Voices
in
Japan

have your say

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

28 Comments

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
Login to comment

I do not eat Chinese food product, but buy non food Chinese, will buy EU and Canadian, and sometimes buy food from Mexico

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Much is made of Japan's safe foods but Japanese farmers use more chemicals per hectare than any other country, World No.1.

Of course they only use "safe" chemicals....

I wouldn't knowingly buy anything made in Israel.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

To answer the question: Lots. If I can't pronounce anything on the label, I don't buy it. I avoid all foods from China, even so-called 'fresh' vegetables, and seldom buy anything from California or Mexico. I even doubt the 'organic' label from those places.

But, I'm lucky. Living on the west coast of Canada, there's a huge diversity of fresh foods. And our seafood and meats are probably among the world's safest. At least that's what I believe.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Less picky about point of origin but I do have to look at the ingredients because I have a boatload of food allergies and food intolerances. Eat the wrong thing and boom! Death. Or at least a few very unpleasant hours in the bathroom.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm okay with anything without any of these: fructose, corn syrup, seeds/vegetable oil, nestle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Before I eat anything I double check the label as I'm a vegan with food allergies.

I buy organic veggies (also tea, sugar, soya milk etc). If there was a choice I'd buy locally grown organic, but I won't buy non-organic veggies just because they are local. I'll switch to whatever organic veggies they have in.

Supplies are a little more patchy since Brexit, but two of the largest supermarket chains in the UK are German (which may help), and all of the major supermarkets are making an effort to keep the shelves stocked. The UK will lower its standards and permit GM soon. Hopefully organic will be unaffected. I'll do whatever is necessary to avoid GM food, regardless of how much I have to change my diet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Another reason to avoid processed foods. The ingredients rarely list the true point of origin where multiple ingredients are used. The food may be processed in the EU or the US, but the ingredients may have been imported from China. No way to know.

Even buying single ingredient items like garlic or onions is risky. The Chinese used to get around a 300% US garlic tariff by labeling their product as "made in (insert name of country here)." Among the countries I saw labeled this way were Mexico and Korea.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The less the food miles, the better, in principle. The first thing I'll look for is the euphemistic amino acids, etc. (アミノ酸等) sleight of hand for MSG. Anything with 美味しい、うまい、限定品 or 新発売 I treat like the food equivalent of a door-to-door salesman, and I mostly make my own food from scratch.

If you're too busy to prepare your own food, step back from the hamster wheel, and run while you still can.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I avoid as far as possible stuff from China (because of dubious agricultural chemicals and general iffiness) and stuff made with American soy or other veggies/grains (because of the GMO).

I also avoid as far as possible stuff from Fukushima (for obvious reasons) as well as vaguely-labeled ‘produce of Japan’ which after 2011 became a euphemism for ‘produce of Fukushima’ .

As I say, ‘as far as possible’ because the labeling isn’t always 100% accurate/reliable.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There’s a good, but long, article in Atlantic about a con man who sold insane amounts of agricultural products labeled as non-GMO and organic when they were neither.

You can’t trust anyone or anything on a label.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I tend to stick with the same brand, so I may check it at first then keep using it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't by foods originating in Fukushima or the USA (because of the GMO, growth hormones, etc.). I would also never knowingly buy anything from Israel for political reasons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you live in the Countryside or Himalayas, you don't have to watch those ingredients. Just eat freely, live free from those headaches.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We read every label. My wife suffers from allergies and hives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of course. I want to know what I am eating. Don’t buy any food stuff made in China.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it’s safe to say, if you eat anything in Japan with peanuts, like the outside of a cake, the peanuts are from China. I’m glad the local pharmacy chain carries planters, and Costco’s cashews and pistachios are good. Stopped buying Snickers bars when I saw they’re made in Chana. Read a story recently about the Aussies freaking out about something made in China, of course they’re posting on their phones and PCs made in China. You should eat fresh fruit and veggies so not much choice. Went to JA this morning. Brand new building too. I love how I can still get nice full-of-water thick and crunchy green peppers there plus coriander. I hate those thin bitter pemas. I’ve also perfected my own Caesar dressing so I’m glad Romain lettuce is becoming more popular. Thank you Costco.

i always check the country. Nothing from China and Israel. Really cut down on the HFCS. Nothing wrong with just corn syrup, but I save it for my Xmas pecan pies and tarts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

zichiToday  05:38 pm JST

We read every label. My wife suffers from allergies and hives.

Sounds a little dangerous living in the country and being so far away from hospitals.

FizzBitToday  09:44 pm JST

Nothing from China and Israel.

Israel has high quality food processing facilities.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

RegBilk

zichi

We read every label. My wife suffers from allergies and hives.

> Sounds a little dangerous living in the country and being so far away from hospitals.

You shouldn't try to have your fun on the suffering of others. Allergy problems are the same whether she lives in the countryside or the city, or this country or another. The nearest hospital can be seen from our window, about a five-minute walk. She does not require treatment anyway.

There are people with very dangerous allergies.

Out of 15 comments, once again you target mine? No wonder some people think you are a fan.

Instead, why not just make your own post based on the topic.

Do you read the food labels?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes and no. Sometimes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any products such as meat, seafood, or even vegitables that indicate they are from, or processed in China, I will not touch. Sometimes this becomes a challenge finding information on the label, but if I discover after purchse I do not hesitate to return the product. Beware of meat products such as chicken and beef from the USA and other countries that are sent to China for cheap processing, read the labels very carefully as this information is in very small print or often not disclosed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would never buy anything from Latin America or Middle East, except bananas.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We have not the slightest chance as the final consumers in the whole global food or beverages production chains. I can therefore only handle it pragmatic, with common sense and of course much luck when trusting the labels or descriptions of contents etc. Doesn’t make sense to check it intensively, because the uncertainties are still countless big. I bet all-in you all cannot do so much more, except you are really involved as an employee in a specific production cycle for a certain product and have an overviewing position there. Then and only then you can maybe make a some clearer decision for that one product.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I never buy anything from China unless I don't have an option.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Depends. I generally stick to what I know, and already know where it's from. I check seafood, though, and if it says merely "Pacific Ocean" (which means areas affected off coast of Fukushima) then I don't buy. I also check meat if it's something I don't buy often, and in a new section.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Im very strict when it come to reading labels but in Japan they have a law that they dont have to to list all ingredients they put in the foods. Be cautious of apsertan for fake sugar who was invented by Japan Ajinomo known to cause cancer. Stay away from Soy Oil and hydregenated oils and corola oil as they are known to cause heart disease. Look it up. im no subject matter expert but I do my research. Japan seems to be the most linient when it comes to allowing companies to release food and suplements wihout providing all ingredients. So best to eat pure real food instead of process crap this includes all japnese resturants they will choose the worse and chepest oils to cook in including quality of ingredients. Take Care OF Your Body!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@FizzBit, I grow a lot of romaine. It really is one of the easiest things to grow and survives frost, too. Grow your own, you'll be surprised at how much better it tastes than store-bought.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't buy things from China and neither does my wife.

Much is made of Japan's safe foods but Japanese farmers use more chemicals per hectare than any other country, World No.1.

Of course they only use "safe" chemicals....

agree

I wouldn't knowingly buy anything made in Israel.

Same.

 Living on the west coast of Canada, there's a huge diversity of fresh foods. And our seafood and meats are probably among the world's safest. At least that's what I believe.

Absolutely!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We always buy Chinese garlic because of the price.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites