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Image of the Day: Food Security in Japan
Julia Levitt, 20 Nov 08

If you haven't yet seen this video from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), you're missing out. One of the cooler PSAs I've ever seen, it offers an entertaining animated rundown of food security.

The dilemmas: Japan's food culture is slipping away; it depends dangerously on imports from a very small group of nations; Japan's agriculture economy is suffering; and Japanese citizens are unhealthy from eating too much meat and greasy food.

The solutions: Japanese citizens should think before they eat; supermarkets should buy healthy, locally produced foods and label them as such; farmers should produce more of what people need to eat.

What's missing from the minimal dialogue, I think, is a mention of the substantial changes in policy needed to help make all of these good things happen (for a background on that, I recommend Michael Pollan's recent essay).

But effective public education like this very viral video is a great first start. And the dancing cows are wonderfully, weirdly mesmerizing.

Thanks to Worldchanging staffer and resident food-sustainability guru Mayling Chung for scouting this one.

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Quote: "it offers an entertaining animated rundown of food security, though the concept is never mentioned in so many words (at least in translation)."

Read the translation again:"So, what should be done to meet food security needs?" Right around 3 mins. :-)

Posted by: Enoch Root on 21 Nov 08

It's interesting that the solution to food security problems in this video begins with personal responsibility for lifestyle changes. Once most Japanese are interested in eating Japanese produce, it's suggested, the supermarkets should begin marking Japanese groceries with the national symbols. Then the agricultural producers will bring their labors in line with Japanese consumers demand for quality Japanese produce.

The cranes — a Japanese symbol for longevity — flying over the newly revitalized fields... that's a nice touch.

Posted by: Andrew Watt on 22 Nov 08

i hate your food and your guys there are ulgy and ur gay and u need to go f ur self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: poop on 3 Dec 08

Enoch, you're right about the translation, thanks for pointing out the mistake. I've made the correction.

Posted by: Julia Levitt on 18 Dec 08

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