Japan's Ministry of Agriculture has a solution for many of Japan's (and perhaps the world's) ills: Eat Japanese. Taking a hard look at the triple whammy of Japan's 60+ percent food dependence, global warming, and bulging waistline that are the product of abandoning the nation's healthy diet of fish and tofu for beef, and depending ever more heavily on imported food, the Ministry offers a cheery nationalist broth for solving many of the nation's problems in this cartoon feature. Some readers may find the image of the idealized Japanese family and home in this feature remarkably reminiscent of Europeans and North Americans. Certainly Japanese, despite recent progress, have a long way to go to catch up with North American or European waistlines. Is it necessary to pose more probing questions such as the reasons why many of the fish that the Japanese diet depends on are disappearing, and why world food prices spiralled in recent years?
Posted on February 7, 2009. Recommended citation: Ministry of Agriculture, "Eat Japanese!" The Asia-Pacific Journal, 6-3-09.