“The World of Soy” due out soon

The World of Soy, a new volume of articles about the uses of soybeans in various parts of the world, is nearing publication. It is edited by Christine M. Du Bois, Chee-Beng Tan, and Sidney Mintz, and the publisher is the University of Illinois Press (UIP).

This is the result of a project that goes back to a panel on soybeans worldwide held at the 8th Symposium on Chinese Dietary Culture in Chengdu, China on 17-19 October 2003.

The panel was a special project, the papers being destined for a book and not the proceedings, and the presenters having a focus on soybeans. Some papers, like mine on soybean use in West Africa, had little to do directly with Chinese dietary culture – the central link of course being the origin of the crop, and the broader interest to the symposium being comparative aspects of use of soy among diverse cultures.

The book that is about to be published, as the individual papers in it, has evolved a bit from the original work five years ago. Among other things, there are additional contributions. Taken as a whole, the publicity notes that the book

discusses important issues central to soy production and consumption: genetically engineered soybeans, increasing soybean cultivation, soyfood marketing techniques, the use of soybeans as an important soil restorative, and the rendering of soybeans for human consumption.

Although the table of contents is not listed in UIP’s current publicity, Christine Du Bois kindly supplied me with it so I can repost here (I’ve modified the presentation slightly):

INTRODUCTION: The Significance of Soy – Sidney W. Mintz, Chee-Beng Tan, and Christine M. Du Bois

SECTION ONE: ACCEPTANCE OF SOY IN GLOBAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT

1. Legumes in the History of Human Nutrition – Lawrence Kaplan
2. Early Uses of Soybean in Chinese History – H. T. Huang
3. Fermented Beans and Western Taste – Sidney W. Mintz
4. Genetically Engineered Soy – Christine M. Du Bois and Ivan Sergio Freire de Sousa

SECTION TWO: ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDIES OF SOY’S ACCEPTANCE

5. Tofu and Related Products in Chinese Foodways – Chee-Beng Tan
6. Tofu Feasts in Sichuan Cuisine – Jianhua Mao
7. Fermented Soybean Products and Japanese Standard Taste – Erino Ozeki
8. Fermented Soyfoods in South Korea: The Industrialization of Tradition – Katarzyna J. Cwiertka and Akiko Moriya
9. Tofu in Vietnamese Life – Can Van Nguyen
10. Soyfoods in Indonesia – Myra Sidharta
11. Social Context and Diet: Changing Soy Production and Consumption in the United States – Christine M. Du Bois
12. Soybeans and Soyfoods in Brazil, with Notes on Argentina: Sketch of an Expanding World Commodity – Ivan Sergio Freire de Sousa and Rita de Cássia Milagres Teixeira Vieira
13. Soy in Bangladesh: History and Prospects – Christine M. Du Bois
14. Soybeans and Soybean Products in West Africa: Adoption by Farmers and Adaptation to Foodways – Donald Z. Osborn

CONCLUSION: Soy’s Dominance and Destiny – Christine M. Du Bois and Sidney W. Mintz

Appendix A. Scientific Names for Plants and Edible Fungi
Appendix B. More on Tofu in Chengdu

Altogether I think this is a very important volume. From a personal point of view I enjoyed working on the article I contributed. More on that in a later post.

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