Locally-made tofu can be a lot tougher to find than locally-layed eggs -- which is why I've been on a quest to find locavore-friendly tofu since 2006. If you've been on a similar search, I have good news for you -- if you live in California or New Jersey. House Foods America makes organic tofu in both New Jersey and Garden Grove., Calif. -- and the Garden Grove facility just got a new solar power system.
I got to see the 215kW photovoltaic solar electric system first hand earlier this week, when House Foods held an event in celebration of its green-powered facility. Garden Grove mayor William J. Dalton and Mayor Pro Tempore Steve Jones came to the event to take a look at the panels in action — and to taste the solar power-made tofu in dishes specially created by Chef Nori Sugie, former Chef de Cuisine at Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental, New York.
I know purists hope for 100% solar-power produced tofu made locally from locally-grown soybeans — but real life tofu eaters will have to settle for greener-than-most tofu. Though they cover a big chunk of the roof, House Foods new solar panels make just 10 percent of the energy used by the facilities. And though the tofu’s made locally -- at least for those in California and New Jersey -- the soybeans are grown mainly in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota for the west coast, and Ohio and Michigan for the west coast.
Still, partially solar-power produced tofu made near you using organic soybeans grown in the U.S. is pretty good, compared to most of the tofu out there. Do you seek out locally-made tofu for vegetarian protein?