ABOUT US

CHRONOLOGY OF SOYINFO CENTER

1. Introducing Soyfoods and Vegetarianism to the West: Popular Books

   
William Shurtleff, Director

 (1972 Oct. - 1979 July). Shurtleff lived in Japan (mostly) and traveled widely in Asia
    studying soyfoods from January 1971 to June 1978.

 

   
   
The Book of Tofu

 The Book of Tofu
    1972 Oct. 22 - First visit to Sangen-ya tofu shop in Tokyo. Mr. Toshio Arai
       begins to teach William Shurtleff the traditional art of making tofu.
    1972 Dec. 22 - Meet Nahum Stiskin of Autumn Press. Start to write tofu booklet.
    1973 Jan. 13 - Sign contract for The Book of Tofu with Autumn Press.
    1973 March 2 - Visit Sasa-no-yuki tofu restaurant in Tokyo.
    1975 Dec. 12 - The Book of Tofu* published by Autumn Press. Cover price: $6.95.
       * = Book illustrated by Akiko Aoyagi.
    1978 Dec. 22 - The Book of Tofu* published by Ballantine Books in a mass-market
       pocketbook edition. Cover price: $2.95.

   
The Book of Miso

The Book of Miso
    1974 Feb/March - Study miso and shoyu in Japan on trip with Bob Gerner, head of
       Westbrae Natural Foods.
    1974 May 7 - Start to write The Book of Miso, table of contents.
    1975 April - Autumn Press accepts idea of publishing The Book of Miso. Contract
       signed Aug. 18.
    1976 Sept. 23 - The Book of Miso* published by Autumn Press.

   

The Book of Tempeh
    1977 May - To Indonesia for one month of tempeh research.
    1978 Feb. 27 - Sign contract with Harper & Row.
    1979 July 14 - The Book of Tempeh* published by Harper & Row.

   

2. Working to Build a Soyfoods Industry and Movement in the Western World
            (1977 April - present)
      1976 April - William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi establish Soyfoods Center
          (named New-Age Foods Study Center until 17 Sept. 1980) in Tokyo, Japan.
      1976 Sept. 29 - 1977 Feb. 3 - Tofu & Miso America Tour. We do 70 public programs,
          many TV and radio interviews, drive our van 15,000 miles in 17 weeks.
      1977 April 5 - Establish Takai Tofu & Soymilk Equipment Co.
      1977 Aug. 16 - First Takai catalog of tofu & soymilk equipment published.
      1977 Aug. 16 - Miso Production* published by Soyinfo Center - the first book we
          self-published.
      1978 July 28-30 - The Soycrafters' Association of North America is founded in Ann Arbor,
          Michigan. William Shurtleff helps to organize the inaugural meeting, is a founding
          member, and a member of the first board of directors.
      1978 - Soyinfo Center starts to develop a mailing list (typed so as to fit on pressure
          sensitive labels) of all people who have purchased books or contacted us.
      1979 July 15 - Tofu & Soymilk Production* published by Soyinfo Center.
      1979 July - The first issue of Soycraft magazine is published by Richard Leviton, director of
          Soycrafters' Association in Massachusetts. Each mailing is based on the use of Soyfood
          Center's mailing list - free of charge.
      1980 March 10 - Tempeh Production* published by Soyinfo Center.
      1980 Sept-Dec. - Our mailing list of about 5,000 names and addresses, divided into 70 coded
          categories, is computerized by Parallel Procedures in San Francisco. This was done
          primarily to help Richard Leviton of Soycraft magazine.
      1981 Dec. - There are now 10,900 names on our computerized Soyfoods mailing list, rising
          to 13,800 names by May 1982.

