Why it Matters Where Our Food Comes From


REVIEW by Poh Qiying:

Ethical eating habits have been on the rise, and restaurants in Japan are also stepping up onto these efforts.  Narisawa, being awarded the first Sustainable Restaurant Award, practice sustainable ways. For example they purchase mostly local produce (paying close attention to the seasons), and the handling of water and waste is appropriate.

However, because of its growing popularity, sometimes the phrase ‘sustainable restaurant’ is simply used loosely as an attractive label to entice people to consume.  The restaurant itself does not act out what is being said.

It becomes more problematic when the consumers themselves do not understand the importance of sustainable ways and why it is necessary (especially in light of the food scarcity problems).  Thus the restaurant can act as a medium to educate people, while at the same time “bringing nature into the city”.

Therefore, I feel that being sustainable is beneficial, especially in the long run in ensuring and securing our future.  Natural resources are further ensured, and waste is properly used.  The old linear pathways of dealing with any resources are now all connected in a continuous cyclical flow. On the other hand, it is difficult to tell if the corporation truly believes in the idea of sustainability or just greenwashing consumers as mentioned in the article.

“Being green” to me should entail certain sense of time, that whatever we do today is going to benefit in the long run.  These benefits are not only for us humans but also for the environment.  It is also equally important to understand that the inputs (local produce) and outputs (waste) of any system need to be thought more carefully of in the road to ‘greening’.



ARTICLE LINK: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/05/31/food/why-it-matters-where-our-food-comes-from/#.Uh-jrD_t84K

Joe, Melinda, 31 May 2013. Why does it matter where our food comes from [online]. The Japanese Times. Available from http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/05/31/food/why-it-matters-where-our-food-comes-from/#.Uh-jrD_t84K [Accessed 27 August 2013]


One thought on “Why it Matters Where Our Food Comes From

  1. This is an interesting article on a topic that affects us all: what we eat. It appears that there is a new awareness that we should care about what we eat – where it is sourced, who grows it and under what conditions, how it is prepared, what happens with the waste. These questions involve complex ethical dilemmas for those who pay attention.

    One point often emphasized by critical geographers is the ways that these questions are limited by class. In other words, not everyone has the economic security to be able to afford to care about where meals come from and how they are prepared. Just putting food on the table is enough of a challenge. This is an economic and social justice critique of “green” attitudes. Although thinking about the source of one’s food is a great thing for society and the future of the earth, not everyone can afford to care.

    From a political ecology standpoint, we might, then, see how some people are forced to consume in ways that are not the best for the long-term sustainability of the planet, but are the only viable option. Like poor peasants in Tokugawa Japan, some people cannot afford to be stewards of the earth.

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