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Japanese chef brings taste of Fukushima to France

By Caroline TAIX

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Can't spell "Harutomo Hagi" without "Hi Tumor."

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Since the start the Japanese government has promoted green tea,meat,mushrooms etc all with high levels of radioactivity. If Fukushima produce is so safe why did Mr Hagi feel the need to to have the radiation levels checked? And how much of Hagi's produce was irradiated beyond safety levels? It also seems that he knows an uncanny number of people abroad with whom he can prepare 5 star cuisine for wealthy customers. This stinks of 'an-all-is-well-PR-disinformation' campaign.

In tomorrow's news we'll read of record levels of contamination released into the Pacific from Fukushima.

But keep smiling and eating your Fukushima greens and we'll all be fine ......

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Fukushima is a large prefecture, the third largest in Japan. Prevailing winds around the time of the disaster would have blown the radiation mostly east and south, not predominately west. The plant sits on the eastern edge of the prefecture, so much of Fukushima could very well have been unaffected. On the other hand, we know that abnormal levels of radiation were detected in spinach from Ibaraki Prefecture to the south; canola from Gunma Prefecture to the southwest; tea leaves from Shizuoka to the south and chrysanthemum greens from Chiba to the south.

I think the real problem is a lack of trust, for which TEPCO and the government can be blamed. Food from the northwestern end of Fukushima may be perfectly fine but most people aren't prepared to believe that or to take that chance and there is a knee-jerk reaction to the notion of consuming food from Fukushima. What this means is that food products from areas which may have been more adversely affected are being chosen over food products from Fukushima even though they may not actually be safer.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Nope! Still not eating anything from Fukushima, knowingly!!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Perfect example of putting pride before reality. I agree, PR campaign.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japanese menus using European produce.

.. this says it all.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wish the guy luck but he knows what he is selling, there are many Japanese youtube videos with Japanese farmers in this area talking about how badly the ground is contaminated and the fact that they wont even eat the food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What's with the goofy , high school girl expression?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You know, I really, really sympathize with a lot of the farmers in the area and definitely think the government needs to do more (aside from encouraging their produce) to help them, and relocate them if necessary, but when are these people and the government going to learn that pushing products that are potentially dangerous and come from a prefecture suffering (and no, still not 'under control') a nuclear meltdown at its plant is NOT a good means of promotion?? Seriously.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What's the cumulative effect of ingesting all these 'negligible' amounts of contaminants?

The IAEA isn't going to tell us!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hope if and when the guy is shot down he's not too surprised. I give him props for trying to help people

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Is it not illegal to import/export meat (be it cooked/raw) to/from Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I really do not understand why people insist on fighting this losing battle.

I completely sympathise with the farmers whose land, which has probably been nurtured by their families for generations, is now contaminated and defamed by the criminal ineptitude of the crooks at TEPCO. Even if their produce is safe to eat, too many people have been scared off by criminal mislabelling scandals in the past to have any faith.

At best, they will be able to sell their produce at a greatly reduced price. Hardly a fit reward for their hard work and specialised expertise.

On the other hand, the south-west of Japan has for decades been struggling with the effects of young people leaving the agricultural areas to find work in big cities. The average age in many of these farming communities is 65-75.

So we have farmers with expert knowledge and skills, but unworkable land in the north-east, and valuable, safe land lying fallow in the south-west because there are not enough skilled people to work it.

We should give the victims of Fukushima a generous relocation package, move them to the south-west (if they're willing to go, of course, I'm not talking about rounding them up and forcing them onto trains at bayonet point) and let them get to work..

The farmers get to use their skills, and by so doing will help to rebuild trust in Japanese food produce. Everybody wins.

Surely this would be more valid than trying to persuade the French to stop looking down their noses?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The question is not whether it tastes nice or not - the chef is missing the point. We know you can take contaminated food and make it oishii but Its the fear that if we eat it we might die, which leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

ozymandiaskingofkings: Surely this would be more valid than trying to persuade the French to stop looking down their noses?

How did all of that turn into an insult against the French? Surely what Gilles Bragard, President Francois Hollande, the Club des Chefs des Chefs and Thierry Marx have done indicates a generosity in trying to help this man to promote his region and products. I'm all for insults when they are due but yours seems totally unwarranted.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Surely a nice guy. Living in delusion.

He met both President Francois Hollande and Prince Albert, in their cases serving up Japanese menus using European produce.

These old guys could eat a couple of your radiant peaches... then, that's Abe that you should talk to, as I don't see what Flamby and the Albert could do about the problem that is "under control".

Fukushima is a large prefecture,

I agree that 60 to 80% of Fukushima produce must be safe BUT with authorities in place, they won't tell us honestly which is contaminated and which is safe. Unless there is revolution in Japan, that won't happen. Recently, I've developed a taste for bananas, green papaya, hechima, basmati rice, wulong tea, etc...

“If the French eat these products,

If we could put Paris inside a bottle... Many French are still avoiding Corsican produce for fear of Chernobyl contamination. How is Fukushima's brocciu ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )


-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Armed with a fist full of certifications, there is a reason those are needed!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry, not going for that old trick. They can keep it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the chef should maybe read this article and the dozens of other like it http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/world/asia/with-a-plants-tainted-water-still-flowing-no-end-to-environmental-fears.html?hpw&_r=0

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good for him. I understand not every product in Fukushima is contaminated, and the region must be reconstructed again. It's hard but it must be done little by little.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ybanez, "little by little" and over a few hundred years, which is what it is going to take as nature moves along the half-life levels of radioactive contaminants. Nothing is going to change that.

Meanwhile, Ozy's idea of relocating farmers remains the best and will probably never happen.

Not every product is contaminated, but it seems like trustable labeling and readings will never happen, either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good try! But French people are well aware of food contamination due to Chernobyl. I am afraid this chef (and I bow to him for trying) just wasted a plane ticket. Though not everything is contaminated in Fukushima, the poor monitoring of food sourcing, mis labeling etc ... ruined consumers trust. Many farmers in Fukushima do not even eat their own products and are seeking for compensation. These poor people lost everything. The Japanese government is guilty, not the consumers !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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