Veronica Mak, Sau-wa’s recent publication is a review on a new book - The Other Milk: Reinventing Soy in Republican China, written by Jia-Chen Fu. This book review appeared in the latest issue of China Review International.

Date: Feb, 10. 2020

This significant book offers a refreshing new approach to the study of China through a discussion of soybean milk, nutrition and nutrition scientists from the late 19th century to post-socialist China. Jia-Chen Fu has clearly put in a lot of efforts to produce a book that covers many areas. She analyzes food and nutrition scientists in relation to the Chinese modernization project and China’s relationship to global modernity and imperialism, and thus the book is about food, health, modernity and nation-building.
The concept of “reinventing soy” runs through the book in response to the questions of how the Chinese diet was defined as “an inadequate one that imperiled the nation and how a local foodstuff was reinterpreted, rediscovered, and reassigned social and scientific meanings in an attempt to solve the problem of inadequacy during the first half of the 20th century” (p. 5). The author views the history of soybean milk through the lens of local gazettes and other documentary records. The book is divided into seven chapters, preceded by an excellent introduction that sets out the historical and cultural issues.

Link to the book review: