Chisan-Chishou: Fresh, Local Produce the Norm in Japan

Chisan-chishou, which is Japanese for "produce local, consume local," is a way of life in Japan, one that is quickly disappearing here in America. Interestingly, small, family farms are quite common in Japan, as are fresh-picked vegetables, even in urban supermarkets, making the produce so flavorful that even children are happy to eat their vegetables.

A lot of labor goes into the farms; grapes, peaches and other fruits are covered with bags while still growing to protect them from insects and bruising and vegetable patches are mulched with rice straw or covered with plastic to keep away weeds without herbicides -- and much of the work is done by hand.

Certainly makes you wonder if this access to fresh, local produce is one of the reasons why Japanese people are known for their long life expectancy. At any rate, if you're interested in finding local produce, and supporting small farms, here in America, this past article has some great resources .

Live Science September 5, 2006

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