soy Dairy starts to sell its tofu under the Tomsun brand.

1983 Oct. – The world's first spray-dried tofu is introduced by Clofine Dairy & Food Products of Linwood, New Jersey. St. Peter Creamery first began spray-drying soymilk powder in late 1984 and tofu in the summer of 1985, under the Oberg patent.

1983 Oct.Kikkoman: Company, Clan, and Community, by W. Mark Fruin (358 p.) published by Harvard University Press as part of their series Studies in Business History.

1983 Oct. – Major reorganization of The Farm in Tennessee. It is no longer a cooperative. Every participant must pay his/her own way. All workers earn wages. The soy dairy sells its tofu and soymilk to Farm residents. Farm Foods becomes an independent, for-profit corporation.

1983 Oct. – Pauline Six-Chan, founder of Premier Foods in Leuven, Belgium, starts making Tofu Tart/Cheesecake and promoting tofu and other soyfoods in Belgium.

1983 Nov. 19 – House Shokuhin Kogyo, a major Japanese food company, invests $2.5 million in Hinode Tofu Co. in Los Angeles as part of a joint venture to expand tofu production.

1983 Nov. 25 – Dr. Clifford W. Hesseltine of the USDA NRRC receives the award of the Third Class of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan in recognition of the meritorious services he has rendered: proving the safety of Japan's traditional fermented foods (miso, shoyu), training Japanese scientists, and promoting technical cooperation in the field of food fermentation between the United States and Japan.

1983 Nov. – Hymowitz and Harlan's “The Introduction of the Soybean to North America by Samuel Bowen in 1765” is published in Economic Botany. This brilliant piece of historical research pushes the introduction date back 39 years, and shows that by the late 1760s Bowen, in Georgia, was making soy sauce and exporting it to England. It also credits Benjamin Franklin with the earliest known reference by an American to tofu, in 1770.

1983 Dec. – New England Soy Dairy, in a half-page article in Inc. magazine, is named as one of America's 500 fastest growing small private companies.

1983 Dec. – Inari Trading Co. in Michigan develops a delicious Christmas Soynut Sampler with seven flavors of Super Soys, including yogurt-coated, carob-coated, and butter-toffee. Runs a full page color ad in Soybean Digest.

1983 Dec. 8 – Tofu Time Inc. in New York raises $3.2 million ($2.4 million net) in their first public stock offering (IPO), to finance national marketing of Tofutti soy-based ice cream.

1983 Dec. – Soyastern starts to make tofu in West Germany. By 1987 they are the country's largest tofu manufacturer, making 4,000 kg/week.

1984 Jan. – A highly influential 10-year, $150 million study released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Washington, D.C. proves for the first time a direct relationship between high blood cholesterol and the risk of heart attack, the nation's number one killer (Time magazine. March 11).

1984 Jan. – Legume, Inc. launches an all-natural line of cholesterol-free low-calorie Italian and international gourmet tofu-based frozen entrees in stylish full-color packages: Tofu Tetrazzini, Cannelloni Florentine, Vegetable Lasagna, Tofu Bourguignon, Sesame Ginger Stir-fry, Stuffed Shells Provencale, Tofu Manicotti, and Tofu Lasagna.

1984 March 8 – Soyfoods Association of America (SAA) members have 12 pages of impressive color advertisements and information about soyfoods and the Association in Natural Foods Merchandiser, in preparation for the NFM Anaheim Natural Foods Expo in March. Full-page color ads by Legume, Erewhon shoyu, Vitasoy, San-J, Tofutti, Edensoy, and Pure & Simple soy sauce.

1984 March 11-13 – At the Natural Foods Expo at Anaheim, the Soyfoods Association organizes the first Soyfoods Pavilion, a 16-booth cluster of soyfoods companies and products, which is the hit of the Expo and a show of strength for the industry. Lots of delicious free food draws throngs from the 9,000 Expo attendees.

1984 March 11 – At Anaheim, Vitasoy launches its first designed-for-America soymilk, in natural, coconut, and chocolate flavors, each sweetened with maple syrup, and imported from Hong Kong. Many subsequent eye-catching, health-oriented full-page color ads are run in national health magazines.

1984 March 29 – First draft of the Tofu Standards, 15 pages double spaced, is compiled by Shurtleff. Timmins allocates $2,000 to retain two Washington, DC, attorneys who are specialists in foods and regulations to assist the committee in developing professional standards. The draft is circulated to 38 people who are asked to respond to a poll on 14 key issues.

1984 March 29 – The term “second generation” products is first applied to soyfoods by Wm. Shurtleff in the new tofu standards. A computer-related term indicating one step more advanced, it quickly replaces the term “secondary,” which has a slightly negative connotation.

1984 March – American Soybean Association's Belgium Office publishes the first issue of Soya Foods, a 6-page newsletter edited by Michael Martin, Protein Market Development Manager. It will be issued three times a year in English, French, Dutch, and Italian. This is a completely new direction for ASA in the Western world... but it doesn't last long.

1984 April 13 – Richard Leviton resigns as co-director of Soyfoods magazine and decides to discontinue his active involvement in the U.S. soyfoods movement. He plans to go to England to write a novel about King Arthur; he leaves in late April.

1984 April 20Tofu, Tempeh, & Other Soy Delights, by Camille Cusumano published by Rodale Press. It is widely and positively reviewed by national media.

1984 April 27 – The term “soymilk” is legalized for use in Canada, after a lengthy and expensive court battle by Victor Food Products. The court ruled that this is the “common and ordinary term” for the product, used since about 1918 in scientific articles and commerce. Thus it cannot be squelched by dairy interests.

1984 April – New England Soy Dairy, America's largest Caucasian-run tofu manufacturer, changes its name to Tomsun Foods, Inc.

1984 June – Migros, Switzerland's largest supermarket chain, launches Tofu Nature, its own brand of tofu, made at Conserves Estavayer S.A., with widespread publicity and excellent product information on both tofu and soybeans. It is sold in the same section as dairy products and eggs. The launch is considered a great success; supply is not able to catch up with demand until late December.

