Thursday, September 18, 2008

stop it!

Ever since moving to Japan in 2001, there have been various "food scandals"...

supermarkets swapping labels on their beef during BSE (mad cow disease), saying it was beef from Australia when it wasn't, just so that they could get government funding.

a restaurant re-serving tempura that was previously served to another guest before but because the guest didn't eat it, they "re-fried" it and served it to yet another guest.

fish shops selling unagi (eel) that they said were of a particular "brand" name in Japan but were actually from China.

restaurants serving "brand" name beef but were actually selling a lower class beef.

thousands of tainted, moldy rice from overseas, mixed with regular rice and sold at a major markup as Japanese rice to shochu makers, senbei (arare) makers, sweets (mochi) makers, carehome and school cafeterias. The media thinks that we all may have eaten some of this already...blah!

actually there are more incidents, but this post would be too long...

I just have one thing to say to you people who cheat and cut corners in order to make a quick buck, and this includes you, the government who are using some of these tactics apparently in order to fund the re-tirees you have still on the job..."STOP IT!"(and I'm being nice by just saying it like this)...would YOU eat what you are trying to pass off onto me?


Anonymous said...

I am shocked to hear this..and I thought China was bad...the only excuse is greed...just too sad.

I hope that this doesnt continue.

ila said...

oye, so much food scandals in japan! a while ago i read a bbs in the infamous 2ch boards, and it seems like that's just the tip of an iceberg... i suppose thats why there's all these slow food and lo-had movements in japan popping up and about?

K and S said...

I hope it won't continue either, Anon, but there doesn't seem to be any closure or repentence to this or other incidents.

I am ready to move Ila, get some farm animals, start growing some fruits and veggies...sick sick sick of the situation!

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

Ewww, A while back I heard about a certain restaurant in Hawaii re-serving "used" food to customers. Still messes with my head today, so gross!

Tamakikat said...


that was a powerful post.

If you were here I'd offer you some herbal tea/a drink though-you sound like you could do with something to take the edge off.

When scandals like the rice scandal was uncovered I was shocked that these people would even think to do such a thing as sell mouldy rice. Where are these people's morals and integrity?

I believe that the punishments for such behaviour is too soft.

I think your idea of 'growing your own' is a good way to go.

Also 'knowing' your grocer, restaurant chef is good. That's why I like small businesses. (Having said that, I do frequent big stores and chain restaurants as well.)

All for consumers to stand up and say 'Stop it!'


KirkK said...

Hi Kat - You know...lots of stuff here too....rice that is reused, etc...but all of these pale in comparison to the tainted milk and pet food in China.

K and S said...

eww that is gross, Lori....would definitely stop me from eating at those places.

punishment is too soft and the public are too forgiving, Tamakikat. getting to know your grocer and small businesses are definitely key.

I wouldn't doubt it is worldwide, Kirkk, so sad. I heard that China knew about the tainted stuff before the Olympics but didn't say anything because they didn't want to "scare" people away...yipes.

Take care everyone!

OkiHwn said...

California calrose rice - only way to go! I buy the Nishiki brand from the commissary though the price has gone up from $12 per 20 pound bag to $18 in the last couple months.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. Look at what is happening in China now with the baby milk scandal. These people are all out to make quite money at the expense of everyone else. I hate to say this but I think prison is too good for people like this.

K and S said...

I'm paying 980 yen (about US$9.80) for 2 kilos (about 5 pounds) of Iwate Koshihikari (or so I hope), Nate, hopefully no one is tampering with the stuff you are getting.

Yes, the scandal in China is awful, Jo, prison is too good for them.

Take care you two.

genkitummy said...

I cannot believe that is happening in Japan. I thought that Japan is supposed to have one of the highest food quality standards.
Are there no food regulation laws or agencies there?

OkiHwn said...

Well, been eating the Hinode and recently the Nishiki brands from California my whole life. I trust the U.S. stuff. Only real time I eat Japanese rice is usually with bentos or musubis.

Rowena said...

It is a fustrating situation. Companies making a buck on the consumer's expense. What recently surprised me though (and it really shouldn't when it comes to big companies), is the involvement of Whole Foods with Slow Food Nation. I had no idea that there was a shady side to the company, but in this article by the Haphazard Gourmet Girls, it just makes you wonder.

Phoebe said...

isn't it sad that some scandals can follow through without you knowing it?

My poor country!!! not very impressed with the chinese who approved the chemical...then blame it on us.

K and S said...

Isn't it sad, Genki? I thought Japan would be the safest for food too, but unfortunately greed is blinding those who need to do their jobs.

Yeah, I think most of us from Hawaii grew up on Calrose and Hinode, Nate, but what I'm saying is, how do you know that no one is tampering with the quality of the rice. The tainted stuff that is floating around Japan looks like rice (no mold on it).

Great article Rowena, I read about Whole Foods in the Michael Pollan book too. They have come to Hawaii too. Heard they mustered their way and shut down a LOT of local businesses to do it.

that is sad, Phoebe.

Take care everyone.

jasmine said...

Yeah...unfortunately the same thing is happening here. We're at the tail end (we hope) of a lysteriosis outbreak, eminating from a major sliced deli meats company. Add to that the usual rounds of factory farming issues eminating from those huge corporate farms in California and elsewhere, it's pretty much convincing many of us to eat what we grow and learn charcuterie.


K and S said...

That is awful, Jasmine. I guess we all have to try to eat more locally and maybe more from the smaller businesses. Hope that deli meat problem is solved soon!

Take care.

Unknown said...

It seems that the Japanese are trying to save on money feeding us, the foreigners, lolx.

But seriously, I did not expect that such kind of shocking news in such an advanced country..

Did you guys heard about the news of a famous restaurant (I forgot the name, sorry), where they process the leftovers and served it to another customers...I think I did not experience this before, even in Singapore

K and S said...

not only foreigners, J, but their own people! Japan is supposed to have a high quality check for foods, but it seems that there are many falling under the checks.

Take care.

Jenster said...

I keep thinking that China leads the world in tainted food, but I guess you can find greed and indifference everywhere. The U.S. certainly is no different. Very sad....

K and S said...

Very sad indeed, Jenster. We can only hope that things will change for the better.

Take care.

Unknown said...

I am not trying to defend China, but I think that is happening to countries around the world...

We cannot hope that it doesn continue, because it is actually link to our lifes and as the world advances, we will find more of such problems rising up.

Take a good look at recent Korea concern on beef. Some of my friends has stopped taken beef since then .

K and S said...

Thanks J, I think we all have to take a look at how we rely on other countries for food/products and try to be self-sufficient too.

Take care.