Apparently for some people it doesn't make sense that while most of Indonesians love to eat tempe, the country keeps importing soybean, its main raw material, since 1970s.
Yet, our friend Haryo Aswicahyono (@Aswicahyono) shows that our love for tempe is actually quite feeble. Our soybean and its related product consumption is only about 2.5 percent of total food consumption. But, if you insist, let's assume that tempe is a must dish most Indonesian households need to consume, why we import soybean?
That's probably a wrong question to ask. Tempe is widely available on our dining table (in other words, affordable for many of us) because we can import (cheaper) soybean, rather than produce them domestically -- not to mention that soybean itself originally is not a tropical crop.
Regardless you like it or not, our love for tempe can grow thanks to imported cheap soybean.