Showing posts from December, 2013

Samurai Food Movie

If you like traditional Japanese food, you will love this film. How did the current amazing food culture here evolve? Well, we'll never know exactly, but Japan created a food culture that recently got UNESCO status. I agree with that, but I would also like to know more about what people ate back in the old days. Much of it came from the Buddhist temples, but here we have a fresh take on what made it all available to a lot of people.

Bushi no Kondate (Recipes of the Samurai) was released here on December 14, 2013 and I love all of it. The Japanese website has all kinds of bells and whistles, do explore bushikon.

The film illustrates dishes for all sorts of occasions—tai no karamushi (steamed sea bream stuffed with a mixture of okara bean-curd lees, pine nuts, ginkgo nuts, lotus root and others) for a wedding banquet; jibuni, which is a local stew containing duck meat or chicken, vegetables and sudare-fu (a type of wheat gluten) with soy sauce, sugar and other seasonings; and a…

In Praise Of Tofu - And Other Plant-Based Foods (Especially All The Green & Purple Ones)

Great video by Dr. Neal Barnard about brain health, and how research supports eating a plant-based diet will help you avoid Alzheimer or dementia or forgetting your name at old age.

No kidding, the research is solid, showing that saturated fats and meat will in fact help build up bad stuff in your brain, adding to the metals you are exposed to and other stuff. You are at a higher risk.

Don't take my word for it, just watch the video.

One hour of very enlightening data and some laughs, Dr. Neal Barnard is that kind of guy. Come on, you have the time, or make the time. Your very own brain deserves it. They didn't teach you this at school, so it is up to you.

And why are old people in Okinawa so... old?

That is not going to continue to be the pattern if younger generations now change to eat spam (Spam?) and other dietary practices introduced after 1945.

Try Okinawan sweet potatoes as your basic food, instead of wheat or rice...

The Okinawan sweet potato is not related to the pota…

Rural Vs. Urban - So How Is Our Human Brain Supposed To Deal With The Constant Onslaught...

Preferring the rural to the urban? Happen to be more happy in the countryside? Farm rather than firm?

Could that be "hard-wired" into your brain? Interesting piece of work by psychologists, who decided to take a look at how we are all trying to cope with our environment. While I have issues with the language, the study is interesting. I don't feel "hard-wired" but I do prefer trees to concrete.

Thanks (as always) to Tom for finding.

If you live in a mansion (apartment) in a high rise building in a city like Tokyo, Seoul or Beijing, you are obviously not in touch with what your brain is prepared to deal with. Make that London or New York, or wherever. Or Rio. Or Kiev. Or Stockholm. No wonder so much of the news is just about issues that do not really matter. People living in superlarge cities will find it more and more difficult to secure food, energy, news, "feeling at peace" than before.

Rural vs. urban may become the most serious battle, once WTO a…

Support Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ)

Get the latest Japanese newsletter from Consumers Union of Japan, in Japanese. CUJ was founded back in 1969 and has been an independent voice for a long time.

Do check out the CUJ history, in English. I remember how proud we were when we got the NPO legislation status. Our main focus has been on the UN Convention of Biological Diversity, and the WTO, and the TPP. We also care about food labels and other cases of consumer fraud.

Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ) is a politically and financially independent non-governmental organization (NGO). CUJ is funded by membership fees, sales of its publications and donations. CUJ was founded in April 1969 as Japan's first nationwide grassroots consumer organization. It was officially certified as a non-profit organization on May 1, 2006 by the new Japanese NPO legislation.

NPO, NGO... these are the ways the government tries to keep people at bay. But Consumers Union of Japan and its many campaigns have managed to stay independent over 40 yea…

Thanks From The Philippines...

... but a month later, NHK World reports that almost 4 million people are still displaced by the November 8 typhoon.

NHK World: 4 mil. still displaced in typhoon-hit Philippines
Almost 4 million people are still living in shelters in the Philippines one month after the year's most powerful typhoon hit the country.
Typhoon Haiyan swept through the country's central region on November 8th, bringing torrential rain and storm surges.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says 5,796 people are confirmed dead and 1,779 others remain missing.
On Sunday, people in the affected areas attended Masses. In Tacloban, the main city of hard-hit Leyte Island, hundreds of people gathered at a local church from early in the morning and prayed for the victims.
The island's coastal regions still lack electricity and running water.
The Philippine government and international organizations are continuing relief activities, distributing supplies and providing medical…

GMO Corn Rejected By China, This Could Be Huge

Illegal genetically modified organisms are a problem that raise regulatory concern. I wonder if Japan has tested for the GMO corn that China recently rejected. The biotech corporations that promote their GMO seeds appear to not have the situation under control, which is of course worrying. We all hope we can avoid the kind of food safety scandals that emerged when GMO potatoes and other illegal GMOs were found in the market.

Consumers want better labels to be able to avoid this all together, but we learn that TPP and other trade agreements may be used to block such information. Who benefits? China May Halt Corn Imports From U.S. on GMO Cargoes, Yigu Says

Buyers in China, the second-biggest corn consumer, may halt purchases from the U.S. as quarantine officials reject more shipments with a non-approved genetically modified variety,said Yigu Information Consulting Ltd. China rejects 60,000 tons of genetically modified U.S. corn

Read more:…

This And That

I was interviewed today about food safety by ABC Radio and it should be broadcast in Australia on Wednesday. If Kurashi has any readers down under perhaps you will be able to catch it and tell me how I did. I like radio, and sometimes quote Ralph Nader from back when he was a consumer advocate who used to say that local radio is the most important channel to reach people. Might have been so before facebook and twitter and mixi and whatnot.

But I still do like radio.

Also, just back from The Philippines and a great meeting with Third World Network in Quezon City, near Manilla. Photo attached shows how seriously in 12 Asian countries we all take the issue of genetic engineering and the onslaught by American (Monsanto) and Swiss (Syngenta) and German (BASF, Bayer) corporations that aim to take over the world's food supply through patents and immoral practices. Be it rice or eggplant, they want to control it. And next is animal genetic resources, as ETC Group pointed out during the me…