At the crossroads to the future – 岐路に立っていて

Today I had some really good meetings with the presidents of some sōmen noodle companies. We talked about what they are doing to reach other markets around the world, how to get people not used to eating cold noodles to try them and keep buying them, and we talked about how Japan has to tackle the next ten years as the average age of farmers here will increase from 66 years old now to even higher in the future. 

Japan is standing at a crossroads and I am excited to be here to help choose a direction.

今日は素麺会社の社長とても興味深い話ができました。海外市場への販路や、今まで冷たい麺に慣れてない外国人に試してもらうのにどうするのか、また現在66歳平均年齢の農家の今後についてなど、色んな面白いお話しをしました。

日本は今岐路に立っています。これからの方向一緒に考えて歩むのは楽しみになっています。

The little things 

  
Yakisoba (stir-fried noodles) is not the most delectable of culinary delights, but my two-year-old son made my heart glow this evening when he said:

パパとねえねが作った焼きそば大好き!

(I love the noodles that you and my big sister made!)


The slow cost of eating fast food

Thanks to this great article from the BBC worldwide website, I now have a handy cheat sheet from Harvard Health Publications that details how many calories I burn depending on different exercises. 

I weigh about 70 kg, which in “old money” in 155 lb. So looking at the chart, for a 30-minute run at 8 mins per mile (my average speed), I burn 465 calories. Of course, the major caveat with this type of chart is that everyone is different. Some people have a really quick metabolism and can burn three times as many calories as others. The same can be said of the food we eat. It’s not an exact science.

Not that I eat them very often, but according to the average burn rate for a person of my weight in the chart, I would have to run about 64 minutes to burn off a Big Mac Meal or about 36 minutes for a nice bowl of Japanese tonkotsu ramen (like the one in the picture). It really is true to say “A moment on the lips equals a lifetime on the hips!” Or at least by this calculation, 20 minutes in McDonalds and a noodle shop, 100 minutes running down the road.

 Harvard Health – calorie table