1984 July 9 – “Its Trendy, Tasty and Tofutti” (2/3 page) by J.D. Reed published in Time magazine (U.S. circulation 4.3 million). Probably the biggest media coverage for tofu in U.S. history. Tofutti hits the big time!

1984 Aug. 9 – Last issue of Soyfoods magazine (No. 10) arrives, with its first color photo on the cover. 7,000 copies printed at a cost of $11,200. Doug Fiske of Encinitas, Calif., a professional editor and publisher, did a fine job.

1984 Sept. 27-28 – First European Soyfoods Workshop held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolski, organized by the American Soybean Association's Belgium office. ASA reports attendance as 105 people from 14 countries, but participants report a maximum of 50 participants. Talks on tofu, soymilk, tempeh, distribution, and microbiological standards, are all later published in the Proceedings. There is a large Expo with soymilk equipment from Alfa-Laval and Soya Technology Systems prominently featured. A very successful event, and another ASA first!

1984 Oct. 15 – “Here Tofutti, There Tofutti,” a full-page, very positive article with 2 color photos published in Newsweek magazine (U.S. circulation 3 million).

1984 Oct. – Westbrae Natural Foods launches Malted's, billed as “thick and rich non-dairy soy delights.” Marketed like a milkshake and imported from Japan in a foil pouch, they come in three flavors: vanilla, carob, and cocoa-mint.

1984 Oct. – A three member team from Plenty Canada spends one month in Sri Lanka, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), studying the country's soyfoods program. They learn, teach, and introduce tofu ice cream.

1984 Nov. 21 – After years of searching, William Shurtleff, with help from Nancy Florida in Java, discovers an 1815 reference to tempeh in the Serat Centini, from the Court in Solo, Java. This pushes the earliest reference to tempeh back 60 years and has it originating in Indonesian rather than in Dutch culture.

1984 Nov. 30 – America's first Tofu Standards are issued by the Soyfoods Association's Tofu Standards Committee, in part to help stem the rising tide of products bearing the name “tofu” that contain little or no tofu.

1984 Nov. – Galactina, a Swiss manufacturer of soymilks since 1969 (they make Vita Drink / Enteroform, a soymilk sold to in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors to the dietetic and pharmaceutical markets for tube feeding), starts test marketing tofu in Swiss supermarkets. An attractive recipe booklet is attached to each packet, which is pasteurized for a 6-week shelf life.

1984 Dec. – Excellent, 19-page cover story on "Soymilk and Soyfoods," published in the prestigious Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 1984 is the Society's 75th anniversary.

1984 Dec. – A poll of readers by Vegetarian Times magazine finds that 53.1% of readers used tofu one or more times during the past 7 days; 29.4% used it 3 or more times.

1985 Feb. 21Tofutti and Other Soy Ice Creams: Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Industry and Market, by Shurtleff and Aoyagi published by The Soyfoods Center. Two volumes, 352 pages. This is the first study of the rapidly emerging soy ice cream market, and of Tofutti.

1985 Feb. 27 – “Tofu Products May Be In, but Its Fans Wonder if There's Tofu in the Products” by Trish Hall published in The Wall Street Journal. Second major exposé of so-called ‘tofu ice creams’ (such as Tofutti and Gloria Vanderbilt Glace), which contain only a token amount of tofu, as a marketing gimmick.

1985 May 9 – Soyfoods Center installs Revelation database manager software on an IBM PC for developing a computerized database on soy. By July 31 we finish keying all 6,677 file cards (3x5 inches) into this database. Our library is now computerized. By Aug. 30 our library is ready for use by the public.

1985 May 31 – Barricini Foods acquires Farm Foods, which then becomes a trade name for Barricini's natural / health foods line of non-dairy frozen desserts, including the pioneering product, Ice Bean, and Barricini Tofulite.

1985 May – Morinaga, one of Japan's largest dairy companies, establishes Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc., a subsidiary with offices in Los Angeles, to focus on promoting their long-life (aseptically packaged) tofu in America.

1985 July 31 – Tofu Time's sales of Tofutti increased more than sevenfold last year to $17,114,886 as compared with $2,361,391 for the previous year. Net income increased nearly 100-fold to $2,006,451.

1985 Aug. – The DE-VAU-GE soymilk plant in West Germany starts production. Built by STS, with 4,000 liters/hour of soymilk capacity, they make Granose and GranoVita brands.

1985 Sept. – Soyfoods Center introduces SOYA, a computerized bibliographic database on soybean utilization, history, nutrition, processing, marketing, and production. Contains 18,500 references from 1100 B.C. to the present.

1985 Oct. – Soygurt, a cultured soymilk yogurt, launched by Cream of the Bean, Inc.

1986 Jan. – The first major soy cheese to hit the market is Soya Kaas – a landmark product. It was developed and introduced by Richard McIntyre of Soya Kaas Inc., a subsidiary of Swan Gardens Inc. Marketed exclusively by American Natural Snacks of Florida, it long remains America's most popular cheese alternative.

1986 Feb. – Jofu, a tofu-based, non-dairy, nonfermented, yogurt-like product, sweetened with fruits, launched by Tomsun Foods International of Greenfield, Massachusetts. The product is a hit, grossing nearly $400,000 in its first 32 weeks on the market.

1986 Feb. – Barricini Foods has its first public stock offering. Raises $1.5 million, gross, to use in marketing Tofulite and Ice Bean soy ice creams.

1986 May. – Nasoya's new million-dollar automatic tofu-making system, imported from Sato Shoji in Japan, begins operation.

1986 July – A Roper poll in the U.S. finds that tofu is the “most hated” food. 35% of a sample of 2,000 adults checked it on a list of foods said to be disliked, ahead of liver (34%), yogurt (29%), Brussels sprouts (28%), and prunes (24%). Results do not vary significantly by age, but tofu dislike is somewhat less among those with higher incomes. The poll results are very widely publicized, and are even the subject of a question on the TV program Jeopardy (in early 1988) – and its rerun! These findings suggest both a widespread awareness of tofu and a split image: Some like it and others don't.

1986 Sept. 9 – American Soy Products Inc. plant dedicated in Clinton, Michigan. A $10 million joint venture between Eden Foods and four Japanese companies (Kawasho, Marusan, Muso, Seikensha), construction on the plant began in Oct. 1985. It will make Edensoy soymilk in Tetra Brik cartons. The first products are shipped in November.

