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'Health food' certification mark to be placed on prepared foods

16 Comments

Beginning next year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has asked that convenience stores selling bento lunches and other cooked foods that fit within a certain set of nutritional guidelines, attach a "health food" certification sticker to them.

The sticker is meant to help consumers make healthier food choices. It will be used on products sold by supermarkets, convenience stores and food delivery service companies, NTV reported Tuesday.

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16 Comments
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Wait wait wait... shouldn't it be the other way around?

Shouldn't food makers and sellers ask the Ministry to certify and allow them to use the label?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you want healthy food, it's better to prepare your own and not rely on a childish sticker. No high carb food is healthy. That basically eliminates most if not all items at convenience stores or bentos in general.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Although some prepared food at convenience stores tastes nice, just look at the long list of ingredients on the back of each item. Even an onigiri seems to have all sorts of crap in it when it should be, for example, just rice, salmon, dried seaweed and a bit of salt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bento lunches and other cooked foods that fit within a certain set of nutritional guidelines

And that certain set of nutritional guidelines would be......?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

serendipitousOct. 08, 2014 - 10:19AM JST Although some prepared food at convenience stores tastes nice, just look at the long list of ingredients on the back of each item. Even an onigiri seems to have all sorts of crap in it when it should be, for example, just rice, salmon, dried seaweed and a bit of salt.

Take out the preservatives and the food will go bad faster and we'll throw away even more than the 1/3rd (I think) of the total produced food thrown away today. Unless you want to ban prepared food, there's very little to do about preservatives that doesn't cost someone a ton of money and wasted resources.

On the other hand I think this sticker may be a step in the right direction, but it would be much better if the government regulated its use strictly, rather than asking a shop to stick it on what they think is healthy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Great! but in Japan this is far more important -

If the foods are displayed at room temperature, they must be labeled with the current date and the time by which the food must be eaten or discarded. These types of foods cannot be held at unsafe temperatures or room temperature for longer than 4 hours. This includes preparation, transportation and display time.

From US DOH website

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Enter the new round of mislabeling!

In any case the wording of this article is SURE different to one I read on another site yesterday. It talked about how the bentos and what not had to meet a specific set of standards (as it does here), but that there would be no screening by authorities for stores to obtain the mark.

Regardless, while eating a convenience store bento or other cooked foods beats nothing, and definitely beats eating potato chips or other similar junk there's really nothing healthy about them save that they give a little balance if a full bento. They are VERY high in salt, and foods like the fried chicken or other goods kept heated are made up of the same kind of meat that McDonald's gets, if not worse (and hence also had to discontinue products with the food scandal from Chinese chicken this year). Any of the flash-cooked foods are horrible, and even the oden has been stripped of most nutritional elements.

I like the odd purchase when I'm short on time and not at home, but if you want to be healthy try to make things yourself and regulate what you take in.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

i can imagine very few items at conbinis and supermarkets ever getting this sticker.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Governments should not be involved in labeling foods as healthy or good for high blood pressure (as some teas are in Japan). Bad idea. Could be held libel.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And that certain set of nutritional guidelines would be......?

I was wondering the same. I cannot imagine that any bento sold at a convenience store would ever get this label if the guidelines were meant to be honest...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wont take long these stickers will be on everything, they will have very little meaning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another high-cost, low-value public sector invention that some old farts have had their minions burning midnight oil for, as they themselves negotiate their Amakudari at Big Food KK.

I'm reminded of the ubiquitous "eco" labels, and the meaningless environmental performance stickers on the back of cars.

Once again, the fox is guarding the henhouse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Health is the most important thing that you own but most people make their food choices based on taste, price, convenience, and appearance of shelf life. Unfortunately these have nothing to do with health. If you want to experience increase energy, weight normalization, and other health benefits then you have to also consider most important of all your nutritional type. That will allow you to choose proper foods and get the proper nutrients for your body.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These stickers will soon be on tempura and chocolate too. Utterly worthless exercise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you're eating konbini onigiri, the carbs themselves have greater ill effects than the preservatives have.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And that certain set of nutritional guidelines would be...

Exactly Cleo! Because unless they are extemely loose, a banana in my conbini is pretty much all that would qualify.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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