vegetables

Broccoli bonsai and sweet sushi: Japanese culture’s evolution abroad【Photos】

Bonsai and sushi are two of Japan’s most well-known cultural exports with fans all over the world. But while Japan may cling to the traditional presentation of these two icons, globalization has taken these Japanese icons and turned them into something new. Not just happy with tiny trees and raw fish on top of vinegar rice, these cultural hybrids have evolved into something far beyond their origins in the Japanese archipelago. Click below to see some very creative bonsai as well as some food that really stretches the definition of “sushi.”

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Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us”

So, apparently numerous ’50s and ’60s B-Movies (and one glorious ’80s cartoon) and a popular, genre-defining video game weren’t enough to deter scientists from playing God with plant-life if the growing number of hybrid vegetables available on Japanese store shelves is any proof.

These days, most hybrid vegetables are created over a roughly 10-year period of crossbreeding certain seeds in what we presume is some kind of laboratory setting, although the practice has been alive for centuries – yielding some hybrids that the general public isn’t even aware are hybrids. The Romanesco, for example, is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and was created in the 16th century. Side note: It’s also probably mind blowing to look at while high.

But the things we’re seeing increasingly often in Japan these days are just plain weird.

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LED plant factories offer efficient 3D alternative to traditional gardening

The concept of plant factories is not a new one. Especially in space-strapped Japan, the idea of a compact garden that can simulate a natural environment in a tight urban area is highly desirable.

Keystone Technologies is one Japanese company that has been constantly refining their LED garden technology. Currently they boast a system that can fit about a quarter acre’s worth of crops into a space of a hotel’s single-room, and that’s just the beginning.

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Scaremongers strike again: “mutant” vegetables wrongly attributed to Fukushima

“Attack of the mutant vegetables!! Are these our new tomato overlords?? Let’s all boycott the struggling Fukushima farmers for, oh, say 100 years or so.”

Actually, despite the attention they’re receiving and hits they’re no doubt generating online, the following photos don’t seem to originate from Fukushima at all…

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Are pre-cut vegetables doing our bodies more harm than good?

With a wealth of health information at our fingertips, most of us try to take good care of our bodies, getting our five fruit and veg a day and enjoying coffee and alcohol in moderation. It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job or taking care of a family, though, so foodstuffs like pre-cut vegetables or ready-made side dishes often find their way into our fridges. But despite carrying a healthy image, are the ready-to-eat vegetables and ready meals found at your local convenience store really as nutritional as they’re thought to be?

If Japanese food specialist Kiyotaka Minami’s latest book “The 19 Food Habits that are Bad for the Body” is to be believed, these pre-packed time-saving gems could actually be doing our bodies more harm than good.

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Great Tasting Sashimi Dishes For Very Reasonable Prices—in Ginza Nonetheless!

Assorted Sashimi Plate

Itamae Baru, a Japanese food restaurant in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district, offers dishes to get excited over!  Why? You can’t find steamed abalone for 500 yen ($6.25 US) or uni pasta with generous amounts of sea urchin for 780 yen ($9.75 US) this tasty anywhere else in the city!

Itame Bare is one of these wonderful up and rising  restaurants where young itamae, or sushi chefs, create Japanese dishes for astonishing low prices! 

We went to Baru for a taste of this amazing fare. Read More

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