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Farm to Table in Japan

 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Christina Takeichi, CSJ

As part of our April Eco-Challenge: Use Your Plate to Help the Planet by eating less beef and dairy, some of our sisters and associates are sharing their reflections about food. Today, Sister Christina Takeichi, CSJ from our community in Japan, writes about how they make sustainable food choices there.

The basic way of eating habits is to give priority to direct delivery from the production area / local production for local consumption. We are not only eating vegetables because Japan is a country where we cannot live without imports from other countries.

Among them, we who live in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture, are supported by our dear friends, neighbors and school graduates. For example, during the summer we have kiwi, eggplant, peppers, broccoli, zucchini and from autumn to winter, rice, numerous potatoes, radishes, pumpkins, leeks and green vegetables. Fruits, apples, mandarins, pears, watermelons, strawberries, persimmons, peaches, etc. are really abundant and support our life. Our Mother Earth is so rich.

A Japanese hot pot containing mushrooms, tofu, sprouts and other vegetables

Vegetables etc. are harvested in the field depending on the season, but at the same time they are harvested here and there, so we often get a lot of the same things. In such a case, we are pleased to change the recipe to make a variety of dishes. It is also we share with our neighbors nearby.

To receive locally produced food is to focus on seasonally harvested food. We want to live according to the transition of the earth called the seasons.

Recommended Recipe: Tofu Cheeseburgers

INGREDIENTS

  • Momen tofu … 1/2 chome
  • 100g minced pork
  • 1 piece of sliced cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Ponzu vinegar (soy sauce with vinegar), as appropriate
  • Bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper, salad oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel, weigh it, leave it for about 20 minutes, and drain it thoroughly.
  2. Put minced meat, onions, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a little pepper and 1 tofu in a bowl and mix by hand. When it becomes sticky, divide it into two equal parts and roll it into a slightly flat shape.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and line up 2. Press the center with your finger to make it slightly dented, and bake for 1-2 minutes until browned. Turn it upside down, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover it, reduce the heat to low and steam for about 6 minutes.
  4. When it becomes brown, turn off the heat, tear off the sliced cheese, cover it again, melt it with residual heat, and serve it on a plate. Sprinkle ponzu sauce on the hamburger steak.

Reflection Question

What might people of other cultures have to offer me as I think about my food choices?

Share your thoughts in a comment below.

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.

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