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.


Origin

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.  Dailymail.co.uk 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 welt.de, 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: