Food Safety In The News

Kyodo says more than 60 percent of surveyed consumers in Japan are buying more domestically produced food than they used to. This follows a number of food scandals and books published here about food safety. Kyodo quotes a recent survey conducted jointly by NTT Resonant Inc. and Japan Research Institute Ltd.

The survey found a noticeable decrease in consumers buying frozen food and eating out, an indication that more people now want to select and prepare food themselves. People also worry about food shortages:

Consumer behavior apparently has been affected by a widespread food scare earlier this year resulting from pesticide-tainted Chinese-made frozen meat dumplings and numerous recent cases of fraud involving food passed off as domestically produced or as premium brands, food industry observers say.

Asked about how their eating habits have changed over the past three years, 64.3 percent of the respondents said they are now buying more domestic food. In addition, 39.3 percent said that they cook at home more often than before. In regard to eating habits they have come to eschew, 47.2 percent have reduced purchases of frozen food and 46.9 percent now eat out less frequently.

The survey also revealed that people buying fewer canned goods, retort-packed food and precooked dishes outnumber those who purchased more of these items.

The Internet poll was conducted between late June and early July, with 1,059 people responding.

The photo shows domestically produced broccoli, as part of Dole Japan's campaign. The text on the label says: Gambarimasu! Kokusan yasai (We do our best! Domestically produced vegetables) and in English, "I LOVE I Live on Vegetables". The square bar code is for mobile phone users to access a campaign website with information about each farmer.


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