1986 Dec. 1 – White Wave of Boulder, Colorado, acquires Soyfoods Unlimited, a tempeh manufacturer of San Leandro, California. This makes White Wave America's largest tempeh manufacturer.

1986 Dec. – Tomsun Foods International nets about $3.45 million in its first public stock offering (IPO). Most of the funds will be used for sales and marketing of Jofu, and to repay $800,000 in debts. Total Tomsun sales in 1986 were about $3.1 million.

1987 Jan/Feb – SoyaTech (Bar Harbor, Maine) starts publishing Soya Newsletter, with six issues per year, in an 8-page, 8½ by 11-inch format.

1987 – Reiko Weston, a Japanese woman who owns Fuji-Ya, a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, decides she wants to try growing edamame in Minnesota rather than paying more for an imported product. The same business savvy that earned her the titles of U.S. and Minnesota 'Businesswoman of the Year' sparked research in 1987 by Jim Lambert of the Jameson-Williams Company into the viability of raising this new crop. Unfortunately, Weston died shortly before the first year's crop was harvested. Jameson-Williams steadily increases their production of edamame from 7,000 pounds in 1988 to the 350,000 pounds in 1990. In Nov. 1990 Lambert describes Jameson-Williams as “the only commercial producer of edamame in the U.S.” He has experimented with hundreds of edamame varieties.

1988 Jan. 8 – Peter Golbitz purchases the venerable Soya Bluebook from the American Soybean Association. It had been founded in 1947 as a directory of organizations in the soybean industry.

1989 Sept. – Sixty-five books on tofu have been published in the Western World since 1970. To qualify, the work must be more than 48 pages long, must have the word "tofu" or its equivalent in the title, and must be written in a non-Asian language.

The best sellers among these books have been The Book of Tofu by Shurtleff & Aoyagi (1975, Ballantine Books, Autumn Press, and Ten Speed Press, about 450,000 copies sold in English editions and 9,000 in foreign editions), Tofu Cookery by Louis Hagler (1982, The Book Publishing Co., about 175,000 copies sold), The Tofu Cookbook by Cathy Bauer and Juel Andersen (1979, Rodale Press, 105,500 copies sold, still in print), Cook with Tofu by Christina Clarke (1981, Avon Books, 57,500 copies printed; still in print), and Tofu, Tempeh, & Other Soy Delights by Camille Cusumano (1984, Rodale Press, 25,688 copies sold; out of print). These best-sellers have sold a combined total of 822,700 copies, and all tofu books have probably sold over 1 million copies.

1988 SeptThe Book of Tempeh, by Shurtleff & Aoyagi, is published in Germany as Das Tempeh-Buch: Nahrung fuer alle. Band 3 by Ahorn Verlag (256 p.).

1990 March - Peter Golbitz, founder of Soyatech, Inc. (Bar Harbor, Maine) starts publishing Soya International, a quarterly magazine in a 30-page 8½ by 11-inch format with a glossy cover. Only 3 issues were ever published. The last one, in Dec. 1990, contained only 8 pages.

1990 June 26-27 – The National Cancer Institute sponsors the first workshop on the anticancer effects of soy. Titled “The Role of Soy Products in Cancer Prevention,” it had two objectives: (1) to evaluate the role of soybeans, food products derived from soybeans, and specific components of soybeans in the dietary prevention of cancer and (2) to recommend research initiatives and approaches for further studies of the effect of soy intake on human cancer risk. The meeting was chaired by Stephen Barnes and organized by Mark Messina. Many prominent scientists presented research papers. This was a key event in awakening interest in the health benefits of soy.

1990 Aug. 31 – Vitasoy (headquartered in Hong Kong) acquires Nasoya Foods Ltd. of Leominster, Massachusetts. Owned by John Paino and Bob Bergwall, Nasoya has annual sales of $7.0 million and is one of America's leading tofu manufacturers. "Nasoya brand tofu products command over 90% market share on the East Coast. The company produces over 6 million lbs. of tofu per year and packages pasteurized fresh tofu with an extended shelf life." Paino and Bergwall will continue in their present roles as President and Vice President of Production at Nasoya.

1991 June - Yamato Flight Kitchen of Burlingame, California, starts serving edamame on Japan Airlines flights from San Francisco to Japan.

1991 Aug. 5 - An article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota) states that Jameson-Williams company has been renamed Minnesota Edamame Co. The Nishimoto Trading Co. of Tokyo likes the taste and look of these green soybeans so much that they decided last week to place more than $100,000 worth of their bagging and packaging equipment in the Minnesota Edamame plant.

1992 May 8 – Mark Messina, PhD, leaves the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to do research and write scientific articles about the role of soy products in cancer prevention – and to join the soyfoods movement (Messina 1990).

1992 June – The Soyfoods Association of America (SAA) names Virginia (“Ginny”) Messina as executive director. She replaces Leslie Harlow, who served in that capacity for two years in Bar Harbor, Maine. Messina is a registered dietician with a master's degree in public health nutrition from the University of Maryland.

1992 June – Many parrots owned by Richard and Valerie James of Whangerei, New Zealand, begin to die inexplicably. They make every effort to determine the cause of these deaths, and finally come to believe that soybean meal in their bird feed has caused the deaths. This is the beginning of the anti-soy movement.

1993 July – Mr. Shoan Yamauchi sells the rest of his ownership in House Foods & Yamauchi, Inc. to House Foods of Japan for about $2 million.

1993 May 27 – Vitasoy (headquartered in Hong Kong) finalizes the purchase of Azumaya Inc. of South San Francisco – the largest tofu maker in northern California.

1993 JuneThe Soy Connection, a 4-page newsletter with articles by health professions, research updates and recipes, begins to be published for dietitians and nutritionists by the United Soybean Board (Chesterfield, Missouri). It soon expands to 6 and then 8 pages.

