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The Local Food Movement in Post-Nuclear Japan

Jun 6, 2011

by scampybunny handmade and vintage goods

shizu_author.jpgShizu Yuasa facilitates creative and journalistic projects in Tokyo. She publishes her own work and acts as a researcher and fixer for foreign journalists. She has been involved in producing and facilitating art exhibitions, festivals, and documentary and feature films.

I wake up at 7:30 and nudge my two-year-old. I prepare muesli and fruit for him, coffee for me. Then I open my laptop to check the news. These days there are two new tabs added to my morning browsing: one for the latest reports from Geiger counters around Tokyo, and the other for thermometers monitoring the Fukushima reactor containment vessels.

Two months have passed since our disaster grand slam. We’ve learned stuff we didn’t know or care about before: Iodine 131’s half-life and how to read mSv. A few days after the hydrogen explosion, the government raised the recommended environmental radiation exposure limits from 1 mSv to 20 mSv (which must mean our resistance just grew twentyfold, right?). There’s no way to know with any accuracy how contaminated the water we cook or bathe in is, much less the food we eat.

Japanese culinary culture has always been very particular about seasons and localities. At home or in restaurants, menus change weekly because we eat what’s fresh. Food is a way of celebrating the season: time and place.

Pushed by public demand and WHO standardization pressure, Japan revised its agricultural standards in 2000 to require fresh produce to be labelled with the name and place of origin. In addition, any “organic” title requires a third party’s certification, and labeling became mandatory for all genetically modified foods. Information technology surely helped producers, distributors, and retailers to improve the food-tracking system. Consumers can also look up further information online; for instance, many co-ops offer information services. By putting lot numbers on packages, you can find farm names, addresses, produce (breed variety), numbers of farmers, a farming plan, and if or when they use pesticides. Over 80% of respondents to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government 2008 survey said they were in the habit of checking either all or certain products’ country (or for domestic foods, prefecture) of origin. In general, people checked foreign foods for safety or authenticity; in general, Chinese foods have a bad reputation, and US beef still carries the stigma of BSE. We used to check domestic foods more for taste. Those days are gone.

Above-limit radioactive contamination (or, post-Fukushima, “revised”) has been reported from the northeast (Tohoku) to the Tokyo area, Kanto. Products which fail inspection are destroyed, but those beneath the regulated limits aren’t reported and are in circulation. Since customers don’t have any way to verify, rumor destroyed produce sales from all radioactive-affected areas. In April I often saw advertising, sometimes hand-written, above a spread of fresh veggies, appealing shoppers to “support the farmers!” of Tohoku or Kanto. These days the impact is less visible; produce is once again displayed without fanfare.

Japan has one of the fastest aging populations on Earth. My mom, a 60-something, tells me, “I’m going to die in 20 years anyway, and adults’ risks from contamination is minimal, so I buy from the farmers to support them.” As a mother of a small child, I can’t risk it. I choose fish from the western Japan Sea, milk from the far north, and veggies from the far south. Of course, who knows if the packages actually contain the products advertised?

It’s early summer. I’ve been looking forward to grilled broad beans, sliced sweet spring onion salads, bamboo-shoot rice with Chinese pepper leaf buds, semi-transparent offshore-pickled firefly squid; maybe at a hot spring or beach somewhere, with a chablis. Typically we would have enjoyed this spread with seared bonito, but they are around Tokyo Bay at the moment, migrating toward the Fukushima shoreline. It’s a great year to be a bonito, but I’ll be going without this summer.

Do you make efforts to source local food? Does knowing where ingredients originate matter to you?


Food on the Blog | More Posts from Japan


  • kmodine

    kmodine said 6 years ago

    It's still so hard to believe how much the whole world changed in one day. Even the small changes seem so big when you realize there is no going back.

  • GardenApothecary

    GardenApothecary said 6 years ago

    These are fabulous pictures... great post.

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 6 years ago

    I always support local markets because i believe it is very important for our future.Thank you for sharing.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Every week i am going our small marche .

