Interview on Food Policy featured in JA Magazine

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

“Food Policy” is featured in October edition of JA’s magazine “Chijyou”, on which Prof. Masashi Tachikawa (Nagoya University) and Prof. Motoki Akitsu (Kyoto University), WG2 Chairs, took a dialogue interview (24-27p). With the COVID-19 pandemics across the world, “food security” has regained attention. Prof. Tachikawa and Prof. Akitsu talk about the basics of food policy and its significance, the difference in implications that “food policy” has in the older Japanese context (食料政策) and in the Western context as originally introduced (フードポリシー) in UK as well as the role of Food Policy Council. You can find the index here (in Japanese).

Magazine Column&Newspaper Articles: Installation "School Lunches of the Futrue"

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

FEAST Project created the installation “School Lunches of the Future” as one of the RIHN’s annual Open House activities in the summer of 2019. It exhibits four different school lunch menus in four future scenarios based on the 2×2 matrix of dependency on food trade (globalization or localization?) and climate change (are we able to achieve the 1.5 degree Paris climate change goal or not?). This installation project thus far received some attentions and there have been a magazine column article and two Asahi Shimbun articles. We have also published a blog article here. Please find more details from the links below. <Magazine Column Article> (in Japanese: tentative English titles) …

How we started serving the School Lunches of the Future (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

The Openhouse takes place every year in the summer (this year online 15th & 22nd Nov.) and each project of the institute has to come up with a unique activity around their research theme. Taking place in the middle of the summer vacations the four hour event draws about 800 junior- and middle-school kids with their parents or grandparents in tow to do some fun activity while practically adding to the mandatory school summer break science assignment (Yes, in Japan kids get homework over the summer vacations). In the last years the FEAST project had among several other activities asked the visitors what they consider is bad and what is …

Japanese Translation of "Milan Urban Food Policy Pact"

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) led by the Mayor of Milan was launched in Oct 2015 and signed by over 100 cities across the world. Through this international protocol, signatory cities are committed to developing sustainable food systems and the cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Toyama have signed from Japan (the list of signatory cities is here). Prof. Masashi Tachikawa, WG2 Chair, and Kazuhiko Ota, FEAST-Specially Appointed Assistant Professor, translated the pact into Japanese and now it is available on the website. You can find the original text and Japanese text.

Italian alternative farmers and the covid-19 pandemic: Voices from the lockdown (Simona Zollet, PhD Candidate, Hiroshima University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

As part of the multi-country research project on small-scale and alternative farmers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic coordinated by FEAST, we carried out a questionnaire survey of Italian farmers. Italy was one of the first countries to be severely affected by the pandemic, and the lockdown (in effect between March 9 and May 18) saw nationwide closures of all non-essential businesses and services, and drastically reduced mobility for most citizens. As most of the early information on the impacts of the lockdown on the farming sector concerned large-scale conventional farmers and food processors, this survey was designed to capture the voice of those farmers – mainly small-scale and alternative producers – …

Worlds apart—Japan’s urban and rural experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader & Norie Tamura, Senior Researcher)


For the most part, Japan has been hailed as a COVID-19 success story, although the reasons for the success have been difficult to explain. Despite a severe lack of public testing, Tokyo (the epicenter of the outbreak) saw an increase of only 12% in mortality rate during the height of known infections in April1, the fewest of any Group of Seven nation. A number of theories have emerged as to why this may be (cultural familiarity with social distancing and mask-wearing, healthier elderly population), but it may be some time before a conclusion is reached. Whatever the reasons, the pandemic did bring massive change to everyday life. The entire nation was …

Working towards post-COVID Sustainable Transitions (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report, Seminar & Workshop

FEAST has been busy during the COVID-19 Pandemic on a variety of research initiatives and events. Some highlights include:-Organizing and managing multiple working groups as part of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (FE SSCP KAN) effort on post-COVID Sustainable Transitions. This included: -“Open Forum: COVID-19 Can Help Wealthier Nations Prepare for a Sustainability Transition” (over 300 participants) and virtual “Mini-Conference on COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions” (over 300 participants). -Multiple online surveys on COVID’s impact on small-scale farmers in Japan, Italy, UK, US, Taiwan, and Latin America and coastal fisheries in Japan. -Joining an international alliance of Degrowth experts in drafting an open letter to offer five principles for …