1993 Oct. – Cauldron Foods, (part of the Hero Group of companies) the UK's leading producer of tofu and chilled vegetarian products, has opened a new production facility and company headquarters at Portishead, Bristol. The 25,000 square foot factory space, a £1.5 million investment by the parent company Hero, is located in the Portishead Business Park; it includes a new custom-designed tofu production line that uses the latest computer control and CIP (Cleaning-in-Place) equipment. The plant is capable of producing a wide variety of vegetarian foods. Cauldron now sells around 1,000 tonnes a year of tofu products and has an annual turnover of £2.5 million, according to marketing director Nigel Horley.

1994 Jan. – Peter Golbitz, founder of Soyatech, Inc. (Bar Harbor, Maine) starts publishing Bluebook Update, a quarterly newsletter, in a 4-page 8½ by 11-inch format; it is available free of charge to all who subscribe to or are listed in Soya Bluebook, which is also published by Soyatech, Inc.

1994 Feb. 20-23 – First International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease, is held in Mesa, Arizona. Organized by Mark Messina, PhD, an expert on soy and nutrition, it is sponsored by the United Soybean Board. About 200-225 people attended. 34 papers by various scientists are presented.

The proceedings are published in the Journal of Nutrition (March 1995, Supplement, 567S-808S).

1994 AprilThe Simple Soybean and Your Health, by Mark and Virginia Messina and Kenneth R. Setchell is published by Avery Publishing Group Inc. (xii, 260 p.).

This is the best book on the nutritional value of the soybean and soyfoods written in the last 25 years. It contains a wealth of new information from scientific sources on phytochemicals (isoflavones, genistein, etc.) in soybeans. The authors present complex ideas in an accurate yet easy to understand manner.

1994 May 27 – Tak Kimura ("Mr. Edamamé"), a food broker from Concord, California, introduces Eda Mame, America's first refrigerated, ready-to-eat edamamé (in the pods) – first sold at Whole Foods Market in Berkeley, California. 8 ounces of precooked, lightly salted green soybeans are packed in a plastic tray with a clear film lid by Yamato Flight Kitchen of Burlingame, California. In Oct. 1994 the first local supermarket to carry Tak's product was Mollie Stone's, an upscale supermarket with six stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. In Feb. 1998 Safeway supermarkets in Northern California become the first large supermarket chain to carry this product, again with Tak Kimura as the broker. Wholesale sales grew from $18,000 in 1994 to more than $540,000 in 1998. In 1998 the market for edamame in the USA (especially on the West Coast) exploded!

1994 July 1 – Minnesota Edamame is renamed SunRich Foods. Their 1994 edamame crop is a record 750,000 lb - but still not enough to meet demand.

1995 June – Pulmuone (pronounced PUL-mu-wun), the largest natural foods manufacturer and the largest tofu manufacturer in Korea, builds a tofu factory in South Gate, California and begins to manufacture firm soft, and extra soft tofu tofu. The company name here is Pulmuone U.S.A., Inc.

1995 Aug. 3 – “Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids,” by James W. Anderson et al. is published in the prestigious New England J. of Medicine 333(5):276-82. Aug. 3.

This summary of 38 scientific studies is probably the most significant and influential article on the health/medical benefits of soy protein published to date. It begins: “Ingestion of vegetable protein in place of animal protein appears to be associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (1,2); this effect may reflect decreases in serum cholesterol concentrations (3).”

1995 Aug. – The first issue of the U.S. Soyfoods Directory is published by Jane Ade Stevens and Roger Stevens for the Indiana Soybean Development Council. Subtitle: “A listing of over 270 companies in the U.S. who produce foods made from soybeans.” An important, much-needed innovation. Contents: Glossary of the different soyfoods and soy ingredients (alphabetical). Soyfoods companies by product (e.g., names of all companies that make miso). Company directory (alphabetically by company name, with address, phone, fax, contact person, names of products made, classification (e.g. "Consumer products"). Soyfoods companies by state (California has by far the most). Professional associations and industry information resources. U.S. soybean facts. Soyfoods directory survey.

The fourth and last printed and bound issue was published in 1999. But it continued to be available at www.talksoy.com.

1995 Oct. – The Higher Taste (Maker; Portland, Oregon, and Seth Tibbott of Turtle Island Foods (Distributor; Hood River, Oregon) introduce Tofurky – a meat alternative resembling turkey. However the history of the product is amazingly complex and goes back (sort of) long before this date.

The following number of Tofurkys were sold: 800 in 1995, 1,500 in 1996, 18,000 in 1997, 45,000 in 1998, and 63,000 in 1999. As of 2019 the product continues to thrive; 400,000 sold in 2018.

1995 Nov. – The first issue of SIN Newsletter is published by the Soy Information Network of Whangerei, New Zealand (editor: Dave Woodhams. Funded by Richard and Valerie James). This newsletter deals largely with issues related to phytoestrogens in soybeans, misinformation about them, and attempts by the U.S. soy industry to prevent critics from pointing out possible health dangers. Issue no. 2 was published in Feb. 1996.

1996 Jan. 15 – Silk, America's first soymilk sold refrigerated in a typical milk carton (gable-top, Pure-Pak) is introduced by White Wave of Boulder, Colorado. It is made in Canada, formulated in California, then shipped to White Wave in tanker trucks. This product revolutionizes the U.S. soymilk market.

1996 May/June – Monsanto's Roundup Ready(R) soybeans are first planted commercially in the United States. They have been genetically modified so that the soybean plants are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (brand name Roundup(R)).

1996 Sept. – Monsanto's Roundup Ready transgenic (genetically engineered) soybeans are harvested from an estimated 1.2 million acres of U.S. farmland. They begin to enter into the food supply – unlabeled. There is a great outcry in Europe (especially in England and Germany) by consumers over loss of freedom of choice concerning food - but hardly a peep from the USA.

1996 Sept. 15-18 – The Second International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease, is held in Brussels, Belgium, and organized by Mark Messina, PhD. Proceedings are published in the American J. of Clinical Nutrition, Dec. 1998 Supplement (p. 1329S-1544S). Nearly 400 professionals attend.

