Can Sushi make me become a Toyota?

Looking at the title of this blog entry, some of you would certainly think of Lukas’ excellent blog series referring to Toyota’s A3 model. If you presume that I am just copying his idea, just read this article until the end and you will find out that I am not. As I have already mentioned in my last bog entry, this article is going to be about the world-wides most popular Japanese dish: SUSHI.

Why have I chosen this title?

I got inspiration for this topic when sitting in the bus apps class listening to Toyota’s A3 report. Being profoundly impressed by Toyota’s A3 model and the way it managed to get to the top, I was wondering what else we could learn from these smart Japanese. Definitely, there must be much more behind this success. Besides their mentality and education, could maybe nutrition play a decisive factor for their intelligence? Talking about Japanese nutrition, Sushi immediately comes into my mind. Is this national dish the secret of the Japanese success? We’ll see…

Having worked for several Sushi Bars in Berlin, Sushi is something I know too well and I am sure, most of you are familiar with Sushi as well. However, just like Bubble Tea or other “odd stuff” coming from Asia, it took quite some time until being successfully introduced into the Western world and warmly welcomed and accepted by the Western palate.

Raw fish?! No thanks!

Whereas nowadays it is considered “normal” to eat raw fish, about 15 years ago, it would be natural to find it unbelievingly disgusting- what today many amongst us indeed still do.

Short Introduction

Sushi is a type of vinegar rice topped with fish and wrapped with seaweed.

Besides of pure fish, other toppings and fillings such as seafood, vegetables, tofu and eggs are used.
Sushi always comes along with ginger, wasabi and soya sauce as a side dish.
In general, there are 3 different kinds:
  • Nigiri- a rice ball with a slice of fish on top,
  • Maki- sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed
  • Temaki- sushi wrapped in a large cylindric form.


What I did not know prior to my researches is the fact that Sushi actually does not originate from Japan, but from ..guess what: China. (that’s what nobody would have expected as Chinese are normally famous for copying things 😉 Nevertheless, Sushi was introduced to Japan in the 17th century and in the course of time it had become the most well-known national dish. Above all, its highly valued nutritional nature has made this dish becoming so popular.

Nutritional Benefits

In general, the main ingredients of sushi -rice and fish- are naturally low in fat. More nutritional benefits are presented below:

  • Fats: Rich in Omega 3 or unsaturated fat. No fat was introduced in making the sushi as it is served raw.
  • Proteins: High levels of protein in tofu, seafood, omelet and above all in fish.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Ginger, seaweed and many other vegetables are rich in nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates: Found in vegetables and mainly in rice.

Evernote Food Icon- a piece of evidence for Sushi's popularity

What do we learn?

From the Marketing point of view:

As for launching a new product, respectively entering in a new market, we can see that it is essential to exermine the market very carefully, knowing the target group, its demand and preferences. By knowing exactly the great Western ambition of turning from an unhealthy nutrition to a well-balanced diet, a trend I have presented in my last post, the clever Japanese saw the gold opportunity to perfectly promote their traditional dish.

And from the consumer’s perspective?

If you assume that I will invite you to only eat sushi from now on as it contains so many nutritional benefits, you are completely… wrong! Through further researches, I have also found a rather shocking fact about this so highly valued dish. revealed that fish, such as tuna and bluefin, have great levels of mercury which can be hazardous to one’s health when eaten it in large quantities. Eating uncooked fish furthermore can expose you to bacteria and viruses, raw seafood may also result to risks of anisakiasis, causing diarrhea, parasitic infection and poisoning, especially if not prepared properly. Blogger Bianca additionally reveals in her blog that surimi- the popular imitation crab meat- is over-processed and loaded with sodium. According to, Omega-3 fat which until now claims to be extremely healthy, is not much healthier than lard.

Confused? -You are not alone!

Huh.. all that information has made me really uncertain now. However, there is one thing I am completely certain about:

Sushi alone definitely does not make you become a Toyota! 

By all means, I do further researches in order to clarify this confusion. Furthermore, I am really keen to know what kind of food really influences our intelligence. Is it actually possible? If you are curious about the answer, just stay tuned to my coming blog entry!

In the meantime, check out the following links to learn more about sushi, from its history to recipes:

Dear followers!

Still remember the update from my latest post I did some days ago?

I want to complete this post with a little intellectual game concerning corporate (social) responsibility. Doing my researches I had to ask myself quite often who to blame for all those (economic) wrongs, legal abuses and lacks of dignity in almost every corner of our everyday life.

I know I can’t solve and/ or discuss all the problems we have in one single blog post. Therefore I’m going to limit it to the fundamental ideas I thought about. The topic of my last post – animal abuse (tethered housing with respect to large-scale livestock farming) gave me the right incentive to start this discussion of principles about economic behavior.

Starting my discussion, I assume that nobody likes torturing animals. Based on this assumption there can be only one reason for this bad state of affairs => MONEY.

Homo oeconomicus?        

        … the average human certainly

A consumer who has the choice between two similar seeming products will pick the cheaper one. This is one of the principles of consumption our economy is based on. Due to that we develop competition, ambition and advancement. Therefore you can’t blame ANYONE for following this principle – not even if purchasers would know under what circumstances cheap products are produced.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch”

…there is also not such a thing as a cheap product!

Our discount is paid at the cost of mankind and environment – no matter if its milk, meat, clothes or toys. The fact that consumers are deceived by advertisement and that background information about questionable products are quite complex to investigate is a whole other topic and will be disregarded in this post.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect people who inform themselves about various goods they consume and consume accordingly. But not everybody has got the time and/ or the money to consume the way he would like to.

Moving on to producers: Is it their responsibility to produce sustainably and ethical reasonable?                      As much as I would like to say ‘yes’ the answer is ‘NO’. As long as they don’t break the law producers should maximize their effectiveness and profitability.

From the economic point of view a more effective production (no matter at whose cost – unfortunately) will drive competition, that is not able to adapt, out of the market in the long run.                                                         Therefore ethics play a subordinate role in order to survive in a competition based economy.

Now there is only one faction left to draw the shortest straw: the state.                                               According to my opinion only the state (reasonable, competent, democratically elected) can be entrusted with the responsibility and DUTY to create guidelines that ensure a reasonable, sustainable and TRANSPARENT economy that is clean of exploitation of humans and environment, consumer deception and child labor.

Either utopia is not profitable or lobbyism, corruption and blindness won’t let us get out of this mess.             But I am confident things will get better, slowly but surely we will must recognize that only sustainability and the wealth of the many not the few will bring us forward to JOINTLY meet the challenges of the future.

In a nutshell:

The only obligation we have is to follow the written law, moral is optional in a free market economy.

Wealth must be spread instead of bundled. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Modesty and sustainability instead of decadence and opulence!!


interesting links!         

consumer behaviour 

cheap is unfair