11 November 2009

Japan's First 'Food Miles' Cafe Gaining Popularity

Excerpt from Japan for Sustainability, 6 November 2009

'The Association to Preserve the Earth (Daichi wo Mamoru Kai, in Japanese), a corporation that provides an organic food home-delivery service, launched Japan's first "food miles" cafe, at Jiyugaoka in Tokyo, April 1, 2009, and it is turning out to be a success.

The Tsucione Cafe serves up dishes using organic and additive-free vegetables and food ingredients, and it also indicates on the menu its food-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, in terms of "food miles," or the distance travelled by food to get to the restaurant.

Except for foods with "fair trade" certification, the association uses as much grown-in-Japan ingredients as possible. The company launched its food miles campaign in 2005 to promote the use of local products by indicating food miles on its menus in "pocos," with one poco representing 100 grams of CO2 emissions for food transport.

The chefs use seasonal vegetables, free-run chicken eggs raised on feed produced in Japan, and beef from short-horned cattle (Tankaku) from the village of Yamagata, in Kuji, Iwate Prefecture. Also, the seasonings and any processed foods used are made from healthy ingredients. The cafe's menu includes a wide variety of items ranging from breakfast, lunch, and dinner items to cake for dessert...'

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