Frequently Asked Questions
- Why don’t all Rhapsody products say “certified organic” on the label?
- Why do you use plastic packaging instead of glass?
- Can I recycle the plastic tempeh bags and amazake/rice milk bottles?
- Why are your products not labeled as kosher?
- What are those dark spots on tempeh about?
- Can I freeze tempeh, amazake, and koji?
- Do you use GMO (genetically modified) soybeans?
Why don’t all Rhapsody products say “certified organic” on the label?
Rhapsody Tempeh is a certified organic producer. Rhapsody’s facility is certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers, Vermont’s certifying agency. In order to get a product certified as organic we need to go through a stringent administrative procedure that checks the ingredients, certificates, and production process. Although these products also have high quality certified organic ingredients we choose not to go through the certification process at this point. We are working on getting them certified organic eventually.
Why do you use plastic packaging instead of glass for your rice milk and amazake?
In the quantities we would use it, the cost of glass would be too prohibitive, adding upto $1.50 to $2.00 to the product at retail level. Instead we use recyclable polyethylene containers (HDPE # 2). However, we are able to use glass for our miso.
Can I recycle the plastic tempeh bags and amazake/rice milk bottles?
Yes, the bottles are marked with the recycle symbol and all our plastics bags, plain or printed, are made from recyclable polyethylene.
Why are your products not labeled as kosher?
Although we use no animal products in our facility — never have, never will, and it is therefore practically speaking kosher — to go through the kosher certification process is something we are too small to afford.
What are those dark spots on tempeh about?
Tempeh is made by letting the Rhizopus Oligosporus mold do its work. This culture multiplies and spreads throughout the cooked beans by means of a mycelium it forms, creating the typical white cottonball-look of fresh tempeh. This mold excretes enzymes which digest the beans. At a certain point the mold reaches its maximum growth and signals that it’s time to create spores—just like plants eventually go from flower to seed. These spores are black and indicate that the tempeh has fermented to its peak. They are harmless, do not affect the flavor, and are just an indication that the tempeh was well fermented.
Can I freeze tempeh, amazake, koji, and rice bran (nuka)?
Tempeh and amazake freeze well, even repeatedly (though why not eat it fresh!). Koji is better kept refrigerated. It will last 2 years or longer but will loose some of its potency over time. Rice bran can be frozen to keep it fresh.
Tip: You can buy 2-pound packages of tempeh (saving money in the process), cut them up, freeze them, and pull as needed.
Do you use GMO (genetically modified) soybeans?
No! We use only certified organic soybeans, which means they can never be genetically modified. Too much is unknown about this relatively new technology, and frankly, we believe that humans should stay away from this way of manipulating plants. Tinkering with the building blocks of life is best left to our creator at this stage of human evolution.