November 28, 2012 by Living Girl Living Foods
Nama Shoyu? Tamari? Bragg’s Aminos? Coconut Aminos?
May be you are feeling lost in a daze of brown salty soy sauces. A lot of these products are used in “raw” cuisine but may be they aren’t as pure as we had imagine.
I will be going over just how “raw” these products are, how they are brewed, the ingredients, articles I have found with health concerns, other options besides using a soy sauce substitute and I’ll let you know which product I personally prefer. This is going to be a rather long post, so grab a green juice, get comfty, have your favorite blanket and let’s go! 😉
Soy sauces of any sort make we worried. Just like I have mentioned in recent posts this is another attachment we as a society have with dead foods. Recreating them, we have destroyed ourselves and the environment with these obsessions. We have truly created a monster.
There is a bit of a twisted message living chefs put out there when using these products. Shouldn’t the naturally beauty, taste, and nutrients of the produce speak for itself? Why must there be this ghost of the past haunting us? Let’s let the past stay dead.
This is another one of those things that honestly torments me. I get worried that people will believe that raw isn’t good enough by itself. That some sort of cooked, salty, mysterious, ADDICTING flavoring MUST be added. This is no better than serving someone something healthy but pouring cheap table salt all over it.
Let’s go over these different brands of soy sauce and let you come to your own conclusions. If using these products actually helps people eat healthier (in whatever shape or form that is for you at this present moment) then I suppose it serves a purpose.
On Nama Shoyu’s label they say their product is, “100% organic raw unpasteurized soy sauce”. In Japanese the word “nama” means raw or unpasteurized. However, it is NOT WHEAT FREE. On the label it says it contains: organic whole soybeans, water, organic whole wheat, sea salt, and aspergillus oryzae (koji, seaweed).
There are some people out there who are being misled with products like this, numerous people believe that when they are eating a raw meal there is no wheat or soy. When going out to eat please feel free to ask your server if any wheat or soy is used. It may help you figure out why you may be feeling any discomfort after eating out.
Both Nama Shoyu and Tamari go through a similar product process in which yes, it does get cooked. The soybeans, rice, and so on must be cooked. This actually assists in the growth of bacteria, it has something to feed on.
Flavor wise, Nama Shoyu is stronger because it goes through a, “raw fermentation” thus creating more alcohol.
Here is a great site with the set by set processes conducted. It may be fermented and age in cedar but it is still as a matter of fact cooked.
Most soy based sauces are made with about 50% soybeans and 50% wheat, Tamari soy sauce is made from soybeans with just a little wheat or no wheat at all. On their bottle they will let you know if it is wheat free 😀 Tamari does not consider their product to be raw. San-J has a whole diagram showing the steps behind creating their brand of soy sauce. According to the label on San-J’s Wheat Free soy sauce the ingredients it contains are: water, soybeans, salt, alcohol. This brand also has options for organic and non-organic soy sauces.
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
This is a non-gmo product that contains 16 amino acids, on Bragg’s label their ingredients read as stated, “Ingredients: Our Bragg Liquid Aminos are made from health-giving, non-gmo soybeans and purified water.” Supposively this product has no alcohol, which I’m not sure how that works since from what I understand that is part of the bacteria, living process with soybeans. It is gluten free, free of chemicals, preservatives and artificial coloring.
Bragg’s has had consistent issues with this product over the years. Below are a collection of articles I have saved on my computer.
From the http://www.living-foods.com forum
Subject: RE: Bragg liquid aminos IS POISON
Author: Dave Klein, board moderator
Date: 08-06-1999 14:34
It looks like we finally got some proof from the Bragg company that the liquid aminos product is heat processed and made with hydrochloric acid. Salt apparently forms in its processing, plus glutamic acid which is the same poison which is in MSG. Many many raw fooders have apparently been lied to and duped by the Bragg who have until recently stated that the product is all raw and not processed with heat or chemicals. And many many folks like myself become ill very soon after ingesting the crap. Sea salt is less deadly than Bragg Liquid Aminos, but then I prefer tomatoes to get minerals salts in my diet when I want to enjoy salty flavors. Try adding sun dried tomatoes to salads too.
From the http://www.living-foods.com Forum
“My point” by Michael
After reading the speculations about Bragg Liquid Aminos posted on this forum and hearing horror stories from others (my sister talked with a man who said he quit using it because it gave him nightmares) I decided to just jump right out and ask the Bragg company themselves.
Decide for yourself if you feel like using it.
1. Is hydrochloric acid used at any time in the production of Bragg Liquid Aminos? I have been told that it is used to separate the aminos from the soybeans (like isolated soy protein) and gives it the salty flavor.
Yes, our product is hydrolized in the process.
2. Are you aware of the dangerous effects of glutamic acid within the human body? Do you plan on taking measures to remove glutamic acid from Bragg Liquid Aminos?
The glutamic acid is naturally occurring and cannot be isolated to remove it as an individual amino acid. In our laboratory results analyses show that the Liquid Aminos contain no monosodium glutamate.
3. If BLA is neither heat processed nor fermented, could you please explain why it does not turn rancid at room temperature as opposed to requiring refrigeration?