The 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” (Ryo Iwahashi, Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Monday, February 17th, the 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” – Special Lecture and Meeting – was organized at Galleria Kameoka, Kyoto. We have been working together with the food and agriculture-related stakeholders and actors in Kameoka, organizing various meetings and events, one of which was the 1st Seminar“Making Kameoka an organic town”. It inspired us to organize Kameoka Nou Marche in November 2019 and then seminar. The first part of this event was dedicated to a special lecture by Mr. Nobuyuki Motoyama, Manager of the Biostyle Co., Ltd. entitled “Emerging challenges of organic produce distribution: To build a good society with food”. He introduced the efforts and …

[email protected] Philippines (Maximilian Spiegelberg)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Maximilian Spiegelberg, FEAST Project Researcher, took a trip to the Philippines to join “International Meliponine Conference and Asian Apicultural Association Philippines Symposium on Pollinator Conservation” held on Feb 25th to 28th, 2020 at University of the Philippines, Los Banos, at which he gave a presentation titled “Tracking Practices of Traditional Beekeeping in Taiwan and Japan”. Tracking practices of traditional beekeeping in Taiwan and Japan Maximilian Spiegelberg (FEAST Project, RIHN), Rika Shinkai (FEAST Project, RIHN), Chung-Yu Ko (National Iilan University, Taiwan),  I-Hsin Sung (National Chiyali University, Taiwan) <Abstract> Traditional beekeeping of A.cerana in Japan and Taiwan has been part of multiple subsistence livelihoods in mountainous, rural areas for a long time. Those livelihoods rely …

The website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” launched (Rika Shinkai, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Achievements, Report, WG3

We have recently launched a website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” to introduce the history and culture of Japanese honeybee beekeeping. As many of you may know, there are two types of honeybees in Japan – native Japanese honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) and Western honeybees (Apis mellifera), which were brought to Japan in the Meiji era. And, most of the honeys on the market today are of the latter. The beekeeping of Japanese honeybees started in mountainous areas at the latest in the Edo period, and honey was then distributed and consumed for medicinal purposes. When kneading pills, for example, honey was a necessary ingredient. In “Hachimitsu Ichiran (Overview of …

A taste of urban food futures in Bangkok (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Right before the end of 2019, I made my way to Thailand for a short trip to oversee a workshop and reconnect with colleagues. Thailand is a fantastic place to visit for work or pleasure—the food is amazing, the people are incredibly nice, and I always encounter something surprising. Two things struck me during my time in Bangkok: 1) the diversity of ecological food labels and designations and 2) the ubiquitous food delivery scene. Food transparency in Thailand is much more developed than what we see on the shelves in Japan. On a trip through a supermarket one evening, the vegetable section was shocking. There were four different production designations: …

COOL VEGE® case studies presented at the MAFF International Workshop

FEAST HQ WG4_Publications

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) organized three-day international workshop for policy makers and scholars of G20 countries from Nov 5th to 7th, 2019 “International Workshop on Scaling up and out of climate-smart technologies and practices for sustainable agriculture“. Prof. Akira Shibata from Ritsumeikan University, WG4 Chair, and Dr. Ayaka Kishimoto-Mo were invited to present the experiences of COOL VEGE® activities “‘COOL VEGE®’: Sequestrating soil carbon with biochar through eco-branded vegetables”. You can download the slides from the following links(Part 1;Part 2). 【Workshop Abstract】 An international workshop on “Scaling up and out of climate-smart technologies and practices for sustainable agriculture” including an expert workshop, an international symposium (subtitle in …

Kameoka Nou Marché (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Events, From the Field, WG2, WG3

On Nov 3rd, “Kameoka Nou Marché” (Nou stands for agriculture) was organized by the Executive Committee for “Making Kameoka an Organic Town” at KIRI CAFÉ in Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref. with the City of Kameoka, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), RIHN and Akitsu Labo of Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University as the supporters. This all started with WG2 Seminar “Making Kameoka an Organic Town!” on Nov 19th, 2018 which brought together some members from the FEAST Project, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, KOA as well as local farmers, chefs among many others. It led to organizing of this committee, adding some more of …

