Organic soybean paste

In an effort to follow the “real food challenge”, I have been trying to remove all processed foods from our kitchen.

Now, the first step was quite difficult to achieve thus I decided to start with:

Step 14:Avoid all packaged foods that contained more than five ingredients

According to Michael Pollan, author of “Food Rules” (blogged on 100 Days of Real Food):
“Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients. The specific number you adopt is arbitrary, but the more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is.

Note 1: A long list of ingredients in a recipe is not the same thing; that’s fine.
Note 2: Some products now boast, somewhat deceptively, about their short ingredient lists. Häagen-Dazs has a new line of ice creamed called ‘five.’ Great–but it’s still ice cream. Same goes for the three-ingredient Tostitos corn chips advertised by Frito-Lay–okay, but they’re still corn chips.”

I use soybean paste quite often especially to cook fish. Last week, we finished a brand of soybean paste I’d been sticking to all this while just because it had the English words “soybean paste” printed on it!

Keeping in mind the “5 ingredients” rule, I browsed the aisle on soybean pastes and found the following:

Soybean Paste Brand #1
Organic as noted by the “Green Food” logo. The cheapest brand among the three.

Soybean Paste Brand #2
Same brand as the above but the packaging is different. Slightly more expensive, I think. Can someone please help me translate the Chinese words?

Soybean Paste Brand #3
When I hovered for a bit too long at this aisle, one of the supermarket staff came up to me asking if I needed help. I told her I wanted to get a good pack of soybean paste. She recommended this box of organic soybean paste because the soybean had been fermented for 6-months.

According to her, this soybean paste is more fragrant and better because it had been fermented for such a long time.

If you look at the list of ingredients, you will find 6 ingredients listed with the last item expanded into several other ingredients. Taste-wise, we find that this brand of soybean paste is not as salty as the other brand I’d used. Yay!

Now, I’ve got to return to the supermarket aisle to see if I can find another brand of soybean paste that has only 5 ingredients listed.

Hmm…it’s not easy weaning ourselves from processed foods, isn’t it?

However, more and more people are going back to “real foods” – I hope that this would increase the demand for organic and unprocessed foods and bring down the prices of such healthy foods. That way, more people can enjoy good food for less!