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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Sumo Size me

I remember when i first came to Japan 10 years ago. If you wanted sliced bread you had to go to the Suppa (supermarket) for it. The konbini (convenience store) only had onigiri, rice basically with some fish crammed inside. Its very, very different now. Slowly over the last decade i have watched the diet change here. Currently row after row of every convenience store and many of the rows of the supermarket are packed with melon bread, choco-cro (chocolate crossiant), and tons of other carbs. Its impact is noticeable, in the bodies of the Japanese. It was extremely unusual to see a 'fat' Japanese person 5, 6 years ago. Now, though still rare, its a daily occurrence. The woman have.. well... lets say attributes. This has concerned me as I have listened to and watched! Americans grow to immense size. and I mean immense. All thanks to our friend High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is now in EVERYTHING. Its also now a major part of young peoples daily diet here. Its shocking how quickly this, what used to be a very healthy diet, has completely been usurped. Corn syrup is bad stuff and needs to be reduced in everyones daily diet. Diabetes here has skyrocketed and there seems to be no end of the stuff being pushed on people in the markets and of course Mickey D's is getting into it with some gusto by offering a 'Mega Mac' burger. It seems this change is a particularly bad idea for Asians as they seem to more rapidly get type 2 diabetes and become obese.

UPDATE: (links from the thread, by the littlest gator)

Thanks for this post... It hits on a number of things we should think about- Americans in America, Folks living in japan, humans in general.

The HFCS warning is worth heading- it is highly transportable, cheap and profitable and make no mistake that these are the major reasons it is spreading like wildfire (Americans have been making more corn and corn related products than we could healthily consume for more than 200 years.

Also the Burger part- the MEGA MAC in japan is a sign of another trend--- Portion Distortion. which is another bad business.

The rant about ranting about "refined" stuff and corp. stuff is just silly, We SHOULD rant about it- it has been going on in American since the late 1800's- companies changing our diet, fundamentally- for profit. If you want to read more about the campaign to make refined sugar and flour POPULAR- and brown sugar and whole wheat unpopular- Read this book--- it is wonderful.

I have been reading and writing about food and working in the industry for years- and the big bad- is that people are unaware and don't care to be aware about what they eat. They just don't want to think about it most of the time. Carbs are fine in moderation- like with anything else, but people don't make deliberate decisions. And so process-food-corp-USA makes those decisions for you, and now those same problems are occurring more and more around the world.

PS. the other flip bad juju in Japan right now, is with the rise of obesity, there is a rise of reactive eating disorders among young women. The diet is changing but the expectation of slim Asian body types is stronger than every- so the kids are eating bad but expecting to still look healthy!


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