Latest on Food Crisis in Japan

March 23, 2011


Nearly two weeks after a devastating series of disasters unfolded in Japan, the country now deals with food contamination, food shortages, and damage to their valuable export industry. Here's a quick roundup of news articles about the latest in Japan:

  • Radiation Found in 11 Vegetables and Tap Water: Japanese officials warned citizens to avoid 11 vegetables produced in the prefectures around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. The vegetables impacted include broccoli, cabbage, turnips, parsley and other green, leafy vegetables. Previously, raw milk and spinach were found to have elevated radiation levels.  The tap water in Tokyo was found to have elevated readings of radioactive material and infants were urged to not consume it. The government plans to distribute bottled water to every family with small infant children.
  • US Limits Japanese Imports: Fears of radiation contamination are prompting the United States to bar foods coming from prefectures that were badly impacted by the quake and nuclear situation. Milk, milk products, fresh vegetables and fruits will not be allowed into the United States until they are proven to be safe.
  • Sake Industry Devastated: More than 100 sake factories and facilities were located in the three worst hit prefectures. Many lost their factories from damage in either the earthquake or subsequent tsunami.  This year will pose many challenges due to the lack of raw resources, fuel and infrastructure in the wake of the disasters. One factory profiled was Suisen, which employed 67 employees but still counts 11 of them as missing. On the day of the disaster, the owner stayed behind after the earthquake before fleeing to higher ground in anticipation of the tsunami. Three employees tried to save this year's crop, but had to flee to a nearby cliff as the tsunami arrived.

Photo by Foodista