Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fukushima's organic farmers still battle stigma | The Japan Times

Close monitoring: At Orgando, a restaurant and mini-market in Tokyo, organic produce grown by Fukushima farmers is labeled with the amount of radioactive isotopes it contains to ease consumers fears. | © ORGANDO

“All publicity is good publicity.” Nowhere does this specious PR maxim ring more hollow than in Fukushima Prefecture. As if the horrors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant weren’t traumatic enough, the region’s economic and agricultural recovery has been severely hampered by the reputational damage it has suffered since 3/11. If you think that’s difficult, try farming organically in Fukushima.
Falling prices and an aging agrarian population have made things tough for farmers all over Japan, but the presence of the word “Fukushima” on a supermarket label is often enough to discourage shoppers from buying produce, organic or not, grown in the area. Regardless of how far from contaminated areas it was grown — Fukushima is Japan’s third-largest prefecture — the region’s produce can’t easily shake the stigma of radiation...

more: Fukushima's organic farmers still battle stigma | The Japan Times

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