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Thanks for all your comments. Being about food, I guessed this topic would be of interest to quite a few of you!

As some of you mentioned, there have been lots of scandals about this in other countries as well. As amo said, there was a big one in Europe last year about the use of horse meat in “beef” products.

The thing that interests me about this news story the most is that it is another example of Japanese people losing trust in the authorities. I think Japanese people are brought up to naturally trust “senior” people and people in authority, but that trust was destroyed by the Fukushima disaster, and now it is being challenged again. I have a suspicion that we will see many more of these kinds of scandals as Japanese people stop being so trusting and Japanese society becomes more open.

Unfortunately, I think that the current scandal will just follow the standard pattern:

1) Company denies everything.
2) Company admits “mistakes.”
3) Senior executive bows on television and resigns.
4) Senior executive is given a nice job with another company.
5) Business carries on as usual.

That may be a cynical view, but that is exactly what happened at Fukushima, so I don’t think we can hope for anything more this time.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.

I think there are two reasons why these kinds of deceptions happen. One is very simple: profit comes first. The other reason is the obsession Japanese people have for brand names.
I think that is a very astute analysis.

Food labelling fraud is revealing almost everyday.
… almost every day. (A-Z: everyday)

I don’t care whether the food is bland one or not as far as the food is tasty and not unsafe
I don’t care whether the food has a brand or not as long as it is tasty and safe.

but I have no practical impact directly on this issue ,so that it don’t make me so angry.
but it doesn’t affect me directly, so it doesn’t make me all that angry.

I thought it was not such a serious crime at first,
I didn’t think it was such a serious crime at first, (A-Z: negative sentence word order)

However, I guess very few people can tell the difference between organic vegetables and some others with lots of pesticide.
That’s a very good point.

I don’t think they should be forgiven by just bowing or making excuses to people.
I’m afraid they will, though!

If so, wouldn’t you really get angry if someone palmed you off with a fake ROLEX?
That’s a good example too. I changed my mind based on this and the organic vegetable argument mentioned above.

Having said that, I’m tired of people who show off their knowledge about wine pretending to know everything, too!
A friend of mine said there was a program on Japanese TV where they did “blind” taste tests between expensive and cheap wines. Not surprisingly, he said, they found out that nobody could tell the difference.

When I consider above sentence, if a greater number of Japanese woman can raise their voice in their everyday lives like all of you in this blog, it will be effect as big power for maintain the social justice.
Thinking about the above sentence, it struck me that if more Japanese women raised their voices like all of you do on this blog, it would have a big effect on social justice.

so I couldn’t be indifferent to the Nara’s case particularly.
so the Nara case particularly bothered me.

If I were a pesrson in charge of this hotel, what can I do something?
If I were in charge of this hotel, would I be able to do anything?

Why do they use such dangerous chemical for food?
I think you’ll find that a lot of dangerous chemicals are used in food. The reason is always the same – to make more money.

Exactly, but it seems almost impossible to avoid all chemicals unless we grow or make everything for ourselves.
This is a big topic of debate in the UK too. Food companies make very unhealthy food, but the government won’t stop them because they have very powerful lobby groups and they pay a lot of money to politicians. It’s the same all over the world.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend.

25 Comments

  1. YU on Friday November 15th, 2013 at 07:30 PM

    Sorry, I forgot to post this comment!

    Hi Anne,

    > Fast food is often cooked to taste good, but once you know how chicken nuggets were made, it’s kind of scary,isn’t it?

    I’ve never felt that chicken nuggets were tasty, but most children including my son love them. I used to like ‘fillet o fish’, but after シルシルミシル showed how it was made in their program I’ve totally lost my love for it…

    > 芝エビでもバナエビでも、おいしければエビに罪があるわけでなし、表記されていればどちらでもいいじゃない?

    I agree.
    バナメイエビ、ブラックタイガー、成型肉、etc… None of them is to blame.

    > And I think, sincere information disclosure is essential for us to do that.

