Monday June 27, 2011
Heart disease and obesity, here we come! Although sushi may be the epitome of Japanese cuisine to foreigners, Japanese youth are losing their taste for fish and instead are increasingly opting for meat-based protein similar to what you find in Western fast food establishments. In 2006, the per capita fish consumption in Japan fell below meat for the first time ever. Sushi, as we know it today, was introduced in Tokyo around 400 years ago as a convenient way to eat rice and fish together. Ironically, a Japanese government study found that convenience and time were two of the leading factors associated with a 24% household decrease in spending on seafood since 2000. Sushi didn’t become popular throughout Japan until the 1950s, when transportation and refrigeration made it possible, now there are an estimated 45,000 sushi restaurants in Japan. With globalization and refrigerated planes, sushi was introduced to Europe and North America in the 1970s and became an international phenomenon by the 1990s.
Sushi in Japan is considered as much a form of art as it is a food source. Sushi chefs train as an apprentice for 7 years before they are allowed to prepare sushi in front of customers. In Tokyo fish can be caught, sold at the Tsukiji Fish Market, and served as sushi in the same day! Our tests have confirmed that, in fact, there is no better place to eat sushi than the many fine establishments surrounding the market.