Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Random Picture 42
If there is one thing I've learned since coming to Japan and paying attention to what is going on with food, it's that the Japanese food producers won't hesitate for a second to jump all over any indication that foreign-produced food is less safe than Japan-produced food. Despite the fact that Japanese food sometimes is found to be unsafe, they are like sharks that sense blood in the water and make sure any negative press about foreign food is heard loud and often. Such has been the case for the last several years now in regards to American beef. The BSE scare allowed Japan to promote its beef and that which Japanese business owners produced on their Australian farms at the expense of American beef. This sign which I saw on the subway not too long ago shows that the American beef producers are trying to fight back and promote their image more positively with the slogan "We Care."
The reason that U.S. beef (and Chinese produce) are maligned so quickly and roundly when any chance presents itself is that the prices are lower and food safety is a serious concern among the Japanese. Of course, everyone is concerned about food safety, but the notion that Japanese food producers are more reputable or careful than those in other countries is wrong.