1996 Oct. 30 – Odwalla, a fresh juice manufacturer and distributor, is informed that their unpasteurized apple juice may be contaminated with an especially virulent strain of E. coli strain O157:H7 (pronounced Oh-157-H7). Odwalla immediately initiates a recall, but one baby dies and 66 people in 3 states get sick. Three years earlier, in January 1993, a similar but more severe outbreak had occurred at Jack-in-the-Box in Seattle, Washington; 4 children died (from kidney failure) and 700 people became ill - from eating undercooked hamburgers. These two incidents may have major implications for the soyfoods industry – since unpasteurized tofu is a prime target for E. coli contamination.

The first big consequence is seen when Kroger, a major supermarket chain in the Midwest, announces in late 1996, that it would no longer sell unpasteurized tofu.

1996 – There is growing interest in the health benefits of the phytochemicals in soybeans - especially genistein. Four areas of potential benefits have been identified, and they are in a “horse race” as scientists investigate more deeply: 1. Relief of risk of cardiovascular disease, especially heart disease. 2. Relief of menopausal symptoms. 3. Improvement of bone health and relief of risk of osteoporosis. 4. Relief of cancer risk of some sites – especially prostate cancer. But most media have tended to hype these health benefits, far beyond what the science justifies.

1996 – During the past year or two, Soyfoods Center has been receiving a growing number of calls from people who ask “How can I get more soy into my diet?” Never before have we heard people ask a question like this. These people have heard about the many health benefits of consuming soyfoods regularly but they don't know what foods would suit their tastes and diet. Soyfoods appear to have a bright future.

Also this year, for the first time, the state soybean associations and boards take the lead (passing the Soyfoods Association of America) in promoting soyfoods in America. The leading states are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri.

Also this year (1996), the Chemopreventive Branch of the National Cancer Institute concluded that genistein (the primary isoflavone in soybeans) is one of four plant compounds with superior anticancer activity.

Also this year there is a rapid rise of interest in and sales of meat alternatives – many based on soy.

1997 March 4 – Morinaga Nutritional Foods' new tofu plant in Tualatin, Oregon holds its official grand opening. Mori-Nu Tofu, previously made in Japan, starts to be made in America for the first time. The plant, 65,000 square feet worth about $15 million, is on the same property as Pacific Foods of Oregon, but in a separate building.

1997 March 12 – House Foods America Corporation holds the opening ceremony for America's largest tofu factory, in Garden Grove, California; the company closes its tofu plant in central Los Angeles. The new fully automated, state-of-the-art, 130,000 square foot plant cost $21 million, and will more than double the company's tofu production capacity to 150,000 pounds/day, from 70,000 in the old plant. The old factory has been operating at full capacity for years. The new plant will have three tofu production lines, and is located on 5 acres of land – which gives plenty of room for expansion.

1997 Sept. – Nasoya Foods (owned by Vitasoy since Aug. 1990) finishes moving into a much larger, state-of-the-art $13.5 million plant (125,000 square feet) in Ayer, Massachusetts, from its former location in Leominster. The first Vitasoy brand soymilk ever made in America starts to be shipped from the plant in mid-September. Nasoya's offices have now been moved to Ayer from Leominster, but tofu is still being made at the plant in Leominster.

1997 Sept. – Trader Joe's starts to carry Edamame (frozen in the pods, imported from China by Seaside Farms – renamed Seapoint Farms in June 2000).

1998 June – WholeSoy Co. of San Francisco (Ted Nordquist) launches Creamy Cultured Soy (soy yogurt) in 3 flavors. In about 2001 the product is renamed WholeSoy Soy Yogurt.

1998 Sept. – Imagine Foods of Palo Alto, California, the natural foods leader in nondairy beverages, launches Soy Dream (soymilk), the company's first soy product. They support the product with an extensive and very creative advertising campaign.

1999 Oct. 26 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes a health claim stating that “consumption of 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving, as a part of a healthy diet, low in saturated fats and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.” This claim soon appears on the front of many products that meet these requirements. It generates major public interest.

During the next year, large numbers of new soyfood products (some of rather poor quality) appear on the market bearing this claim. This claim soon propels the soyfoods industry to new heights. Existing companies are growing rapidly, and many new companies (including some of America's biggest food companies) are entering the market with new products.

1999 Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 – Third International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease, held in Washington, DC.

Proceedings published in the J. of Nutrition.

2000 Jan. 8 – The Kerry Group (of Wisconsin and Iowa) purchases Solnuts, a pioneer manufacturer of dry-roasted soynuts, in Hudson, Iowa.

2000 Feb. – Kraft Foods Inc. (Illinois) purchases Boca Burger Inc., America's third largest maker of veggie burgers, after Worthington Foods and Gardenburger.

2000 June 13 – Martha Stewart, on her popular nationwide TV program Living, has a very positive segment on edamamé.

2000 July 14 – Lightlife Foods Inc. (of Turners Falls, Massachusetts) is purchased by ConAgra, Inc., a $25 billion food company based in Omaha, Nebraska – for an undisclosed amount. Lightlife's plant, employees, and management team will stay in place. Lightlife is a leading maker of vegetarian meat alternatives, with 150 employees and about $25 million in annual sales.

2000 July – WholeSoy Co. (Ted Nordquist) introduces WholeSoy Glacé: Soymilk Frozen Dessert in 4 flavors. This is the best soy ice cream seen to date.

2000 Dec. – Sanitarium Foods of Australia (Seventh-day Adventist) acquires the 47% of SoyaWorld owned by Sunrise Soya Foods (Vancouver, BC, Canada).

2000 Trends: (1) This year, for the first time, soymilk has become a mainstream American beverage. As of May, White Wave Silk soymilk is sold in 24,000 supermarkets nationwide. Edamamé (green vegetable soybeans) have gone mainstream in California, and are rapidly becoming popular on both coasts of the USA.

(2) In the United States and Europe, the tide seems to be flowing increasingly against genetic engineering of foods and food plants. More and more companies in the natural foods industry are labeling their products as ‘non-GMO’ or ‘GMO-free’ or ‘No GMOs.’ Monsanto has stopped its efforts to develop genetically engineered soybeans for food use and focused its attention instead on livestock feeds. It now seems likely the genetic engineering of plants has a future, but not in the area of foods – at least not in developed countries.

