A fundamental building block of the Japanese diet, economy and way of life, rice also holds the key both to global sustenance as well as sustainable food practices around the world. The Rice Peace Project Seminar will explore the role that rice plays in Japanese society and how its uses are currently expanding and evolving to meet the needs of a globalized world and emerging food crises.
The Rice Peace Project Seminar and Tasting will take place on September 19, 2016, from 3pm – 5pm at 4W43 Building, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, New York.
The seminar is inspired by the concerted efforts and food action initiatives of a Japanese government supported campaign in conjunction with non-profit programs, corporate projects and organizations including NPO Project 88 and others. NPO Project 88 hails its name from the 88 processes for making rice and to highlight farmers’ hard labor in producing the crop. Born in response to the crisis and impact of the Tohoku 3/11 earthquake and nuclear meltdown, NPO Project 88 mobilizes Japanese high-quality rice as an emergency relief food. Developing tasty, nutritious, non-GMO, low pesticide, and allergen-free, organic and gluten-free rice products is also central to NPO Project 88’s mission of helping to spread peace and disaster-relief in the world through rice.
Under the auspices of Ms. Nari Takahashi, President of NPO Project 88, the project also promotes the future of rice agriculture in light of Japan’s aging population and seeks to stimulate this market by providing special programs to 77 universities where students study how foods are made, learn how to create and sell products, and educate the public about them. It also seeks to revive extinct rice crops with its “Shirafuji project,” run by the students of Tokyo Kasei University, Eco-Rice Niigata, and Tokyo Kasei University. These students successfully revived “Shirafuji rice,” which was grown in the Edo period (1603-1868) through the early Showa period (1926-1989), and saw the project through from planting to harvesting.
This event will showcase three high-quality rice types produced by Eco-Rice: Yamada Nishiki, Koshihikari and Shirafuji as well as gluten-free and allergen-free rice cookies, created by the joint efforts of NPO Project 88 and Eco Rice for children who were impacted by the Tohoku earthquake.
Mrs. Akie Abe, the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, is a strong supporter of this initiative and continues to serve as one of its major spokespersons. Mrs. Abe is also actively engaged in supporting and promoting Fukushima’s strained agricultural industry by creating Yamato No Kokoro sake from rice produced in Fukushima.
Open to media members and industry professionals, the event will feature three speakers from Japan, including Special Guest, Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan (TBC), Mr. Hiroshi Sakurai, President of Asahi Shuzo, and Ms. Nari Takahashi, President of NPO Project 88. The speeches will be followed by a sushi tasting prepared by Sushi Chef Yoichi Akashi of Kappo Akashi using Eco-rice as well as a tasting of “Dassai” sake, the sake Prime Minister Abe offered President Obama during the U.S. President’s 2014 visit to Japan.