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    Woah. I can't stop thinking about the people of Japan, thank you so much for keeping the world up to date with how the PEOPLE are doing. Please know we care...

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Since 8 years i know them and we know all vegetables and other foods coming where , which region etc. I am always supporting them , really we need healthly foods!

  • NaturalistBent

    NaturalistBent said 6 years ago

    It takes a conscious effort, but so worth it to care about what you are eating. We source produce that is organic, fresh, in season, as local as possible, and small family farm produce are the only way to go...Or grow our own, whatever we're able! Buying in bulk means sporadic, intense efforts to preserve the local harvest ourselves by canning, drying, pickling or freezing to have a larder in winter months... and by foregoing meat and fish, it becomes affordable to eat very very well! The only thing that usually comes from afar for us is grains.

  • NotYourGrandmasAttic

    NotYourGrandmasAttic said 6 years ago

    The Japanese disaster affected the whole world. But you have to care about youself and your family and eat the safest products you can.

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios said 6 years ago

    We are blessed to have quite a few farms in the surrounding area & we try to get as much organic, locally grown produce as possible for two reasons. 1. to support the local farmers and 2. to be free of chemicals and pesticides. My heart goes out to the people of Japan. I cannot imagine having to be that stringent about foods or having to worry if it is even safe to be outside. The effects Fukushima will be felt around the world for generations to come.

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 6 years ago

    wow, thanks for sharing this story... I can't even believe how difficult and stressful it must be for people of Japan... I wish the "eating what's in season" would truly come back and be the rule :)

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 6 years ago

    Yes - we have a local CSA & Yes - we do our best to be aware of who, what, where & when. Letting our money do the talking. What is happening now in Japan is our worst fears realized. We can only hope for a positive outcome. Our thoughts are with Japan & the planet as a whole.

  • muka

    muka said 6 years ago

    I recently spent an amazing week in Tokyo (with a quick trip to Kyoto) and can concur that food is very central to people's lives. I hope that the farmers will be able to recover both in the short term via "support the farmers" campaigns and in the much tougher and longer process of rebuilding of their farms.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    I always try to support our local farmers but the markets are flooded with imports, you have to be quite careful when it comes to reading the labels but the sweetest fruits are always the ones in season! Good luck, support your local economy!

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 6 years ago

    I so admire the people of Japan and how seasonal eating is part of the culture. It is heartbreaking to think of having to shift this ingrained nature due to the troubling circumstances at Fukushima. My husband and I grow nearly all of the food we consume and the thought of a disaster changing that is soul crushing. My heart goes out to the affected Japanese farmers.

  • TheCaramelJar

    TheCaramelJar said 6 years ago

    Love that I live in rural PA! We are able to purchase 75-80% of our food from local organic farmers [even meat/dairy!}! YAY! Even in Amish country, it's funny b/c most would think they don't use pesticides, fungicides etc. But they do! They don't consider fungicides as harmful and when I inquire, I'm told that I wouldn't want to eat the food if they didn't use such products... Ikes! Thanks Etsy for drawing attention and encouraging awareness on food sources/supporting farmers and global issues/concerns. :)

  • AutumnOlive

    AutumnOlive said 6 years ago

    great article. as a local food activist, i have wondered how people were dealing with this problem in Japan given the radioactivity levels. thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • TatterAndWild

    TatterAndWild said 6 years ago

    Every day i think about the Japanese people and the horrors of trying to live everyday life near the nuclear disaster. Thanks Etsy for focusing on this today, as the media in general has seemed to forgotten all about this important news.

  • OhMyLuckyStar

    OhMyLuckyStar said 6 years ago

    It's so scary to think about how crazy everything is. I am lucky to live in northern Michigan where we can just go out and buy local all summer. :P

  • Iknitoo

    Iknitoo said 6 years ago

    I think it is naive to believe that this disaster is only Japan's problem. We live on the same planet, hence the same weather brings whatever happens in another country eventually to all of us via the air and water. This is an Earth problem. The concentration of the radiation is in Japan but it is spreading and will affect us all. If we don't smarten up and close down these dangerous facilities we will lose everything. Write to everyone who represents you and call for complete shutdown of all nuclear facilities and demand that other countries do likewise. Remember, THEY WORK FOR US!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    What a great article! I go to this little farmers market around the corner from my home. I love being able to support them and its so much more healthy! Thanks for raising awareness on this!!!

  • HoneyFromTheBee

    HoneyFromTheBee said 6 years ago

    Wonderful post.... Ever since the contaminated pet food from China I've checked labels to see where my food is coming from. I buy mostly local when I can at our Farmer's market since I can talk to the farmer and I know more about our area's situation than another's. I love seafood, but I no longer buy shrimp unless it's local (sorry Gulf.) And the list will get longer as we continue to pollute and be reckless with our limited resources. I firmly believe that having elderly folks in Congress is a detriment. They've lived their lives and care little about long term. Sigh... there's so much to voice but we must do it, as it makes a difference.

  • misty714

    misty714 said 6 years ago

    Very informative article!! I grow a vegatable garden in my front yard every summer. I am noticing more and more folks doing the same!! It is easier than you may think!! Plant the seeds and the universe does the rest!!! Thanks for sharing this article. misty

  • dreamversion

    dreamversion said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing with us what's going on in Japan! We have no information for a long time period here, I want to let you know, people from all over the world care and think of you every single day! The food, is a subject that all of us, should consider in a much more serious way!!!! Be strong!!!!

  • CatsWithAnAccent

    CatsWithAnAccent said 6 years ago

    A very sad time for Japan indeed. We can all pitch in by donating to organizations that directly help those affected by the disaster. The Japanese people have a unrelenting spirit!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 6 years ago

    very interesting read...and enjoyed Shizu's writing and honesty she's right...knowing where and how your food is produced is so important...we're feeding it to ourselves and children. support local and seasonal eating is the natural thing to do!

  • TheBakersDaughter

    TheBakersDaughter said 6 years ago

    An interesting post on how things are faring in Japan - thank you so much for sharing.

  • seesong

    seesong said 6 years ago

    I think the best way to support effected farmers of Japan is to support them to relocate and start farming elsewhere. There are a lot of lands in rural Japan tended by increasing aging and shrinking population. Raising recommended environmental radiation twenty fold over night is not going to help anyone, not farmers, and not consumers, it only breeds mistrust. Supporting local farmers is important, but food has to come from trusted source. Relocating farmers are happening in smaller scales, but government should really get on that so these farmers can start rebuilding.

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 6 years ago

    Very interesting article! Have a great summer! Thank you!

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 6 years ago

    Even though I still follow the situation in Japan as much as possible, I appreciate your article and letting us now how it is for you and your family - real life, real situations. What a awful dilemma you must face every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • dandeliondaydreamer

    dandeliondaydreamer said 6 years ago

    What an insightful read, thank you for sharing your very interesting piece with us...a lot of food for thought!

  • OrderlyCivilians

    OrderlyCivilians said 6 years ago

    It's easy to take our food for granted and forget all about everything that happens before it arrives on the supermarket shelves. Thanks very much for sharing your story, Shizu, and reminding us to be grateful for what we do have.

  • lju999

    lju999 said 6 years ago

    Beautifully tragic article. Thank you for opening our eyes and awareness.

  • micomico

    micomico said 6 years ago

    Thank you for posting this, I have two kids, a two-year-old and a one-year-old, it is so stressful to choose "safe" food. I only use bottled water for their food & drinks, but I still don't feel it is safe for them.

  • mememe111

    mememe111 said 6 years ago

    This commentary was like hearing from "the walking dead"........ I am very sorry to hear the plight of this young mother and the resignation of her mother. I am 60 and I probably only have 20 years, but I don't want to know I am eating contaminated food. Maybe new crops above ground, dirt shipped in. My good energy is out to all of the people affected by this tragedy.

