Photo: Twitter/@6jsDrYcsuFZf7EB
food

Post-meal waste at Japanese sushi restaurant sparks controversy online

25 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

Sushi is known worldwide for being one of the healthier choices when it comes to dining out, but in recent years, diet-conscious diners have begun to eschew the carb-heavy rice content in a way that’s causing anger amongst chefs, waitstaff, business owners, and the general public in Japan.

This wasteful style of dining has become a sore point since we first wrote about it way back in 2016, and according to a tweet that went viral in Japan recently, the trend sadly appears to be continuing. The tweet, by Twitter user @6jsDrYcsuFZf7EB, captures the essence of the problem with two images taken at a revolving sushi train restaurant showing a table full of plates with rice left on them.

Accompanying the tweet was this message:

“Don’t eat sushi like this, you weirdo. If you don’t want to eat shari, then buy sashimi at the supermarket!”

In Japan, hand-moulded sushi consists of a neta topping, usually made from raw seafood, and shari, specially prepared rice commonly seasoned with a combination of salt, sugar and vinegar. The images in this tweet show the shari has been left behind, which is particularly frustrating for Japanese viewers, given that if you don’t like rice, you can buy raw fish without rice in Japan, and it’s called sashimi.

People had a lot to say about the viral tweet, leaving comments like:

“I work part-time at a sushi restaurant and we see this all the time.”

“These types of diners don’t care about global warming.”

“Japan is crying at these images.”

“The shari is also crying.”

“I apologise to the country’s rice farmers who do their best to provide a good crop of rice.”

“This is shameful. Even if I’m full, I make sure to finish everything on my plate.”

The last point there is one that resonates with a lot of people in Japan, as children here are taught to finish all the food they’ve been given, even if they don’t like it, from a very young age. It’s an equally important part of being an adult in Japan as well, where “every grain of rice is believed to contain the seven gods of good fortune” so leaving behind even one grain at the end of a meal is considered disrespectful, particularly after so many people suffered without food here during World War II.

Still, this trend of leaving rice behind at conveyor belt sushi restaurants is one that needs to be addressed not only by diners but the restaurants themselves. Out of all the well-known revolving sushi chains in Japan, only one – Hamazushi – is said to offer sashimi on their permanent menu.

While other popular chains like Kappa Zushi, Genki Sushi, Sushiro, and Kura Zushi might offer sashimi as part of special campaigns from time to time, it’s not always possible to order sushi without rice. So as the trend continues to stir up debate and anger those in the restaurant business, it might be time for them to build upon initiatives like fish-recycling programs and think about adding some sashimi options to their menus as well.

Source: Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Increasing number of women leave rice behind at revolving sushi train restaurants in Japan

-- Conveyor belt sushi chain taking the bold, eco-friendly step of getting rid of all its conveyors

-- Seven reasons to eat sushi (other than because it tastes great)

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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”conveyor belt sushi “ ? !!!

Just say “ KaitenZushi/ Sushi “ !

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

”conveyor belt sushi “ ? !!! 

Just say “ KaitenZushi/ Sushi “ !

Why so weak. Don’t you think they should be using 回転寿司?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Abbey

It is because there are people that don't know the name KaitenZushi. Furthermore, this site is geared towards English readers. So it's only natural that they opt for the English meaning of the word.

Kurazushi is a "conveyor belt sushi chain." When you order your sushi you have the option of 1/2 portions of rice.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If the staff and restaurant owners are seeing this all the time and it's been going on for years, then they should have options to suit peoples requirements shouldn't they!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

If the staff and restaurant owners are seeing this all the time and it's been going on for years, then they should have options to suit peoples requirements shouldn't they!

Exactly! They already do the wasabi option, why not the rice option?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kniknaknokkaer

If the staff and restaurant owners are seeing this all the time and it's been going on for years, then they should have options to suit peoples requirements shouldn't they!

"T.I.J! This is the way we've always done it! It doesn't matter how inefficient or illogical it is!"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

it’s sushi restaurant the main part of sushi is the rice, you can change the topping or even the wasabi, but what make it call sushi is the rice. If you take the rice, that’s not sushi and that restaurant not sushi restaurant.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I worked in this kind of restaurant. These people are a minority. By far.

Doing sashimi option would be a new burden on the staff to accommodate less than 1% of the customers. I am not surprised few restaurant chains chose to do it. The clients pay for it, what they decide to do with the food is not the restaurant's problem.

If these people didn't want to waste rice, they could go to a sashimi place instead. If you come to a sushi place, we will assume you want to eat sushi. Restaurants can't accommodate everyone, and are not responsible for how people were educated.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Doing sashimi option would be a new burden on the staff to accommodate less than 1% of the customers.

How so? Just put the fish on the plate, serve it. How difficult is it not to include a separate ingredient?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Only went to a revolving sushi bar once which we enjoyed but I decided that it wasn't really healthy having the food plates pass along by every customer breathing on them.