3. Working to Anglicize Widely Used Japanese Words Related to Soy
      During our 1976-77 Tofu & Miso America Tour, we realize the importance of working to make
          common Japanese words, for which there is no good English equivalent, part of the English
          language. We do this through our writing, our speaking, and above all by working with the
          people at the Library of Congress in charge of the Library of Congress Subject Headings
          (LCSH), which are used for cataloging books in libraries nationwide.
      1985 July 3 – The unappealing term “bean curd” is officially changed to tofu. Over the next
          several decades we work to have to the word “bean paste” changed to miso, “tofu residue”
          changed to okara, “bean curd skin” changed to yuba, “soy bean cake” changed to tempeh,
          “green soybeans” changed to edamame, etc.
      We also work to introduce and popularize new English words and terms, many of which we
          coined, such as: Soyfoods, silken tofu (kinugoshi), grilled tofu (yakidôfu), tofu burgers
          (ganmodoki), deep-fried tofu pouches (aburagé), tofu cutlets (atsu-agé), dried-frozen tofu
          (Kôya-dôfu), Hatcho miso, barley miso (mugi miso), sweet white miso (shiro miso), etc.

4. Documenting the History of Soybeans and Soyfoods (1980 Oct. -  present)
      1980 Sept. 10 - Start to build what we hope will become a large library at Soyinfo Center
          with regular trips to the University of California at Berkeley library system
      1980 Oct. 22 - Start writing History of Soybeans and Soyfoods.
      1984 June 1 - History book manuscript is now completely in our word processor: 2,500+
          pages, 70+ chapters. In June 2004 it was posted on the Internet for all to use.
      1984 June 21 - Soyfood Center's annual summer intern program begins. Irene Yen, a
          Stanford student starting her senior year, is our first summer intern.
      1984 July 17 - History of Tempeh published - our first history book.

5. Studying the Soyfoods Industry and Market (1982 Sept. - present)
      1982 May 16 - Soyfoods Directory and Databook (1st edition) published. Renamed
          Soyfoods Industry & Market: Directory & Databook on 26 Feb. 1983. 3rd edition.
      1982 Sept. 10 - Soyfoods Labels, Posters, and Other Graphics published.
      1984 Feb. 25 - Soymilk Industry and Market published.
      1985 Feb. 22 - Tofutti and Other Soy Ice Creams published.
      1990 May 8 - Tofu Industry and Market in Europe published.
      1990 July 17 - Soymilk Industry and Market in Europe published.
      1994 Jan. - Soyfoods Industry and Market: Bibliography and Sourcebook published.

6. Foreign Language Editions of our Books Are Published (1980 -)
      1980 July - Das Miso Buch* (hardcover and paperback) published by Ahorn Verlag
          (Wolfgang and Gabriella Furth-Kuby) in Germany.
      1981 Aug. - Das Tofu Buch* (hardcover) published by Ahorn Verlag in Germany.
      1988 Nov. - Das Tempeh Buch* (hardcover) published by Ahorn Verlag in Germany - 6 years
          after the project started.
      1988 Nov. - New German pocketbook editions of Das Tofu Buch and Das Miso Buch
          (paperback) published by Goldmann Verlag.
      2006 Nov. – New Chinese / Taiwanese (complex character) editions of The Book of Tofu* and
          The Book of Miso* are published in Taipei, Taiwan by Persimmon Books.

7. Developing a Computerized Information Center on Soya (1980 Dec. - present)
      1980 Dec. 12 - Mailing lists of Soyinfo Center and Soyfoods magazine are merged and
          computerized by Parallel Procedures in San Francisco. 5,500 names in 50 coded
          categories.
      1983 Sept. 28 - Install first computer at Soyinfo Center, IBM-PC with 20 MB hard disk and
          VisiWord word processing software to use for writing our book on History of Soybeans
          and Soyfoods.
      1985 May 9 - Install Revelation database manager software for developing a computerized
          bibliographic database on soya.
      1985 July 31 - Finish keying all 6,677 file cards (3x5 inch) into our computerized database.
          Our library is now computerized.
      1985 Aug. 30 - Our computerized database, containing 9,500 bibliographic records, is now
          ready for use by the public.
      1986 Sept. 1-16 - The first of many trips to do library research at the USDA National
          Agricultural Library, Library of Congress, and National Library of Medicine -
          America's three national libraries, all located in and about Washington, D.C.
      1987 July 6 - Start entering Commercial Soy Products into our database.
      1987 Oct. 11 - Bibliography of Soymilk, from 1578 to 1987: With 1,584 References published -
          our first bibliography.
      1987 Oct. 19 - Coin the name SoyaScan, start using it to refer to our computerized database,
          and apply for a registered trademark, which we are issued on 19 July 1988.
      1993 Feb. - Install a Novell 5-user network to link our various computers.
      1995 Feb. 11 - We enter the 50,000th record into our SoyaScan database.
      2000 May 9 - We enter the 60,000th record into our SoyaScan database.
      2004 Oct. 3 – We enter the 70,000th record into our SoyaScan database.
      2006 Oct. 16 – We enter the 75,000th record into our SoyaScan database.
      2007 Jan. 1 – Soyfoods Center is renamed Soyinfo Center.

