Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kumamoto City promotes local agriculture and healthy eating

With the twin goals of supporting local agriculture and promoting healthier meals at local restaurants, the city of Kumamoto, Japan, has started a "Certified Healthy Restaurant" program.

(Kumamoto City is the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, where Mellow Monk green tea comes from.)

To quality for certification, a restaurant has to meet four requirements:

  1. Nutritional facts for each dish are printed on the menu
  2. Customers can make "healthy adjustments" to a dish, such as a smaller portion of rice
  3. Locally produced ingredients, such as vegetables and meat, are used
  4. A no-smoking section is established, or smoking is banned altogether

Certified restaurants get to display this sign:

which reads "This is a can-do restaurant" [big letters] when it comes to health [smaller letters]."

The article [in Japanese only] from which the picture was taken states that so far 65 restaurants in town have been certified. The program expects to certify roughly 100 restaurants per year and plans to expand from just restaurants to food-processing plants, convenience stores, and other food-related operations.

—Mellow Monk

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