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 6 years ago

    Thank you for providing insight into the food situation in Japan. I have wondered how local farmers were being affected as well as the general population in what they are choosing to eat. It is very sobering to think that the tragedy in Japan reaches far beyond it's borders. We are truly all in this together!

  • BlueSkyStudios

    BlueSkyStudios said 6 years ago

    What an amazing article. Really puts the disaster into perspective.

  • MandyBesek

    MandyBesek said 6 years ago

    I loved reading about your real-life perspective of the situation. I can imagine it is hard to trust labels on food, especially when you are feeding your little one. Personally, I love to shop at farmers markets.

  • PDXfabricdeli

    PDXfabricdeli said 6 years ago

    I prefer to go to farms near me, but sometimes go to a small neighborhood grocery store. But even his food is not always locally grown. Always plenty available, no real need to worry. And my heart goes out to the people of Japan who have to cope with such a devastating disaster.

  • ARabbitNamedMolecule

    ARabbitNamedMolecule said 6 years ago

    I love Japanese food and the culture in general and after the tragedy even my local Japanese restaurant was affected; they bought most of their seafood from Japan (including the seasonal ones). The current situation must be very difficult for the Japanese and my heart goes out to them. To hope that all will return to normal soon, if at all, would be to be absolutely optimistic, but I hope for the very best for them and our whole world. Ganbatte ne, minna!

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist said 6 years ago

    interesting article, and pretty scary ~ thanks for filling us in.

  • kapeldesigns

    kapeldesigns said 6 years ago

    It is amazing the different challenges people from all around the world seem to be facing. It it isn't food then it is rising water and if it isn't that it is a falling missile or drought or disease of some sort. And what about the bee's. I look forward to better days for this planet and those who are left to enjoy it. Peace.

  • lauraii

    lauraii said 6 years ago

    thank you for telling us your story. regular news may no longer be reporting it, but it's clear from these comments that people around the world are still wishing to hear news about people's welfare and everyday life in affected areas. thank you for your insights.

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 6 years ago

    It was good to read this. I feel the news has died down on Japan even though each step towards the future is a hard one. Local is important but what about our back yards?(if we have on) Growing some of what we eat can be beneficial in so many ways.

  • KawaiiFelt

    KawaiiFelt said 6 years ago

    It is really difficult subject for us in Japan. and it is going to continue for a few decades. we should be careful especially for children.

  • Sushikay

    Sushikay said 6 years ago

    This article is a sober reminder on how much we depend on fresh food and water. Hopefully our generation and the generations to come never take it for granted. Thank you for the article.

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 6 years ago

    So many of us try to eat right, but the feeling that all the food we should eat is tainted is almost a Catch-22. From the pesticides that I know are all over the fruits and veggies I love/am told to eat, to the heavy metals found in fish that I am eating for Omega 3-s. This doesn't seem fair, we have to fix it.

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 6 years ago

    I'm so happy that even in the Los Angeles area, folks are forming community urban farm co-ops and resteraunts are starting to source their fresh ingredients from local farmers, even urban gardens. There's a growing sense of community, a pride and satisfaction in being able to provide at the local level, which in turn provides a thriving independent society. It's about time we learn to do for ourselves, and within the very life situations we're in.

  • BirdsChasingBugs

    BirdsChasingBugs said 6 years ago

    Yet another aspect of the terrible tragedy Japan has faced. I cannot imagine living in fear of my food. My thoughts are with you, and all of Japan.

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 6 years ago

    As far as toxins is so broken. Mercury levels alone, in the North Pacific Ocean have increased 30 percent over the past 20 years. And as far as atmospheric mercury, between the US and China, we are pumping over 2,000 tons of mercury emissions into our air and the rate is increasing 6 to 7% each year (according to atmospheric scientists). We definitely have to fix it, but ultimately, the healthiest person in the universe is going to die - so we have to get our eternity in order first. Next, (my two cents) eat allot of flavonoids, or an alkalizing green's mix, cucumin and quercitin.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Great article and a very sad way to live!

  • RockStarHottie

    RockStarHottie said 6 years ago

    I remember visiting my family and grandmother (just turned 100) in Japan nearly every summer after moving to Chicago and just walking up to the main street and buying food from the local shops. All the shops were lined up along the streets. Everything from fish and shellfish, vegetables and candies. My family is near Yokosuka so they have the shops plus a chain grocery store. I love the fact that even though I am only half Japanese that most of the shops knew who I was because they grew up with my mother and they would always ask me if I was her daughter. I feel that these small shops that have been around for years and years, (my mother is 76 and my mother remembers these shops when she was in grade school) will be hurt by the fear of radiation. It would be so sad to see the classical Japanese street with the shops all lined up gone. Its a memory I have carried with me my entire life even though I am only in my 30's.

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 6 years ago

    interesting neat pics

  • slo89

    slo89 said 6 years ago

    its amazing when once you become a mother (i have a lovely 2month old daughter) your eating habits change so dramatically - you no longer go for the cheap stuff, or eat junk day in and out, or go without a proper meal... these little ones depend solely on you and your way of eating. It's really sad for the farmers, I imagine they too will have little ones, and their whole family will be affected due to low sales (cos of rumors).. it's such a dilemma tho, since who will risk buying from them (esp those with young ones)?

  • applepieuser

    applepieuser said 6 years ago

    Thank you for telling us your story.

  • laTeefahDoLLs1898

    laTeefahDoLLs1898 said 6 years ago

    °°°finally! a truthful hands~on account of local food status in japan after the horrid quake. i wish you all the best in your quest to keep you & yours' consuming safe foods!°°°

  • artfields

    artfields said 6 years ago

    Thank you for telling us about your life and your concerns after the disaster. Things that were once taken for granted have become all important. I believe in the Japanese people and their resilience and creativity.

  • RetroEyewear

    RetroEyewear said 6 years ago

    thank you for sharing!

  • maggiesraggedyinn

    maggiesraggedyinn said 6 years ago

    Thank you for this article...a reminder how fragile our world is and how important for us to be aware of what we eat and the need to pressure government to protect our natural food system.

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    Even though I live in a farming community, I never see little roadside farmers markets, so this year we planted a garden and i plan to do some canning in the fall. My heart goes out to those in Japan and in the southern US where disasters have stricken and changed may lives in the blink of eye.

  • Thesel

    Thesel said 6 years ago

    Great article and thanks for telling us your story!

  • TheTealBoutique

    TheTealBoutique said 6 years ago

    I live in a city with farmland for crops all around it, so a lot of our fruits and veggies come from here and the area immediately around us. A disaster such as the one in Japan would be extremely bad for the economy in this area. I can't imagine the impact the disasters had on Japan, it must trickle down into even small things in everyday life that people wouldn't have thought about. I am already trying to think of the small things that would be affected in a sort of chain reaction, and there's so many of them...

  • GeorginaKay

    GeorginaKay said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing your story - makes me worried about the future of the world, what with this and the break out of e-coli in Germany, will any of our food be really safe anymore?

  • DUSKtillDAWNvintage

    DUSKtillDAWNvintage said 6 years ago

    I wish America as a whole cared more about where their food came from, how it was made and if it's local. In our schools, lots of kids can't even name the basic vegetables by sight!

  • shaylafish

    shaylafish said 6 years ago

    Very powerful read. As a mother, the stress from thinking about my son getting radiation poisoning would exhaust me to death. It is sad that in one day all of this happened. In America, the radioactive isotopes from Japan went into the atmosphere and landed on American ground. The cows eat the grass...the milk is contaminated. Farms are contaminated. I haven't seen any update in the news after first reading about this. Our government wouldn't tell us the truth anyways....

  • OliveLongstocking

    OliveLongstocking said 6 years ago

    I purchased a drawing recently with all the proceeds going to the japan tsunami relief fund. I have also donated a couple of pieces - see my shop. Every little bit helps and the picture i bought symbolizes hope and a reminder of the most terrible natural disaster the world has witnessed. Nothing can be taken for granted............ peoples lives can change in a minute. We all need to leave the planet better than we found it for the next generation.

  • avenueV

    avenueV said 6 years ago

    Before the disaster struck it have never occurred to me that so many reactors exist . We haven't got one in our country yet but I think we are going to get one of these babies soon. If I'm not mistaken, we actually have surplus of energy but we were told we need even more in the future in order to move forward. I'm naive... is this true? I felt like being baked in the sun everyday here but we were made to believe that photovoltaic panels are costly and nuclear is cheap. I heard the Germans are closing their reactors, from our point of view here, I think they will fall into the dark ages soon.

  • ByJenniferLeigh

    ByJenniferLeigh said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this story.

  • SuperGozi

    SuperGozi said 6 years ago

    let's pray for japan..and the people

  • HerWhimsy

    HerWhimsy said 6 years ago

    It's so scary, thinking about all the radiation that could be in the fresh produce, the milk . . . I'm sure everyone's taking extra Iodine to keep their thyroid exposure low, but I think I'd be very tempted to just eat canned foods for a year.

  • MsTips

    MsTips said 6 years ago

    So many businesses are effected from this disaster. I've been working at the same Japanese restaurant here in Minneapolis for the past 16 years (I'm 1/2 Japanese, born and lived in Japan for 15 years). We have so many customers asking which fish/Japanese product to avoid. Although every product flew in from Japan is tested over three times for radiation, are they really 100% safe? That being said, if people here in the US are avoiding all the food from the effected areas of Japan, I can't even imaging how many businesses are struggling in Japan. I'm praying everyday for a fast recovery from this diaster.

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick said 6 years ago

    I can't imagine what it must be like to be living in Japan right now. Once the media is gone, people tend to forget, go on with their lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • anotherghostquilts

    anotherghostquilts said 6 years ago

    Informative post, well-written. Prayers for the people of Japan who are resilient and adaptive and will get through this.

  • BiomedDesign

    BiomedDesign said 6 years ago

    Local foods taste so much better! I buy local whenever I can. We have our local milk delivered. They are great.

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

    what an incredible story. i can't believe the amount of shopping awareness the customer in japan already had, but now it must be overwhelmingly hard to shop for food.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 6 years ago

    Interesting article. For me, I'm quite concerned about the source of food.

  • cristinapires

    cristinapires said 6 years ago

    thanks for this article! it really brings home what radiation contamination really means & why the switch to renewables should be speeded up in all countries, all over the world. nuclear energy produces tons of waste that's going to be around for 30,000 years.....this displays the consequences of just one contamination....think about it.

  • marbled

    marbled said 6 years ago

    What an amazing article. Thanks for telling us your story!

  • ChocolateStarShop

    ChocolateStarShop said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing an insider view of what's happening in Japan, you and your people are in our thoughts.

  • PointyPaws

    PointyPaws said 6 years ago

    A member of a small farming community in East Texas, we do look forward to the foods we grow and eat here. I had not considered it "celebrating the season" before, but the phrase will stick with me now and it makes me smile. I can't fully grasp the degree of devastation in Japan. I can more nearly see the impact on one woman and her one child. My heart goes out to you!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 6 years ago

    Hawaii has its good and bad when it comes to our food sources. We put most of our eggs in one basket (tourism) pardon the pun, and left our local farmers to fend for themselves, greatly limiting our supply of "locally grown" food sources. Hopefully our economic foundation will become more diversivied and we will invest more into the local farming and quality practices, so that we will have a the best options. On a more intimate level, our family and professional ties with Japan go very deep in Hawaii, and although we could not imagine what you have had to face on a day to day basis, many of us are greiving the loss of family members, friends and acquaintances that call Tokyo home. Our hearts, prayers and support efforts continue to have momentum. Blessings on Japan...Aloha, Connie

  • jessalinb

    jessalinb said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the post and I've been enjoying reading the comments. I feel as if there hasn't been enough dialogue on this or presence in the media.