    I think so, too, so, it is not too much to say that whether we can get healthy food or not is nearly all falls on conscience of people in the food industry because all we can do is to check and believe what they write on the packages…



  2. YU on Friday November 15th, 2013 at 09:12 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    > I have a suspicion that we will see many more of these kinds of scandals as Japanese people stop being so trusting and Japanese society becomes more open.

    I’m afraid, but these kinds of scandals are nothing new to us, as Anne mentioned. We’ve had a lot of other food scandals in the past, but strangely, we always forgot them very soon every time. We’re too dull, aren’t we? So, as you said, I think we will see many more of these kinds of scandals after this, too, but I’m almost sure that we’ll start trusting them very soon again.

    > I thought it was not such a serious crime at first,
    I didn’t think it was such a serious crime at first, (A-Z: negative sentence word order)

    I knew it! I did it again!

    By the way, I have a question about the negative sentence word order.
    I know the basic rules as you explained above, but I’m not very sure about if you can put an another negative word in a negative sentence as follows ;

    クラスの女の子(のうち)誰もかわいいと思わない。

    I don’t think none of the gilrs in my class is pretty.

    Does this sentence make sense??

    Or would you say like this? ;

    I think none of the girls in my class is pretty.



  3. David on Friday November 15th, 2013 at 09:41 PM

    Hi YU,

    I don’t think any of the girls in my class are pretty.



  4. Anne on Friday November 15th, 2013 at 09:57 PM

    Hi David,
    Thank you for your feedback.
    >I think that is a very astute analysis.
    —The word “astute” is new to me.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!



  5. Fumie on Saturday November 16th, 2013 at 05:45 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!
    It seems food labelling scandals happen in other countries too. I began to wonder what it says is true when I see labels of food or eat something at restaurants. Consumers are often deceived and pays lots of money for cheap products.

    Hi Biwa,
    > Honestly, I’d just try to choose the less evil.
    – Same here. If we avoid food which contains chemicals, there will be not much to eat. So I choose food which contains fewer chemicals if they aren’t so expensive.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!



  6. Biwa on Saturday November 16th, 2013 at 09:41 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the feedback.
    I wonder what those lobbyists and politicians eat themselves.

    Have a nice weekend everyone!



  7. Kiyoshi on Saturday November 16th, 2013 at 09:44 AM

    Hi David

    Thank you for your feedback.
    I will try to write English more naturally.

    Hi everyone

    I look forward to meeting all of you next week.



  8. YU on Saturday November 16th, 2013 at 03:15 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your answer to my question.

    Hi everyone,

    I went to the bazaar of my son’s kindergarten this morning. A friend of mine told me that the first visitor has bought up almost all the used school uniforms and gym clothes alone and nothing was left for others. I wonder who on earth needs so many uniforms for her own children. Most school clothes are sold at 100yen there, so many mothers look forward to buying some as spare clothes for their children every year. Actually, I was one of them, too, but everyone including me ended up with going home empty-handed because of the greedy mother. I wonder if she bought them to sell at yahoo auction….



  9. Kattie on Sunday November 17th, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I haven’t commented recently because we’ve been really busy with house plans and it’s been complicated and stressful. Hopefully things will be sorted soon.

    On the subject of food labelling, I think it’s very important that food is correctly labelled both for health reasons and from an animal welfare point of view. When I buy meat I always look at the packaging to check how the animals were reared and I always try to buy free range meat. I pay a premium for the meat because I want to support non-intensive farming techniques. This means we probably eat less meat but this is probably a good thing anyway. If I found out that the ‘free range’ meat I had bought, wasn’t, I would be very angry. I also check labels to get a rough idea about how much sugar, salt and fat are in things so that I can make an informed decision.

    Hi Yu, I hate wine snobbery too and I wonder whether it’s all rubbish anyway. A friend of mine always tells me about the merits of good wine but I say I don’t want to know because if I ‘developed’ my palate it would just make me dissatisfied with cheap plonk so I’d have to spend double the amount!

    Hi Anne, have you got your advent calendar yet? I’ve got a lovely glittery village scene, it’s really christmassy!