Our liquid aminos does go rancid if kept out of the cupboard or out of the refrigerator. We suggest storing in a cupboard or the refrigerator. It is the same reason ketchup or soy sauce, or jam, or peanut butter do not go bad if kept in the cupboard. Eventually they will all go bad.
Starting to get worried with all of this negative talk?
Here is a solution!
Some “Salty” Advice by Art Baker
Forget the Bragg Liquid Aminos and try this: Dehydrate celery and lemon. As the celery dries out it hardens and becomes thin like floss. Place both in a coffee grinder and pulverize into powder. The powder is very salty, with a slight celery flavor, making it a great addition to guacamole, salsa, raw soups, crackers, etc.
Also, for now, it looks like Coconut Aminos might be your best bet if you just can’t get yourself to get away from soy sauce.
Coconut Aminos by Coconut Secret
This product is certified 100% organic, raw, gluten-free, soy-free, has 17 naturally occurding amino acids (I’m still personally a little wary about this part) and uses a special sun dried, minerial-rich sea salt. On the bottle the ingredients contained are: organic coconut sap aged and blended with sun-dried mineral rich sea salt. Simple!
When comparing coconut tree sap and soybeans studies have shown that coconut sap contains up to 14 times the amino acid content of soy. Many soy sauces on the market are fermented by first soaking the soybeans in water and salt, cooking, and cultures of molds, yeasts, and bacteria to help catalyze the fermentation process. Sounds creepy right?
Coconut Aminos is a soy-free seasoning sauce made from coconut tree sap, it comes straight from the tree and is only blended with Coconut Secret’s own sun dried mineral-rich sea salt and aged, without the need for a fermentation booster or added water. As well, the majority of conventional soy sauces on the market are made with non-organic, genetically modified (GMO) soybeans. Long term use of unfermented soy-related products has led to an increase in soy allergies, a disruption in proper thyroid function, and an overload of estrogens in the body.
When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a highly nutrient-rich sap-like substance that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap is very low glycemic (GI of only 35), is an abundant source of amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral PH. Small batches ensure that organic Coconut Aminos, made from this natural sap, is a raw, enzymatically alive product that never exceeds the temperatures of an average summer day in the tropics.
I was personally stoked to see that someone finally talks about the salt in this product! Not all salt is created equal.
Here is some information I fished around the internet for about the salt used in Coconut Aminos.
The “Gran Molucas Sea Salt” used in Coconut Aminos, garners its name from the exotic, tropical island of Mindanao, the 2nd largest island in the Philippines. It is surrounded on all sides by converging Pacific Ocean waters ~ the Sulu Sea to the west, the Celebes Sea to the south, and the Philippine Sea to the east.
A local culinary heritage in Mendinanao, this unbleached, unrefined, naturally white sea salt, is fed only by the sun and the sea. It is hand-harvested by local salt producers working as their forefathers did, in their ancestral salt fields.
After many days of labor, the salt is then sun-dried (to evaporate excess moisture) in open-air cages lined with clay bricks. The result, is a destinctly flavorful and nutricious, mineral-rich, unrefined sea salt.
Note: Each hand-made batch may vary slightly in flavor and color. Due to the natural effervescence of this product, the contents may fizz when opened. Even though completely stable at room temperature for up to 3 years, if desired, you may refrigerate after opening.
I have had one of these babies fizz ON ME like a kombucha before & I personally keep mine refrigerated to help it stay alive and sealed tight so the healthy bacteria can stay inside 😀 When buying, please be careful to not shake this product too much! This is a fermented product, and I personally see that this fizzing is a way of showing just how alive this product it.
Just like kombucha and other fermented products they typically have good bacteria that aids with digestion, helps to stop or even prevent yeast overgrowth and contributes to friendly intestinal flora.
Coconut Secret recently changed the bottle top (no longer that metal material that rusts) and there is a proper vinegar style cap over the bottle so the sauce no longer comes pouring out like a waterfall. Below is a photograph of what I mean because I’m not really sure how to explain this well right now 😀
So even though I do not use soy sauce like products frequently every once in a while I will use Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos. It’s still a pleasure trap ingredient, but it is lesser of the evils, at least to me.
There are different brands or products that resonate with different people, just like some bloggers resonate with some readers and not others. Please choose what feels right to you. Do your research, ask questions, call companies, speak to chefs, waitresses, foodies about any concerns or thoughts you have about this product. You, I, we need to create the change we want to see in the world.
As a whole we have been following a herd into disease, before we know it we will be following the herd to our deaths.
If you are curious about other alternatives for condiments, oils, vinegars and so on to keep in your living vibrant kitchen I have a post titled, “5 Basic Raw Ingredients in Your Unbaking Cabinet,” that might be of assistance!
I am a certified living foods chef, pastry artist, instructor and educator 😀 If anyone is struggling a little to get things going, would like assistance, a little cheerleader, or a raw foods lesson, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can set up a video chat, if you live in the Southern California area we can do a class together, and for 20 days I will be in Rhode Island assisting people out there starting mid-December!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by my site, also thank yourselves for taking the time to actively take control of your health and well being. I hope you all enjoyed this post and have some ideas of your own on how to make a substitute for soy sauce. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