We do go to many sushi bars and eat the rice, if people want just the fish order sashimi or go to a place which serves it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The restaurants won't do anything because they charge for the rice anyway and the customers don't care because they know they've paid for it so it's reasonable in terms of capitalism. The restaurants also don't want to have to mess with their work flow because it costs them money and it's unlikely anyone is going to pay more for less rice (!) so they might as well just let the customers waste it

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

People are saying the sushi restaurant should change the menu to fit with these wasteful people's desires. Reminds me of a man who yelled at the Fish and Chip shop worker for not selling vegetarian burgers. Go somewhere that has the food you want! You can't expect them to change their menu because you want to be a selfish child. It is especially disrespectful to do this in Japan because of their culture, so I really hope these people are just ignorant travelers.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

People are saying the sushi restaurant should change the menu to fit with these wasteful people's desires.

What is wasteful about wanting less of something?

Reminds me of a man who yelled at the Fish and Chip shop worker for not selling vegetarian burgers.

They aren't asking for something that is not served. They are asking not to serve something that is served.

It is especially disrespectful to do this in Japan because of their culture,

Japan's culture is not to cater to the customer's wishes? Interesting. Omotenashi?

I really hope these people are just ignorant travelers.

What a strange thing to hope for. What if they are educated locals instead?

Most kaiten sushi places now use the digital touchscreens to order dishes that aren't on the conveyor. How hard would it be to include a 'shari nashi' option? Until a few years ago it was done by intercom with the chef, and so I presume it was easier to omit the shari part.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The restaurants won't do anything because they charge for the rice anyway and the customers don't care because they know they've paid for it so it's reasonable in terms of capitalism. The restaurants also don't want to have to mess with their work flow because it costs them money and it's unlikely anyone is going to pay more for less rice (!) so they might as well just let the customers waste it

I never said this was a good thing! Change the economic system to incentivise a different kind of efficiency

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you come to a sushi place, we will assume you want to eat sushi.

That doesn't always work.

When we have overseas guests, they invariably want to try 'real' sushi.

So I (we) take them to a sushi restaurant.

But I'm vegetarian, and I do not want to eat sushi, or sashimi, or any kind of dead fish.

So I should order stuff and not eat it?

Not order anything, and simply watch while my guests eat?

A good restaurant (not the kaiten places, but then we want our guests to have good sushi) will willingly accommodate a customer out of left field. The last time my brother visited, the sushi restaurant we took him to were more than happy to dish up veggie tempura, edamame, soramame, plain rice, etc., that added up to a very tasty lunch for me while the rest of the crowd dug into their sushi.

A good restaurant will cater to its customers.

(Come to think of it, that whole table of customers was there because I brought them in, so the restaurant is getting more sushi business by keeping its sushi-free customers happy.)

If the customer wants sushi without rice (=sashimi), the restaurant should serve sushi without rice.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Eat the damn food however the hell you want! Don't worry what Japanese culture says is right

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A popular all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant in Amsterdam will charge you extra if you leave any food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

the rice too big and no taste good at those conveyor belt places.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agung NurcahyoToday  12:39 pm JST

it’s sushi restaurant the main part of sushi is the rice, you can change the topping or even the wasabi, but what make it call sushi is the rice. If you take the rice, that’s not sushi and that restaurant not sushi restaurant.

Sushi restaurants like Hamazushi, Uobei, Sushiro, Kurasushi, (naming the ones around my place) offer different kinds of soups (misoshiru, tonjiru, ramen), fried chicken, french fries, tempura, salad, takoyaki and even burgers. So if they can offer all of that and still be a sushi restaurant, surely they can offer sushi without rice (or sashimi).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What a joke.

People have time to be outraged at other people, and I’m suppossed to care?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I am surprised there was no speculation as to the background of the people who did this. At least we have improvement in that area. Seems should be able to order sushi with no rice if thats what you really want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi

Agreed! That goes for combini Odden which gets dust and dirt bone into it every time the door opens, coughing wheezers waiting to pay and any other object that finds its way in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’d like to point out that sushi IS the rice, not the fish. The fish is a topping. So there is no such thing as sushi without rice. I mean, anything could be considered sushi without rice, even a steak.

Sushi = fish is a common misconception.

Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, pronounced [sɯ̥ɕiꜜ] or[sɯ̥ꜜɕi]) is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice (鮨飯 sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients (ネタ neta), such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is "sushi rice", also referred to as shari (しゃり), or sumeshi (酢飯).[1]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People and their weird diets. Like ordering a burger without the bun coz "I'm on a carbs diet" but then they have a massive piece of meat patty, cheese, BBQ and everything else but no bread coz "they're on a diet". Oh and "I want a Diet Coke with that". Weirdos.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like ordering a burger without the bun coz "I'm on a carbs diet" but then they have a massive piece of meat patty, cheese, BBQ and everything else but no bread coz "they're on a diet".

Depends on the diet. Some diets, such as the keto diet, require no carbs. There's a scientific basis behind it - eating carbs knocks the body out of ketosis.

Personally I'm not a proponent of diets like that simply because I don't find them sustainable for myself. But that doesn't mean they don't work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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