    The Christmas markets have just started here and they’re bigger than ever – they’ve become quite a tourist attraction in themselves – it’s still a bit early for us but we’ll definitely be going a few times before Christmas.



  10. amo on Sunday November 17th, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    I have a question about double negatives but I am too tired to ask you tonight. I worked and took a yoga class after that so I don’t have much energy.
    Maybe tomorrow, I will ask you about it.
    Hi Kattie,
    Nice to see your comment again.

    Good night,
    amo



  11. Fumie on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 09:53 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I wonder if she bought them to sell at yahoo auction….
    – What a greedy and selfish woman!

    Hi Kattie,

    It’s nice to see your comment again!
    > I also check labels to get a rough idea about how much sugar, salt and fat are in things so that I can make an informed decision.
    – One thing I am worrying and want to avoid is trans-fat. As you know, it was banned to use in the US and I know it’s very bad but it isn’t banned in Japan and it’s very hard to know how much trans-fat are used in products. I read some articles and knew it is contains in margarine, shortening. So I checked the label of those products when I bought them but trans-fat wasn’t written. Maybe it is contained but they don’t have to write about it in Japan.

    Christmas illuminations were started right after Halloween in Japan. It’s early but the atmosphere of Christmas makes me merry and warm!



  12. YU on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 09:53 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I’m glad to see your comment here again!

    When I bought a house, I’ve lost 2-3kg from stress.
    My son was still 1 y.o. and my foreign husband couldn’t help me look through or fill in papers becsause they were very complicated. To be honest, they were very hard to understand for a native speaker of Japanese like me!!

    Anyway, I hope everything will be sorted soon!

    > if I ‘developed’ my palate it would just make me dissatisfied with cheap plonk so I’d have to spend double the amount!

    I know exactly what you mean.
    My palate for wines is quite uncertain, even if someone offered me grape juice instead of wine, I might be able to get drunk without noticing it!



  13. Biwa on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Nice to hear from you again. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your new house soon!

    >I pay a premium for the meat because I want to support non-intensive farming techniques.

    I feel exactly the same. The more consumers think the same, the more farmers will be able to grow or rear safe products with security. Considering that we are going to have more and more imported food from other countries after the TPP talks, I really hope they try to label food with a global standard.

    By the way, I can’t believe it’s Christmas time again! Wasn’t it a little while ago that we were talking about the markets in Manchester?



  14. Anne on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I’m glad to see your comments here again. I hope things are going well soon.

    >I think it’s very important that food is correctly labelled both for health reasons and from an animal welfare point of view. —Yes, it is very true. I always check the label when I buy foods at the supermarkets, and I care about ingredients,too. Have you heard of a book titled “Omnivore’s Dilemma”? In the book, the author referred to animal sufferings. It’s very difficult to strike the balance between making a profit and being organic, isn’t it?

    By the way, did you hear the news that Jamie Oliver won his long-fought battle against McDonalds? Concerning fast foods, a lot of people warned the danger of the ingredients.
    Have a look at it if you are interested in:

    http://politicalblindspot.com/hamburger-chef-jamie-oliver-proves-mcdonalds-burgers-unfit-for-human-consumption/

    > I’ve got a lovely glittery village scene, it’s really christmassy—Oh, you did? That looks lovely! Actually, I was wondering which advent calnder I should buy, and ordered on the web last night! Mine is a lovely one; bear family members are relaxing around the christmas tree. I can’t wait to get:) Last Saturday, Christmas illuminations were lit at the Cyubu Centrair International Airport, and it made me feel Christmas season coming.

    Hi Yu and Fumie,

    >I wonder if she bought them to sell at yahoo auction….
    – What a greedy and selfish woman!

    —Same here! I can’t believe that.

    Hi Fumie,

    >One thing I am worrying and want to avoid is trans-fat—yes, indeed. It’s been a while since it was banned in the U.S,right?



  15. YU on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the interesting article.

    I think McDonald’s is a very interesting company.
    They support many different charities to help sick children, but their main item has a lot of chemicals to lead them sick.