  • alicetheDroog

    alicetheDroog said 6 years ago

    Cracked has an article about the Chernobyl Fungus. Basically, it feeds off of, and neutralizes radiation. Plus it's edible! http :// www. cracked .com/article_19133_6-ways-nature-cleans-up-our-messes-better-than-we-do.html

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 said 6 years ago

    The Japanese are healthy people who have always eaten a lot of seaweed. People who have high levels of iodine in their body from eating seaweed rarely get the effects of radiation that people who have low iodine levels have. Much love to all those in Japan and thoughts of hope and health <3

  • MoonyCouture

    MoonyCouture said 6 years ago

    I don't know why but this makes me sadder than everything else that I've heard about. It's always the little things that we take for granted that are the hardest losses.

  • Lilsugarskulls

    Lilsugarskulls said 6 years ago

    It's hard nown day's not knowing what tomorrow may bring! my heart goe's out to those in japan♥ great article.

  • tokenandpine

    tokenandpine said 6 years ago

    Sending my love and thoughts to those who have to deal with the daily hardships after tragedy. Thank you for sharing this with us, Shizu.

  • Juneinberlin

    Juneinberlin said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing. In Germany, Germans have quite high awareness in foods and their sources. Recently we have been dealing with E.coli which spreads fears amongst consumers in Germany. My heart splits into two ; one is, of course, for the health and life of people but another goes for the farmers who depend on income from produces. The obvious example is about what happened recently in Germany and Europe. Weeks ago an unknown bacteria caused nearly 300 people's death mainly in Germany and some in other countries, and the fingers were pointed at fresh cucumbers and salads from Spain. This is immense loss for vegetable importers and farmers in Spain. Germany has admitted later on that the bacteria did not come from Spain as initially reported. But this is after several countries in Europe have already banned produces from Spain but the damage was already done. My opinion is that we should have awareness in whatever we consume but open our eye and know it for real in order to not impose any wrong judgment upon others without knowing.

  • FeathersOfArtemis

    FeathersOfArtemis said 6 years ago

    I lived a summer at my (now ex) boyfriend's grandparents house in "old town" in Nagano Japan. I absolutely LOVED it, but it was sad to see how elderly the population was (I'm talking like 80 to 100). The little grandmothers were absolutely adorable but they literally were bent in half from farming. Kids today in Japan have very little interest in a farming lifestyle. Its gotten to the point where suburban and city schools send the kids on field trips to farms like my ex's boyfriend's grandfather's, to show them what their life is like! I'd hate to see these little towns all die out. The young people of Japan should be educated in older ways rather than just the fast paced lifestyles of the cities. I mean Tokyo and other cities in Japan are amazing but they get exhausting. There would be fewer suicides in Japan if people aspired to live a simpler life in the country. This would also aid in this current food crisis if there was more farming in the "middle of nowhere" in Nagano or other areas .

  • notApplicable

    notApplicable said 6 years ago

    Thank you for this.

  • FeltNatural

    FeltNatural said 6 years ago

    I am lucky as there is a market near where i live that just sells local organise veggie, it is also a place to buy fresh farm eggs, organic chicken and nowadays there is a variety of raw food produce ready to eat. I think more people are taking more interest in what they eat nowadays due to all the different problems, illnesses etc that people have suffered around the world, Nowadays there is also more information available on the internet so one finds out about different kinds of diets etc. I cant even start to imagine what it must be like in Japan at ths time not knowing whether what you eat is going to cause illness in the near future. Thank you for this article, and to all the people who write about and inform us about what is going on in Japan and how people are managing with the after effects...

