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Conference Wants to Introduce Okinawan Food, Longevity at Summit

Date Posted: 2000-02-27

The Okinawa District Agricultural Reform Conference was held in Naha City on Monday February 21st, with the theme “Reforming the Okinawan Diet.”

During her speech at the conference, former Okinawa Vice Governor Hiroko Sho suggested that steps should be taken to introduce the Okinawan diet and the secrets of the people’s longevity to the whole world using the publicity brought by the G-8 Summit. “Why don’t we take this opportunity and promote Okinawan food and the longevity our diet brings us to the whole world?” Sho suggested.

According to a report prepared for the conference by Okinawa Prefecture General Affairs Bureau, the Okinawan diet is very good in general, except for the lack of Calcium. However, the report warns that the amount of unsaturated fats people eat is increasing and the traditional Okinawan dietary habits are coming apart.

“Before the war, Okinawans’ diet was based on staples like sweet potato and plenty of vegetables. Because of the American influence after the war, people have changed their eating habits including more meat, salt, oil and fried foods,” Sho stated, adding that, “We need more genuinely Okinawan foods, like using local herbs, rice and vegetables. In other words, we need to get people to switch back to healthier lifestyle.”

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