    I remember McDonald’s hamburgers in Germany weren’t as cheap as ones in Japan or in the US. There was a McDonald’s across from my uni. You might think there must have been always full with uni students, but it wasn’t because it wasn’t cheap for us. I prefered to eat grilled sausage in a white bread roll rather than having humburgers because things like that were usually cheaper and more tasty in Germany, also, I guess they weren’t as harmful as McDonald’s hamburgers to our health because those snacks were often freshly made and sold at the shop front of butchers.

    Hi Anne and Fumie,

    As for the greedy mother, I don’t really want to believe that such a thoghtless person is a mother of my son’s friend. I wonder if my son’s kindergarten should set purchase quantity limits from next year, but it sounds like supermarkets!



  16. David on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry, there was a problem with the server today, and nobody (including me) could access the BTB home page or the blog. I’ll do the new entry tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.



  17. YU on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Hi David,

    I see.
    Please take your time.
    I hope the problem will be solved soon.

    YU



  18. Fumie on Monday November 18th, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the intriguing site. When I watched the movie “Supersize me” I was frightend to eat or feed my sons Macdonald’s dishes but they are cheap and convenient so when I am busy I bought them. Now I saw Jamie Oliver’s video and it reminded me again that I shouldn’t feed them to my loving children!!

    Hi David,

    When I checked this site this evening, some stylish site appeared. I thought you renewed it but I didn’t find the blog in it. I’m glad to know it’s a technical glitch.



  19. Anne on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 05:49 AM

    Hi David,
    I’m glad to know that it was fixed.

    Hi YU,

    >I think McDonald’s is a very interesting company.
    >They support many different charities to help sick children,
    —I think so,too. When my sons were kids(about 20 years ago), they wanted to eat hamburgers, potatoes and som other ones even though I didn’t take them so often.
    It’s a big company and affects our society in a good or bad way. One of the examples is a word “MaJob.” According to Wiki, this word is slang for a low-paying, low prestige job that requires few skills and offer very little chance of intracompany advancement.

    Hi Fumie,

    >When I watched the movie “Supersize me” I was frightend to eat or feed my sons Macdonald’s dishes—Me tto! When I read the book, I felt scary! I think it is no wonder children like Mcdonald’s dishes because they look tasty.



  20. mii on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 08:52 AM

    I can’t speak English well (; 😉
    But,I want to make a friends!

    When I payed much money for food,I thought good food.

    i’m sorry,if I had mistake English.



  21. Kattie on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 09:18 AM

    Hi Mii,

    Good to hear from you! I agree if I pay a lot of money for food I hope it will be good quality and that animal welfare will have been considered.

    I’m not sure how I would pronounce (say) your name – would I say it with a long ‘e’, like ‘me’?

    Hi everyone,

    I am feeling very happy today because we have bought the house near the city centre – we haven’t completed the sale on our house yet but hopefully it will be soon! We are feeling very relieved and have been to the pub to celebrate!



  22. YU on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 09:55 AM

    Hi mii,

    Nice to have you with us! :p)

    Hi Kattie,

    Congratulations on buying your new house!

    It sounds like your life with the new house is going to be very excited!

    Hi Anne,

    Speaking of McDonald’s, their shop managers’ unpaid overtime became a problem before and it ended up in court, didn’t it?
    Actually, big companies like McDonald’s should always show good examples for others, but they sound like a sweatshop company…



  23. Biwa on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Hi mii,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂 Look forward to seeing your next comment.

    Hi Kattie,

    Congratulations! The beer(or wine?) must have tasted very special!

    Hi Anne, YU and everyone,

    The “pink slime” was really shocking. I hate to say this, but it seems true that there is a reason to unreasonably cheap food.
    By the way, the word “sweatshop” was new to me. Thanks, YU.



  24. Anne on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 01:37 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Congraturations!
    Celebrating with wine or beer must have been a special moment.

    Hi mii,
    Nice to have you with us.
    >When I payed much money for food,I thought good food—I agree with you, but this idea could be wrong sometime. That’s the problem….



  25. David on Tuesday November 19th, 2013 at 03:34 PM

    Hi mii,

    Nice to have you with us.