January 21st, Monday:
- Pork Soup (Pork, Potato, Tofu, Carrot, Onion, Burdock)
- Shore Simmered Soybeans (Hijiki Seaweed, Satsuma-age, Carrot, Sliced Konnyaku, String Bean, Soybean)
- Susuhamu with Child Fritter
- Kcal: 812
Burdock is a vegetable with lots of dietary fiber. We can’t digest the dietary fiber in burdock and it passes through our body, making clean our stomach and intestines. Burdock is a master at cleaning our stomachs.
Can I be honest with you? I am all squeamish about eating fish which still have their heads, tails, or even many bones. So the susuhamu isn’t in my picture because another teacher kindly ate my portion for me. It’s childish to be all “it looks weird, I won’t eat it”, but oh well, I’m foreigner so its okay right? But I ate all of my delicious hijiki and soybean simmer!
In my island home and in Japan too, milk is served with every school lunch and students are encouraged by teachers and posters to drink their milk, especially in elementary school. In junior high school, a lot of students no longer drink the milk, because they don’t like it or it makes them sick. However, I think due to the meat and dairy heavy diet in schools and often at home too in modern Japan, Japanese people are on a whole getting taller and taller.
Is being tall a good thing? In modern fashion magazines and the opinion of most modern people (especially in the West), yes. But this is a really new opinion in Japan. It is an opinion that has been copied blindly from the West, I feel. In fact, I would like to argue that being tall is evolutionary disadvantages for an island country like Japan.
On islands, resources are somewhat limited. Likewise, there are not many natural dangers that require a large body to fend off. So on an archipelago like Japan, being smaller in size–thus requiring less resources–is to a person’s advantage. This can be even been seen in some animal populations in Japan, such as the Honshu fox or Ryukyu deer. You might argue that being bigger has its advantages now that Japan must compete with the taller, larger Westerners. But when Europeans and Japanese men were compared at the start of the Meiji period, the Japanese were able to better run long distances, endure extreme conditions, and so on than the Europeans, and with less food and resources (cf. Hearn).
So I think we should be careful to avoid blindly copying ideas when they might not necessarily be the best depending on the situation.