(3) While pro-soy articles (mostly about health benefits) continue to increase, so do anti-soy articles on the Web and Websites. The loudest anti-soy voices are those of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig of the USA (they believe traditional fermented soyfoods – such as miso, shoyu, natto, and tempeh – are good, traditional non-fermented soyfoods – such as tofu, soymilk, and edamamé - are not good, and modern soy protein products – such as soy protein isolates, concentrates, and textured soy flour – are the worst of all, being highly processed with chemicals such as hexane solvent). They have their own pro-meat agenda.

(4) As we are about to enter a new century and a new millennium on 1 Jan. 2001, soyfoods appear to have a bright future, worldwide. This past year has seen more activity and interest in, and media coverage of, soyfoods than at any time in the history of the United States.

2001 June 12 – The Hain Celestial Group acquires Yves Veggie Cuisine (Vancouver, BC, Canada).

2001 Aug. 24 – Wildwood Natural Foods (Fairfax and Santa Cruz, California) and Midwest Harvest, Inc. (Grinnell, Iowa) merge to form Wildwood Harvest, Inc. Iowa Agricultural Finance Corporation (IAFC) invests $3.3 million in the new company, and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) invests an additional $700,000. This investment will be used to build and equip a 20,000 square foot soyfoods plant in Grinnell and to remodel and equip another 20,000 square foot soyfoods plant in Watsonville, California.

2001 Oct. – The Coca-Cola Co. acquires Odwalla, Inc. of California for $181 million. Odwalla has annual sales of about $130 million, mostly in fresh, refrigerated juices plus some delectable soy beverages.

2001 Nov. 4-7 – Fourth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease held at San Diego, California. General chairpersons and proceedings editors: Stephen Barnes and Mark Messina. In March 2002 the proceedings are published as a supplement to the Journal of Nutrition.

2002 Jan. 1 – The Kerry Group (of Wisconsin and Iowa) creates Nutriant as its new nutritional division; into Nutriant it merges Solnuts and Iowa Soy Specialties, LLC.

2002 May 8 – Dean Foods (America’s largest dairy company) announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 64% equity interest in White Wave, Inc. it does not currently own. The price of this 64% was approximately $189 million, bringing Dean's total investment to approximately $204 million. White Wave had total sales of approximately $125 million during the 12 months ending 31 March 2002.

2002 Oct. 4 – Mr. Shoan Yamauchi, the most important tofu pioneer in the United States and Hawaii, dies in Torrance, California. He began making tofu in Hawaii in 1939 at a company that was started in 1923. In 1947 he and his wife came to Los Angeles, where in late 1947 they purchased the Hinode Tofu Co. at 6th St. and Towne Ave. This company, which is now named House Foods America Corporation (still in Los Angeles), is the 2nd oldest existing Japanese-American tofu manufacturer in the United States – after Ota Tofu Co. in Portland, Oregon.

2002 Oct. 21 – The USDA's National Organic Standards take effect.

2002 Dec. – Hain-Celestial buys Imagine Foods (maker of Soy Dream and Rice Dream in California) for $52 million. Imagine has annual sales of about $70 million.

2003 Jan. – ENSA, the European National Soyfoods Association is established. All members produce soyfoods from whole soybeans that have not been genetically engineered.

2003 April 26 – Soyfoods Center and H.T. Huang, PhD (an expert on the history of food and agriculture in China) finish a two-year project to translate into English all known passages that mention soy in the Chinese literature from 1100 B.C. to 1923 – from 236 different documents – and to make this information available in electronic form in the SoyaScan computerized database.

2003 Sept. 21-24 – Fifth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease, held in Orlando, Florida. Proceedings published in J. of Nutrition, 2004 May Supplement.

2004 Feb. – The excellent European periodical Soyafoods, edited by Heather Paine of England, changes its title to Soy & Health when the American Soybean Association stopped funding it. Past and current issues can be downloaded from the Soy Conference website www.soyconference.com.

2004 March – Bernd Drosihn says: The biggest development for soyfoods in Europe during the past 5-7 years is that soymilk has entered the mainstream market in several countries, driven mainly by Alpro (whose brand was changed to AlproSoya from Alpro 2-3 years ago), the main soymilk maker in Europe. AlproSoya is spending lots of money promoting soymilk and educating consumers about the health benefits of soyfoods. There are no health claims in Europe. Women, especially those in their 40s and 50s nearing the age of menopause, are the target of much advertising and educational material.

The three largest soyfoods markets in Europe (in total sales) are probably the UK, France, and Germany – in that order. But in terms of per capita consumption, the largest are probably the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany – in that order.

2004 April – Yamasa Corporation purchases San-J International (Richmond, Virginia).

2004 April – Pulmuone U.S.A. makes a significant financial investment in Wildwood Harvest Foods, Inc. In July the two companies announce their merger. Both tofu companies are based in California.

2004 April – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms that it is in the process of reviewing a petition for a health claim that suggests the consumption of soy protein-based foods may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. The Solae Company submitted the petition.

2004 June – "The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food," an article by Kaayla T. Daniel is published in Mothering magazine. Her unbalanced approach is to collect, often misinterpret, and publish in one place all the negative information she can find about soy.

2004 July 20 – Wildwood Natural Foods, Inc. and Pulmuone U.S.A. announce their merger.

2004 July – Soyfoods Center "publishes" on its Internet website (www.soyfoodscenter.com) the entire (previously unpublished) manuscript of its book History of Soybeans and Soyfoods, by William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi (2,500 pages). It is now available worldwide for all to use free of charge. Research and writing of this book began in Oct. 1980.

2004 – The anti-soy faction continues to have an active and one-sided web presence - and a negative effect on the growing interest in soyfoods. Leaders are Sally Fallon, Kaayla T. Daniel, Richard and Valerie

James, and a few others.

2005 Feb. The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, by Kaayla T. Daniel published by New Trends Publishing Inc. founded by Sally Fallon (Washington, DC; xviii + 457 p.). The first six pages of this book are filled with endorsements from Drs. Joseph Mercola, Larry Dossey, Russell Blaylock, Jonathan Wright, Kilmer McCully and many other physicians and scientists. This is the first entirely anti-soy book.

