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How much attention do you pay to the point of origin and ingredients listed on labels of food and drink that you buy?

32 Comments

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I try to avoid any vegetable products, tinned or frozen, marked "made in China". The labelling that really annoys me is the one that states "made from local and imported products". Yes, but imported from where is what I want to know. Also I think it should be compulsory to have a clearly recognised logo that indicates the products has or may have GM food in it. Because if it is safe why shouldn't the buyer know?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Used to buy produce from Japan whenever possible until I learned that Japan uses the most chemicals out of any country on the planet for agriculture. Now I figure it is just a crap shoot especially, as SimondB stated, since products are not clearly labelled anyway. Truly hate how labeling has become so vague.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japan uses the most chemicals out of any country on the planet

Could you kindly guide me to the website, book, or other media which states this as a fact? I spent 5 minutes looking to no avail. However, I did find this :

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/agr_pes_use-agriculture-pesticide-use

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I try to buy produce only from Kyushu. So far as the statement above about Japan's chemical use, that's new to me - and I'm familiar with the industry.

Processed foods should be avoided, as there is no way to know where the ingredients came from. Except for the garlic, I avoid Chinese foods.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zero

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pizza beat me to it.

Of course, once in a while, I'll buy something, and then it falls apart. Then I might wonder "Hmm, I wonder where this was made."

But it NEVER factors into my buying decisions.

To each his own.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japanese producers seem to be able mislabel the food as to origin without penalty-in a country with ongoing radioactive releases of enormous quantities it is important to know the origin. There is no comprehensive checking for radioactive contamination nor has there been accurate information as to where fallout went from the nuclear reactors on 3/11.

However, suddenly apartment roofs in Yokohama suddenly became highly radioactive....there has been no official explanation from the Japanese government for this unusual phenomenon

And being treated for internal radioactive poisoning is a branch of medicine that most doctors have no experience of whatsoever

With these facts in mind it is drastically important!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I read every label from start to finish and put back on the shelf any item with an ingredients list that reads like a chemistry textbook or contains body parts or stuff I've never heard of (as well as stuff I have heard of and don't want to consume), as well as any item that is not clear about where the stuff came from (Kokusan is no longer clear enough). Also anything with labelling so small I need to put on my reading glasses to see what it says.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am a diligent label-reader, but more for what's In it, that where it's from. I hate the tendency these days of using meaningless gairaigo instead of listing something people can understand. I avoid things like: ファットスプレッド(fat spread?) and ショートニング (shortening). Have to assume they're could be nicer ways to say "random slurry from the abatoir."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Always check to see where the product is made. Like stated in some comments above, I, too, try to avoid food from China.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

None.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I look for expiration dates of course. A lot of the stuff on labels is meaningless gibberish and doesn't really tell you about the presence of dioxin, radioactive cesium, residual pesticides, etc. Country of origin only matters up to a point, since it tells where something was bottled or canned, but not where the ingredients came from before they went in the can. It's usually safe to go with major national brands. And I agree with Onniyama's remark about heavy use of pesticides here: A Japanese farmer friend once advised me "You better wash produce very well before you eat it!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese foods and drinks are full of artificial sweeteners, which I try to avoid, so I read the labels on everything. I was surprised to find artificial sweeteners in not only beverages, but also snack foods like chips.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't bother about it. Life's too short to worry about where your grub comes from.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A Japanese farmer friend once advised me "You better wash produce very well before you eat it!"

I believe this is a standard pretty much anywhere food is grown in the developed, and probably undeveloped as well, world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With toddlers in the house... very close attention.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My wife and I read where everything is from, but with the relabeling that has happened at some supermarkets in Japan you just really don't know anymore. I think even if you do pay attention, you can still very easily end up buying something that might be potentially dangerous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My friends who were agricultural specialist in the US Embassy Beijing advised me to never eat anything from China. They've been to farms, and know how the regulation (or lack there of) works, more or less you don't want just how bad it is, just steer clear.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't like Japanese food so much so I get to avoid most of the processed foods. I always check where beef, pork, milk, fruit and vegetables come from. And buy organic when I can. The farther south the better. Father in law has a mikan farm, so organic mikans for breakfast everyday now! Yum. Rolling the dice when we go out to eat. All the lettuce is coming from Nagano now. BTW, does anyone live around there? I'd like to get some idea of how they can grow so much lettuce at one time. Outdoors or greenhouses?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely I am to reject it.

