The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of donations of ingredients to the menus at food kitchen for children, which is called Kodomo Shokudo in Japan. Child poverty is now recognized as one of the important social issues; Kodomo Shokudo has been receiving much attention due to its capability of providing home-style meals for free or low prices. However, its management could depend on working volunteers with local connections. Since their financial conditions are unclear, it seems to be difficult to consider sustainable systems for Kodomo Shokudo. Therefore, we performed hearing investigation to eight Kodomo Shokudos to know their conditions. In our knowledge, this is the first study to elucidate relationship between income and variety of services, especially for menu, by analyzing multiple Kodomo Shokudos. We showed that Kodomo Shokudo with donations of ingredients provided meal with lower price than those without them, especially Kodomo Shokudo that received donations from food-bank could provide meal for free. Kodomo Shokudo with donations of ingredients provided various menus rather than without. Wide variety of menu enables children to have balanced meal, which is important for child's growth. We explored that sustainable food providing system at Kodomo Shokudo and showed that subsidy, donation and donation of ingredient are important by the analysis of financial conditions, donated ingredients and menus.The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of donations of ingredients to the menus at food kitchen for children, which is called Kodomo Shokudo in Japan. Child poverty is now recognized as one of the important social issues; Kodomo Shokudo has been receiving much attention due to its capability of providing home-style meals for free or low prices. However, its management could depend on working volunteers with local connections. Since their financial conditions are unclear, it seems to be difficult to consider sustainable systems for Kodomo Shokudo. Therefore, we performed hearing investigation to eight Kodomo Shokudos to know their conditions. In our knowledge, this is the first study to elucidate relationship between income and variety of services, especially for menu, by analyzing multiple Kodomo Shokudos. We showed that Kodomo Shokudo with donations of ingredients provided meal with lower price than those without them, especially Kodomo Shokudo that received donations from food-bank could provide meal for free. Kodomo Shokudo with donations of ingredients provided various menus rather than without. Wide variety of menu enables children to have balanced meal, which is important for child's growth. We explored that sustainable food providing system at Kodomo Shokudo and showed that subsidy, donation and donation of ingredient are important by the analysis of financial conditions, donated ingredients and menus.
This study aimed at analyzing local government's employment of food safety experts in Japan, including their deployment, education, and training while in employment. We conducted interviews with the individuals in charge of food safety in a number of local government administrations. On the basis of those interviews, we designed a questionnaire for local governments and sent it to 47 prefectures, 19 designated cities, 41 core cities, and 8 municipalities that have public health centers. We received responses from 32 prefectures (a collection rate of 68.0%), 16 designated cities (84.2%), 37 core cities (90.2%), and 6 municipalities (75.0%). The findings were as follows: 1. Veterinarians and pharmacists accounted for many positions in food-safety-and-hygiene sections; 2. There was great demand for food safety experts, especially veterinarians, in many local governments; 3. Experts had fewer opportunities for education and training during employment because they were too busy, and senior staff members also were too busy to teach and guide their juniors; and 4. Off-the-job training for experts was dependent on the scale and financial standing of each local government - small governments could not afford to conduct training programs for experts independently.
An interdisciplinary literature review was conducted to articulate the achievements and challenges of food education research. The eligible articles (n=325), which included the keyword, “shokuiku” (food education in Japanese), were identified from the e-databases. First, its disciplinary distribution was delineated, demonstrating the relative dominancy of home-economics and medical sciences over other social sciences and humanities. Second, the research trend in agricultural economics was particularly investigated, and its achievements were articulated around three research themes (concepts and definitions, promotion systems and impact evaluation). However, several challenges were left unresolved, particularly the nutritionistic, neo-liberal, nationalistic and gendered ideologies internalized in the current food education. Third, the relevant disciplines were explored, identifying several useful theoretical discussions in social sciences and humanities for the abovementioned challenges, while also confirming that these problems were not fully addressed in the most dominant home-economics. This review could inform a future “inter-disciplinary” discussion on food education.
In response to an increasing number of “heritised” food cultures, much discussion is currently dedicated to reflection on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) programmes. Although Washoku has been inscribed as an ICH, Japan has yet to reach such a reflexive stage. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to articulate the challenges in defining and safeguarding Washoku in order to provide useful knowledge for such reflection, with an effective reference to the “Gastronomic Meal of the French”. To achieve this goal, first UNESCO's final definitions are analysed to articulate the content in the texts. Secondly, the awareness-raising activities for safeguarding - namely, Japan's post-inscription working group and the French Gastronomic Cities project - are analysed. The methodologies include qualitative analysis of texts for the first phase, and a literature review for Japan and interviews with the Cité Project members in Dijon (n=4) for the second. Through the first analysis of the definitions, the constituting concepts and these inter-relationships of Washoku and Gastronomy were elucidated. A conceptual deviation was identified between UNESCO's semi-final and final definitions. The need to scrutinise certain components of Washoku was also identified. Secondly, the content and process of the awareness-raising activities were elucidated. The action of redefining these heritages was identified as the common task for both countries. Moreover, in contrast to the decision-making process in France, the democratic process was not taken for Japan and the final definition of Washoku was neglected by the Japanese decision makers. The concern is that the Japanese might not be able to integrate effectively the public opinion, as well as normalising the definition of Washoku that deviates from the historical evidence. To avoid this, future reflection should start with verifying each component of Washoku with its historicity. The safeguarding actors are required to challenge this “nationally” normalised semi-final definition and to make a more realistic discussion on Washoku.
