Over the years in Japan, I’ve noticed the increasing amounts of bread, pasta and pizza that is being sold in Japan which has now become a major source of food including more and more pasta restaurants starting up. Bread has become so popular in Japan that one of the biggest selling kitchen appliance companies manufactured a device called the Gopan (gohan from cooked rice) bread maker, but instead of wheat flour used for making bread, rice flour is used. A big mistake: Japanese now prefer wheat over rice. That’s why the engineers were asked to come up with the Gopan bread maker. To encourage more rice consumption in Japan. Over the last 40 years, the Japanese have increasingly favored wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, pizza, and noodles, while rice consumption has declined by more than 50 percent during this same period of time. Most of the bread sold in Japan consists of light very soft fluffy wheat-based products.
The downside of this increase in wheat consumption in Japan is that more and more Japanese females are being diagnosed with lung cancer. Is there a correlation? I found it hard to accept that incidents of lung cancer in Japanese women were way up and is now apparently attributed to wheat consumption, and not from what most people would expect lung cancer to be caused by from smoking. Based on research from the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found people who eat foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI) increase their odds of getting lung cancer by as much as 49 percent. The glycemic index or glycaemic index (GI) is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level. A value of 100 represents the standard, an equivalent amount of pure glucose. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in women worldwide and that includes Japanese women. The glycemic index is based on carbohydrate content of wheat-based food.
I did not realize until checking that Japan in 2011 raised 994,600 metric tons of wheat with the most wheat grown in Hokkaido. If the statistics are checked, the highest incident of lung cancer in Japanese women is in Hokkaido with 9.57 females per 100,000 diagnosed with lung cancer. Any connection to wheat being produced the most in Hokkaido? Where did this pressure come from to convert Japan from a rice-consuming country to a predominantly wheat-consuming country? Why of course, America. How did it start? Japan’s weapons buildup. Clever, weapons for wheat:
“In the mid-1950s, having averted a red scare in Japan, America’s rationale for providing aid to Japan took on a more commercial dimension—and the Japanese government, eager to rebuild its arms industry, was happy to strike a deal. Between 1954 and 1956, the two nations signed a series of agreements in which Japan consented to buy U.S. surplus wheat (of which there was plenty). In return, through a series of clever maneuvers, the United States loaned money to the Japanese weapons industry.”
And so Japan’s wheat affair began…a bit excessive, no? Enjoy the donuts…
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