Monday, April 4, 2011

Won't Miss #305 - mistrust of imported food

One of the bits of marketing that you find appears on some food designed to be fed to infants and toddlers, as well as the odd product for adults, is the fact that the ingredients are made in Japan. When a package says, "made with rice grown in Japan," I wonder why it even matters. I think one of the reasons is that many Japanese people don't trust the safety of food grown in other countries. In particular, they don't trust Chinese produce (and pot stickers, or as they are called here, "gyoza") and American beef. If there is an isolated incident with a product made abroad having a food safety issue, the Japanese media seize upon it and blow it to ridiculous proportions. When a Japanese company has the same issue, it's rarely mentioned. This has caused an enduring idea that only domestically produced food can be truly trusted.

The idea that Japanese food is the safest food in the world and one can spend more money on it in order to feel that little Taro or Mariko will grow up healthy and strong is clearly a marketing ploy, and it's one that I won't miss.