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Tofu

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'''Tofu'''(Jp & Ch. 豆腐 ''toufu'', Ch. ''doufu'', Kor. 두부, Fr. tofou) is a common [[Asia]]n foodstuff comprised of processed [[soybean]] curd. Tofu, which originates in [[China]], is created by adding a coagulating agent, such as [[calcium]] [[sulfate]] ([[gypsum]] [[salt]]), to soymilk and then cutting the resulting mass into blocks. Different levels of firmness can be achieved by changing the level and type of coagulant; the firmest [[variety|varieties]] are obtained pressing the tofu between stone or metal plates.
Because of its high [[protein]] content and relatively low [[fat]] content, tofu is often used by [[vegetarian]]s and "health-conscious" individuals as a [[meat]] substitute. In [[American]] culture, it is commonly associated with the [[New age movement]], but in its native Asia this stigma is not attached, being only second in popularity to [[rice]].
Tofu is also high in [[isoflavone]]s, chemicals with similar structure and properties as the female hormone [[estrogen]]. This has led to fears of possible feminizing effects of tofu and other soy products.<ref>[http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53327 Soy is making kids 'gay',] linked via [http://schlafly.blogspot.com/2006/12/tofu-is-feminizing.html "Singular Values"]</ref> Other concerns are that tofu may promote dementia.<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/7490202.stm Tofu "may raise risk of dementia"]</ref>
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