8. Developing a Soy Graphics Collection
      1980 – We start to systematically collect original (mostly color) labels, ads, sell-sheets,
          posters, and other graphics related to soyfoods and soy-based industrial products.
      1982 Sept. We publish the first in our “Marketing Soyfoods” series of books (in color from
          Aug. 2006) on specific soyfoods (tofu, miso, soymilk, soy sauce, tempeh, soy ice cream, soy
          yogurt, soy cheese, edamame, etc.).
      2007 Jan 1. We have about 4,000 color originals in our Soy Graphics Collection.

9. Developing a Website and Presence on the World Wide Web
      2001 June – Paul and Gail King of The Soy Daily (www.thesoydaily.com) start to host
          Soyinfo Center’s website, free of charge, as part of their own.
      2006 Nov. - Soyinfo Center starts to develop its own website (www.soyinfocenter.com).

10. Current Status of Computerized Information and Accomplishments- 2007 Jan. 1
      SoyaScan database now contains 75,700+ records from 1100 B.C. to the present, including
          62,800 published documents, 14,400 commercial soy products, 5,500 original
          interviews and overviews, and 5,300 unpublished archival documents.
      More than 78% of all SoyaScan records have a summary/abstract averaging 150 words
          in length.
      No. of records for soy documents published before 1900: 2,649
      No. of records for soy documents published 1900-1923: 5,334
      No. of records for documents published before 1970: 35,874 (47% of total)
      Thirty five major books in the series Bibliographies and Sourcebooks on Soya, produced
          from the SoyaScan database, are now available, published by Soyinfo Center.
      Soyinfo Center Research Library owns about 70,000 documents, almost all of which have a
          record in our SoyaScan database.
      SoyaScan Directory now contains the name, address, and phone number of 19,500
          people and organizations worldwide actively involved with soyfoods and
          soybeans. Each entry is coded to show the type of activity, e.g. 2A = Tofu manufacturers.
      ■ Our popular books on tofu, miso and tempeh, plus two nationwide tours (1976, 1980) and
          many popular articles and media appearances, were instrumental in developing widespread
          popular and media interest in soyfoods (and in the word and category “soyfoods”) throughout
          North America and the Western world.
      ■ Our three production manuals (tofu & soymilk, miso, tempeh) and Soyfoods Consulting
          Service have played a key role in establishing more than 450 soyfoods manufacturing
          companies in the Western world.
      ■ We published the first studies of the soyfoods industry and market (1982-90), established the
          baseline data now widely used, and pioneered what has become a thriving field of research.

11. Collecting and Publishing Information on Vegetarianism and Other Non-Soy Food
            Products That Can Replace Animal Products

      1991 Oct. - Start actively collecting information specifically on vegetarianism and veganism,
          and entering it into our new VegeScan database.
      1992 March 4 - Bibliography of Vegetarianism: 1,755 References from A.D. 1170 to 1992,
          Extensively Annotated published (360 p., large format, preliminary edition)
      2007 Jan. 1 - VegeScan database now contains 7,950 bibliographic records on vegetarianism
          and veganism from 238 B.C. to the present.

 

Best-Selling Books from Soyinfo Center

(English-language editions only, as of Jan. 2007)

Title                                                          Copies sold
The Book of Tofu .........................................  616,017
The Book of Miso ........................................  140,756
The Book of Tempeh ......................................  53,400
Tofu & Soymilk Production ..............................  6,290
Other ...............................................................  9,820

Total ............................................................  826,283