  • SundustStudio

    SundustStudio said 6 years ago

    Thank you Seesong, for offering a solution ~ relocating farmers in hopes to rebuild for sustaining the future. The highlighted issue also becomes a global problem as the radiation spreads. We need to remember, regardless of borders, we do indeed share the same ocean and sky on this earth and Solutions for dealing with this contamination should be a priority broad spectrum while we still have a chance. Thoughts and prayers are nice, but please let's keep working for solutions. I will continue to offer a variety of items in my shop, which the purchase contributes towards Japan Relief Efforts and relevant others around the world. There is much to be done and the future may depend on such efforts.

  • SoulRole

    SoulRole said 6 years ago

    oh heart is just aching with this.I have long respected the people of Japan and the way they eat in season etc.I can't even articulate all the feelings this beautiful article brings up.I live in Hawaii and feel the ripples across the sea.We have a beautiful dairy cow and have traded/sold milk but sadly many are now afraid to consume her milk since low levels of radiation were found in the milk in Hawaii.I pray that serious energy reform happens.There certainly is no safe nuclear energy.Praying praying praying....

  • Bluebouquet

    Bluebouquet said 6 years ago

    Fascinating article! I want to read more by Shizu!

  • scampybunny

    scampybunny said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for your feedback, and your support for Japan. While this has been a tragic situation, especially for those in the north, here in Tokyo we're also taking it as an opportunity to stop procrastinating about important stuff.

  • scampybunny

    scampybunny said 6 years ago

    One example is Japan’s food self-sufficiency, which is something like 40% on a caloric basis. More than 90% of the fresh produce, fish or meats I buy, whether at farmers’ markets or chain stores, are domestic produce. Which also means that pretty much everything in a can or bottle (everything processed, from oils to soy sauce or tofu) is now made of imported materials. In 1960 we were more than 100% self-sufficient. What changed? More meat. We've increased beef consumption something like 600% in the last 50 years, and beef consume a lot of grain which, even for domestic beef, has to be imported. Eating imports also means consuming a lot of other countries' water. Water to clean and water in the feed and water in their diets... there's an enormous amount of water that went into every bite of a farm animal.

  • scampybunny

    scampybunny said 6 years ago

    Some of these things even have unexpected, lovely consequences. We're obviously concerned about power consumption. Fukushima produced 1/3 of Tokyo area’s power (no, the energy produced at Fukushima isn’t provided to the affected areas, which is another big theme). But we don't want everyone to switch to fossil fuels. The air in Tokyo is really clean compared to most cities even a fraction of its size. So we conserve. This summer all industries have mandated energy reductions of 15%. There's a lot of investment in switching over to LED lighting and flooring that reflects more light back up. Cut the lights in stations, offices and department stores. Cut the air-conditioning. Open the windows. Dress lighter – the dress code for “salaryman” this year is called “Super Cool Biz (business)”, means polo shirt and cotton pants. And most importantly, go home at 5. It's ok to leave before your boss. It's even encouraged. And with husbands at home more often, the kids can enjoy all that their dads have to offer them. Wives too. Who knows, maybe that can help us out with our "rapidly aging society" problem?

  • MiloCrafters

    MiloCrafters said 6 years ago

    I have lived in Tokyo for the past two years and just returned home to America a month before the earth quake and tsunami hit. I love and respect the Japanese people so much and pray for them every day.

  • Global Mag, le blog – Prenons la planète en main » Blog Archive » Revue de web de juin : rien ne va plus dans nos assiettes said 6 years ago

    [...] comme nous sommes au Japon, prenez le temps de lire cet article publié sur Etsy au sujet de l’alimentation dans le japon d’après Fukushima, en proie aux irradiations nucléaires. La journaliste témoigne de la façon dont elle [...]

  • Chilled Out in Tokyo | The Etsy Blog said 6 years ago

    [...] summer is all about energy conservation. It feels good to use our recent events as a wake-up call to make conscientious decisions. Until March of this year, Japan got 23% of its [...]

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