In 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake brought unprecedented suffering to Japan, particularly the Tohoku area. Following this, many natural disasters impacted Japan, allowing us to recognize the considerable weaknesses in various social infrastructures. Most of this infrastructure was established in the high economic growth era of the 1970s and was thus deeply embedded in our daily life. The food system is a key social infrastructure. Natural disasters have exposed the food system's weaknesses each time. This symposium attempted to share the experiences of social bodies in order to cope with the difficulties brought about by The Great East Japan Earthquake. Additionally, it aimed to deduce clues to overcome the food system's weaknesses. The first presentation was titled “Confusion caused by Food Distribution Weaknesses and the Struggle to Recover and Rebuild - An Example of Regional Coalition in the Miyagi Prefecture -” (Koju ITO); the second was titled “Building a Robust Food System for Fisheries: Post-Disaster Assistance to Fishermen in Miyagi Prefecture” (Katsufumi ISHIMORI); the third was “Measures of Foodservice Industry Toward Recent Labor Shortage” (Yoshiyuki INOUE); and the last was “Emergency Food and Nutrition - Based on my experience of earthquakes -” (Shinichi ISHIKAWA). Two commentators (Yoko NIIYAMA and Manao KIDACHI) also made the discussions deeper and more fruitful.
In the deep confusion immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake and with the considerable lack of information, we struggled to support the disaster area and restart food distribution activities through collaboration with business partners not only in Miyagi but in all Japan. This experience became the base of a new regional cooperation among business partners in Miyagi to renew the food distribution system following the disaster. Eventually the cooperation established a new brand, “COCON TOHOKU,” which focuses on high quality and lesser known food resources in the region in order to enhance the regional economy. Outside of the CO-OP, the brand has been distributed to various channels with the number of items under the brand now numbering approximately 160 and annual sales greater than one billion JPY. We also recognize that support from consumers is the key factor in all these activities.
This article addresses the roles and functions we as wholesalers at Sendai Central Market have espoused and played to sustain the food system after the Great East Japan earthquake. The most important challenge was preventing a food panic. Therefore, we kept acting as wholesalers for 15 consecutive days amid the turmoil triggered by the earthquake. The first step in reconstructing the food system for fisheries was providing the basic tools and equipment that fishermen needed. After fishing resumed, we concentrated on product development using local ingredients in cooperation with fishermen, food manufacturers, and food retailers. In recent years, we have prioritized food education because it is increasingly important not only to encourage seafood consumption but also to disseminate food culture and its history, eventually leading to the revitalization of the fisheries industry.
This report focuses on the recent labor situation and the development of the foodservice industry. The working environment surrounding the foodservice industry is harsh. It is difficult for restaurant companies to recruit human resources during the economic expansion phase, but it is possible to secure excellent human resources during recession. In the Tohoku area, restaurant labor is becoming increasingly scarce due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Labor shortage measures place importance in communication with workers. Restaurants are also actively considering hiring foreign workers.
When we are asked about “stocked food” or “emergency food,” many people may feel that it is something special and different from what we eat. After I was struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake, I strongly felt that I did not want to eat special food in such a crisis, but rather a normal meal just because I am in an emergency. On the contrary, some people also have the mentality of “I want to eat what I usually eat and I do not want to eat something I am not familiar with.” When food has the same taste, we get bored and seek change; conversely, some prefer to go with what they are used to just to stay assured. What can we do to turn the food prepared at the time of the disaster into a nutritious menu? Depending on the extent of damage and how much water and heat sources are available, there are differences in the meals that can be made. However, it is advisable to consider the nutritional balance as much as possible even during the earthquake, just as when making daily meals. Of course, no one wants to face a disaster or calamity. However, it is very important to “be calm and scared” as disasters will always strike in the long term. If you rely only on “prepared foods” that you can easily get at convenience stores, the shock of losing it will be immense and you will panic. The role of preparation is to minimize psychological damage at that time. I want to always keep in mind that preparing food is all about protecting lives and connecting lives.