If it's fresh/raw or dairy and the label says only "Product of Japan" or something equally meaningless, I put it back.

The further south the (domestic) origin, the more likely I am to pick it.

If there is an organic option, I'll buy that, even if it's pricier.

I resent the way companies in Japan have consistently been dishonest about the products they sell, and if they do it once, I won't buy anything of theirs again. The list grows...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My rules are pretty simple:

Buy products with the least amount of ingredients.

The ingredients should be easy to understand.

Avoid artificial flavors and colors.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We don't buy much stuff that has that stuff on the label just a few bits like ketchup for the kids. We buy fresh fruit and veg and i would rather the risk from that mislabled than eating crap cup noodles or packet junk.

Try to eat whole foods where possible and if you trust the place organic cakes and savouries for the females in the family.Females are also into this smoothie lark, so only buy certified organic fruit and veg for them, costs more but family members health comes before cost.

Sometimes your children or wife want chocolates so try and buy hand made ones and avoid the usual cheap brands you find in most stores. Hand made organic chocolates can be found online at reasonable prices these days and most of these places will answer questions about ingredients and such like.

fast food places can be ok for a nibble in small doses maybe a handful of times a year but never for children the stuff inside is bad for them especially sugar laden drinks and desserts, avoid at all costs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I avoid buying any food stuff from around fukushima or the surrounding prefectures. Hokkaido, kansai, chugoku, and kyushu are where I buy my food from. If its not labelled I dont buy it. I make everything from scratch and raw ingredients are simple. I rarely or never buy premade food (even choosing to make my own gyoza, shumai etc) over store bought. I dont trust china.

Also I prefer to buy my veggies and meat at the higher end supermarkets. I trust them more, to be honest. I get my basics (flour, oils, sauces etc) at the cheap supermarkets to keep costs down.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My mother instilled in me the vital importance of checking expiry dates, to such an extent that when she still reminds me about it (ie every bloody time) I get annoyed - as though I don't already check?!!

One odd thing I've noticed in Japan about products where it's important to check the expiration dates, that when I reach into the back of the store fridge or baked goods shelf to compare dates with the ones at the front, the earlier-dated items will often be at the back, having been pushed there by some P/T teenage shelf-stocker who has no idea how to organise a shelf. They just put the newer items at the front. Honestly...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Same experience here Maria. Went to buy some sour cream ( takanashi is the best IMO) and the newer ones were all in front.

I use my meat grinder for sausage and ground beef at least once a month. And a nice gas oven is a must!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I dont get why I got so many "bad" votes for my comments - whats wrong with not wanting to buy potentially contaminated food when you are going to be feeding it to children ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

MSG/E621 gives me headaches - check for 調味料(アミノ酸等)[choumiryou (aminosan nado)] -flavor enhancer - amino acids etc., the flag for MSG. Sometimes, though MSG may be hidden in a compound ingredient, like ウースター・ソース (Worcestershire Sauce) or 野菜ブイヨン [yasai (vegetable) bouillon].

Mutenka 無添加 means additive-free, but check the parameters of the claim. 食塩無添加 [shokuen mutenka] is no added salt. 化学調味料無添加 - [kagaku choumiryou mutenka] no chemical flavorings - is a safe bet for MSG-free food.

Beware of claims like 無添加調理だから (lit. additive-free preparation, so…) on labels - this is meaningless. One company's ingredients included ウースター・ソース, with no breakdown of the (deliberately hidden?) components.

Ultimately, Big Food has bigger legal and PR budgets than consumer advocacy groups. Does anyone really think Big Food executives and their families eat their own products?  

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anything from Fukushima and most things from the Pacific side of the Tohoku region are off the menu for us. Abe can have it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't buy food or drink. It magically appears on the kitchen table. Possibly my wife understands just this works more than I.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nothing from "Japan in general" and "Fukushima". Duh...Fukushima, I'd buy it if the labeling guaranteed it was from the western side over the mountains from that, y'know, f'in NPP that is out of control....oh, and zip from "China". Farmer's markets as much as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's see, the chicken I eat is from Brazil, meat from Canada, veggies from belgium , cheese from Europe, etc and all cheaper than Japanese produce.

Plus mak a lot o fstuff myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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