Details of the Initiative

Wild animals live in an environment where food is scarce. Humans have been surviving through agricultural and other technologies by way of exception. Still, the increase in food production has reached its limit. Incidentally, the essence of food issues in modern developed countries is malnutrition due to satiation. Obesity and overweight as a result of eating too much meat are causing lifestyle-related diseases. Since a large amount of grain and beans are consumed for stockbreeding, overeating meat may result in their being wasted. If we eat more grain and beans instead of meat, our food problems will move toward a resolution without increasing food production. However, people with economic power tend not to act in such a way.

In fact, Japan is the only developed country without the tendency of overeating. This stems from the Japanese culture of enjoying fish and soybeans. These days, therefore, we are working on the following studies with the graduate students of the Graduate School of Humanities and the undergraduate students of the School of Commerce.

[Research on sushi ingredients] Sushi is made with fish, which contains histidine that suppresses appetite. Although sushi is growing in popularity worldwide because of its deliciousness, there are concerns about the supply and demand of fish. Therefore, we are doing research on its sustainability.

[Development of soybean menus] Europeans and Americans hardly eat soybeans, which has a nutritional value comparable to that of meat. Therefore, we are busy developing new menus, in which we can eat soybeans deliciously, in the Special Theme Practicum “SDGs cookery science” class of the School of Commerce.

Sushi in the Edo period (left: painting owned by Yoshino Sushi in Nihonbashi) and sushi in the Reiwa period (right: photographed at said restaurant in September 2022). Even sushi served at the same restaurant has apparently changed over more than a hundred years. We are considering the sustainability of the supply of seafood used as sushi ingredients from the standpoint of the food system.
In the Special Theme Practicum “SDGs cookery science” class of the School of Commerce, undergraduate students are busy developing delicious new meals with soybeans as main ingredient (photographed in August 2021).
We always make a sensory evaluation by performing a taste test because the development of new menus will be meaningless if it does not taste good. The cooking process for “fried minced soy meat” (left) and preparation for the sensory evaluation (right) (photographed in July 2022).