2005 March 14 – Steve Demos, founder of White Wave, Inc., and now head of WhiteWave Foods (a division of Dean Foods), is terminated without cause (forced out) by Dean Foods.

2005 July – Israeli Ministry of Health announces plans to recommend that young children limit soy products to one a day and advised that infants avoid them altogether. The French government recently advised that soy products not be given to children younger than age 3.

2005 Oct. 17 – Gardenburger Inc., the company credited with taking veggie burgers into the mainstream, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company will stay in business but become privately held; the name of the new owner is not yet known. The value of all Gardenburger shares is now zero.

2005 Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 – Sixth International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease, held in Chicago, Illinois. This is the first year that no conference proceedings were published. However a 52-page symposium program was published in Nov. 2005 by the American Oil Chemists' Society (Champaign, Illinois.

2005 Nov. 2. – Cauldron Foods Ltd. is acquired by Premier Foods, owner of Quorn. See: <cauldronfoods.co.uk/about>.

2005 Nov. – Yamasa Corporation purchases San Jirushi Corp. (Kuwana, Japan). San-J plans to build a new tamari plant next to their original plant (which has reached full capacity) in Richmond, Virginia.

During 2004-05 world production of palm oil reached 33.88 million metric tons to pass soybean oil (32.31) for the first time in history and to become the world's leading vegetable oil. Projections show this lead continuing to grow during the next two years (Source: 2007 Soya & Oilseed Bluebook, p. 348).

2006 Jan. 1 – The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) takes effect. Soybeans are the least prevalent of the eight allergens which this law says must be listed on labels.

2006 Jan. 17 – Soyatech (founded and owned by Peter Golbitz) is sold to HighQuest Partners, a management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

2006 March 15-17 – CERHR (Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction) expert panel meets in Virginia to discuss soy-based infant formula safety. They issue an important report.

2006 May – The Soy Nutrition Institute is founded. Mark Messina is executive director. The founding members (each of whom paid $10,000 to join) are: ADM, Solae, Cargill, White Wave, Revival, Monsanto, SANA, and the Soyfoods Council (Linda Funk, Iowa).

2006 June 23 – Vandemoortele Group, a large oilseed crusher of Ghent and the parent company of Alpro, Belgium, acquires SoFine Foods, a subsidiary of Heuschen & Schrouff and the largest tofu manufacturer in Europe.

2006 Oct. – House Foods (which owns and operates America's largest tofu plant in Garden Grove, California), opens a huge, brand new tofu manufacturing facility in Somerset, New Jersey. This enables them to deliver fresh, high quality, low cost tofu to the East Coast, Midwest, and Southeast markets.

2006 Dec. 11 – Hain Celestial Group (Melville, New York) acquires the assets of Haldane Foods Ltd. (Newport Pagnell, Bucks., UK) and its meat-free and non-dairy beverage business from Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM).

2007 Jan. 1 – Soyfoods Center (Shurtleff & Aoyagi) changes its name to Soyinfo Center. Its website is finished.

2007 March 6-8 – International Soy Utilization conference in Bangkok, Thailand. It is organized by: The Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University (INMU), ASA International Marketing (ASA IM), and the Soy Food Forum Southeast Asia (SFF).

2007 June 11 – The Hain Celestial Group completes its acquisition of the tofu and meat-alternatives business of WhiteWave Foods Co., a subsidiary of Dean Foods. The product line includes grilled and baked tofu, seitan, tempeh, etc. These products are expected to complement Hain Celestial's existing meat alternatives under the Yves brand in Canada and the United States. The White Wave tofu business generated sales of approximately $8 million in the last financial year. Dean Foods keeps Silk soymilk.

2007 Aug. 7 – SunOpta (incl. SunRich), headquartered in Canada, announces that it has acquired a soymilk plant in Heuvelton, New York, from ProSoya Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario). Allan Routh is president of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group.

2007 – The Non-GMO Project starts, and the first products to bear "the butterfly" reached the marketplace in early 2010.

2008 Jan. 2 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish their first digital soy history book on Google Books, free of charge. The title is History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in the Middle East (1910-2007). Each book contains many color photos and is free of charge. The book consists of records on this subject from their SoyaScan sorted in chronological order. Also in 2008 they publish history books on: Cooperative Soybean Processing in the United States (1923-2008); Soybeans and Soyfoods in Central Asia (1876-2008); Friedrich Haberlandt – History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods (1876-2008).

2009 June 15 – Vandemoortele N.V. (Belgium) and Dean Foods (Texas) announce an agreement whereby Dean Foods (owner of White Wave's Silk(R) soymilk) will acquire Vandemoortele's Alpro Division. The transaction's price is approximately 325 million euros [$400 million]. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2009. With its Alpro(R) soya and Provamel(R) brands, Alpro is the European leader in branded soy-based beverage and food products and had net sales of approximately 260 million euros in 2008. Alpro has five manufacturing plants in Europe – in Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, and employs approximately 750 people.

2009 June – SunOpta opens a soymilk/soybase plant in Modesto, California, about 5 minutes drive from the plant owned by the WholeSoy Co.

2009 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish seven free digital history books on Google Books. They are histories of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Mexico and Central America (1877-2009); Miso, Soybean Jiang (China), Jang (Korea), and Tauco / Taotjo (Indonesia) (200 B.C. to 2009); History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in South America (1882-2009); Edamame, Green Vegetable Soybeans, and Vegetable-Type Soybeans; Soybeans and Soyfoods in Africa (1857-2009); Mildred Lager – History of Her Work with Soyfoods and Natural Foods in Los Angeles (1900-1960); Clive M. McCay and Jeanette B. McCay – History of Work with Soyfoods, the New York State Emergency Food Commission, Improved Bread, and Extension of Lifespan (1927-2009).

For a complete list of these books go to www.soyinfocenter.com and search in the upper right corner.

2010 Jan. 21 – Alpro releases an excellent online cartoon video commercial titled "Great Ideas Often Take a Long Time to Sink in" as part of its "Join the movement now" campaign. It encourages people to change their diet by replacing meat and dairy by an alternative just once a week. If everyone in Europe did this, it would reduce global carbon emissions by 40 million tonnes (metric tons). That is more than the carbon emissions produced by a line of cars going around the world. Soy is not mentioned in the voiceover, but on the last panel we read that this video (lasting less than 2 minutes) was sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund and Alpro Soya. Note: Alpro Soya is now owned by Dean Foods.

2010 Oct. 16-19 – 9th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment, held in Washington, DC. A symposium program was published, but no proceedings were published. This was the last such symposium.

2010 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish four free digital history books on Google Books. They are histories of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Canada (1831-2010); Soybeans and Soyfoods in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (1770-2010); Soybeans and Soyfoods in Southeast Asia (13th Century to 2010); and Soybeans and Soyfoods in South Asia/Indian Subcontinent (1656-2010).

2011 June 27 – William Shurtleff, founder and director of the Soyinfo Center (Lafayette, California), is selected as the 2011 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Science and Technology Section (STS) Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences for his bibliography “History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Africa (1857-2009): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook.”

2011 July - Sprouted tofu starts to become more popular. Sprouting soybeans, among other things, before grinding them to make tofu, inactivates phytic acid.

2011 Aug. 1 – Lightlife Foods (owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Omaha, Nebraska) fires all of its brokers. A week later they fire the sales people who managed these brokers. This is consistent with their moves over the past 3 years to consolidate management of the brand in Omaha.

2011 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish ten free digital history books on Google Books. They are histories of: Erewhon - Natural Foods Pioneer in the United States (1966-2011); Artemy A. Horvath - History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods (1886-1979);

Li Yu-ying (Li Shizeng) - History of His Work with Soyfoods and Soybeans in France, and His Political Career in China and Taiwan (1881-1973); Henry Ford and His Researchers – History of Their Work with Soybeans, Soyfoods and Chemurgy (1928-2011); How Japanese and Japanese-Americans Brought Soyfoods to the United States and the Hawaiian Islands – A History (1851-2011); William J. Morse – History of His Work with Soybeans and Soyfoods (1884-1959); Tempeh and Tempeh Products (1815-2011); Fermented Tofu – A Healthy Nondairy/Vegan Cheese (1610-2011); Fermented Black Soybeans (165 B.C. to 2011).

The budget of the Weston A. Price Foundation (run by Sally Fallon) has increased 10-fold over the past decade. This gives them more power to criticize soy and to promote their agenda which includes raising and eating animals. All this information and their funding sources are on the website.

2012 May 1 – DuPont, which previously owned 72% of Solae, acquires full ownership of Solae by purchasing Bunge's portion for $440 million.

2012 Sept. 1 – Keith Spackler replaces Marty Reagan as the new CEO and general manager (GM) of AGP (Ag Processing Inc a cooperative).

2012 – Soyinfo Center publishes ten major digital books, mostly about fermented soyfoods, on Google Books. Each one contains many color photos and is free of charge.

2013 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish ten digital history books on Google Books. Most are about nonfermented soyfoods including soy ice cream, soymilk, tofu, and soy sprouts. Also: Early Named Soybean Varieties in the United States and Canada (1890-2013).

2014 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish eight digital history books on Google Books. The most difficult is Early History of Soybeans and Soyfoods Worldwide (1024 BCE-1923). Also one each on history of soybeans and soyfoods in China, Japan, and Korea.

2015 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish eight digital history books on Google Books. One each is about the history of soybeans and soyfoods in France, Germany, Spain & Portugal, the UK and Ireland, Austria & Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, Greece, and Eastern Europe (including all of Russia).

2016 May 9 – Pulmuone Foods Co., Ltd. (Fullerton, Calif.) completes the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Vitasoy USA Inc., which includes the Nasoya, Azumaya and San Sui brands in North America. This acquisition solidifies Pulmuone's position as the world's leading tofu company while strengthening its operations in South Korea, U.S., Japan and China.

2016 Nov. 24 – “Review – Soy and health update: evaluation of the clinical and epidemiologic literature,” by Mark Messina is published in Nutrients (8(12):1-42. Nov. 24; 439 refs).

2016 – The last Soya & Oilseed Bluebook is published by HighQuest Partners; it has been published once a year since 1947. They find they can make more money organizing and sponsoring conferences, so they lost interest in it.

2016 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish seven free digital history books on Google Books including two on soy proteins, and one each on Yamei Kin, lecithin, Germany (2nd ed.), Berczeller, and soybean crushing (to make soy oil and soybean meal)

2017 March 10 – Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) of Ontario, Canada, completes acquisition of Lightlife Foods, Inc. for $140 million.

2017 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish eleven free digital history books on Google Books including Regional Soybean Laboratory, USDA, Tennessee, North Carolina, Wm. Morse (2nd ed.), macrobiotics, biodiesel, and industrial uses.

2018 Jan. 29 – Maple Leaf Foods of Ontario, Canada, completes acquisition of Field Roast Grain Meat Co. for $120 million.

2018 Oct. 24 – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. of Ontario, Canada, forms a new plant-based foods company named Greenleaf Foods by combining its Lightlife Foods, Inc. and Field Roast Grain Meat Company brands. Based in Chicago, the new company will be led by industry veteran Dan Curtin.

2018 – Shurtleff & Aoyagi publish four digital history books on Google Books including Lenna F. Cooper, A.E. Staley Mfg. Co., Nitrogen Fixation, and Edgar Hartwig.

2019 June – The number of records in the Soyinfo Center’s computerized database (added one at a time) is now 105,770. A selection of these records will be formatted and used to make this book.

Among these records, those which are original and unique comprise the SoyaScan collection.

Between 1975 and May 2019 William Shurtleff conducted 2,503 original interviews (mostly about soyfoods and the history of soybeans), wrote 595 overviews, 19 editorials and 87 chronologies.

They exist only in this database – and in books on specific subjects published later from the database, free of charge on Google Books.

2019 June – Impact Bioenergy (Jan Allen) of Washington state has invented a digester which turns okara and whey into natural gas and fertilizer. For the first time in history tofu and soymilk plants can earn money from these two byproducts. The first soy installation, at Island Spring Organics in Vashon, WA, began operation on June 1.

Click here to download the full text to open and read book History of the Soyfoods Movement Worldwide (1960s-2019)