Target: Toru Yamashiro and Teppei Suzuki, Founders of Seika Mikoto
Goal: Applaud Toru Yamashiro and Teppei Suzuki for educating Japanese citizens about food waste and organic produce
In Japan, fruits and vegetables that are oddly shaped are considered unsuitable to sell in grocery stores. Since organic produce is not chemically treated to be perfectly shaped, many Japanese people do not have access to all-natural foods.
Two vegetable enthusiasts, Toru Yamashiro and Teppei Suzuki, opened up a pop-up shop they call Seika Mikoto to introduce local residents to healthy organic foods. The men travel around the country, forging bonds with local farmers and telling consumers about the benefits of organic produce. They quit their jobs working on a farm to start a business based on Japan’s wasteful produce distribution system.
To help reduce food waste throughout the country, the entrepreneurs are also educating consumers that non-organic foods that are irregular in shape often taste exactly the same as their perfectly-formed counterparts. “It’s not easy to change the distribution system, so we produced a new buying-in and selling system,” Suzuki explained.
Although Seika Mikoto is a for-profit business, the founders understand the importance of balanced ecosystems and only produce and carry what they need to be sustainable. Sign the below petition to applaud Toru Yamashiro and Teppei Suzuki for educating consumers about organic produce and unnecessary food waste.
Dear Mr. Yamashiro and Mr. Suzuki,
Food waste is a serious problem in Japan because large supermarkets have replaced local street vendor and perfectly shaped produce has become the public’s expectation. But as you know, irregularly shaped fruits and vegetables often taste exactly the same as their more accepted counterparts. Even though organic fruits and vegetables are healthier to eat, they often take odd shape because of the lack of chemical alteration.
I applaud you for taking a stand against food waste and for organic produce in Japan. By traveling around the country with your pop-up produce stand, you are helping citizens become informed consumers. As Japanese citizens become more receptive to your ideas, please shift your promotions exclusively to organic produce to help consumers reduce the amount of chemicals in their diets.
I am urging you to focus your business on education and sustainability over profit. Please continue to work with local farmers to guide them towards organic growing methods that help sustain the environment and prevent toxic foods from entering local supermarkets.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Suzie’s Farm via Flickr