Apimondia & COLOSS (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG3

From 6th till 12th September FEAST researcher Max Spiegelberg attended the 15th COLOSS Conference along a record 154 participants, and back-to-back the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with the theme “Beekeeping within Agriculture” in Montreal/Canada. COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony LOSSes) is a honeybee focused research network which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses with 1,275 members from 95 countries and started out from Europe already 14 years ago. The Apimondia International Apicultural Congress is a global, biennial conference by Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations bringing together this time 6,000 researchers, beekeepers, extension officers, and traders from around the world. During the COLOSS …

Digital Foodscapes Workshop (Christine Barnes, RIHN Visiting Research Fellow and Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Saturday 24th August, Mai Kobayashi, Visiting Research Fellow Christine Barnes (King’s College London), and other FEAST members held a Digital Foodscapes Workshop ’“Food” that we “Cook” “Share” and “Eat”: Exploring our digital foodscape’ in Mumoteki, Kyoto. The workshop was part of the work that Christine has been doing over the summer exploring the representation and mediation of Japanese food culture on Instagram. Bringing together a group of people to share some of the initial findings of the project and discuss their perspectives on food and social media was a really useful way to test the ideas in the research. During her visit at FEAST Christine has been researching “food …

JACAP Summer School “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Summer School of Japan Association for the Contemporary and Applied Philosophy (hereafter JACAP) “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” was held at RIHN from September 15th to 17th, 2019. This is the annual event of JACAP which has covered a wide range of topics such as fashion, mathematics, environmental pollution problems, space exploration, business ethics among many others. Prof. Nobutsugu Kanzaki of Nanzan University and I organized this year’s summer school with the theme of “Food and Agriculture”. “Foodscapes” as in the event title refers to a place and/or space where we can find a meaning in the act of eating and food itself through purchasing food, …

Visiting the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

From Aug 25th to 27th, I had an opportunity to visit Nagano Prefecture, one of the FEAST Project’s research fields, together with other members of WG2. During our visit, we joined the regular meeting of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai) and met up with some of its key persons for interview. The Nagano Agriculture and Food Association was co-founded in 2013 by two organic farmers and another local who is in involved in sales and processing of local, organic and traditional vegetables. The members get together at a community center in Matsushiro Town, Nagano City for a monthly meeting. Our participation in the …

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 (Christoph Rupprecht)

FEAST HQ WG6_Publications

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 was held in Washington D.C. from April 3rd to 7th, 2019, which the FEAST team of Christoph Rupprecht (FEAST Senior Project Researcher), Mai Kobayashi (FEAST Project Researcher) and Daniel Niles (RIHN Associate Professor/FEAST member) had an opportunity to join and present the research outputs. You can find Rupprecht’s abstract below (the others’ are in “WG3 Publications and Outputs”). The blog post is also available from this link. Whose social infrastructure? Young children’s green space access during daycare in aging Japan Christoph Rupprecht Access to green space is vital for children’s physical and mental health. However, many urban daycare centers in Japan struggle …

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 (Mai Kobayashi, Daniel Niles)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 was held in Washington D.C. from April 3rd to 7th, 2019, which the FEAST team of Christoph Rupprecht (FEAST Senior Project Researcher), Mai Kobayashi (FEAST Project Researcher) and Daniel Niles (RIHN Associate Professor/FEAST member) had an opportunity to join and present the research outputs. You can find their abstracts (except for Rupprecht’s in “WG6 Publications and Outputs“). The blog post is also available from this link. Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan Mai Kobayashi With Gross National Happiness a globally recognized concept, one could say Bhutan is an experimental laboratory for post-development theories. In an effort to meet Bhutan’s socio-cultural, …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 in Washington, DC (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

After our five sessions on food system transitions at the AAG 2017, and our sessions on “Mapping urban food production” and  “The other food system(s)” at the AAG 2018, visiting and presenting at the AAG has now become a bit of a tradition for FEAST. So, in 2019 another team of FEAST and friends went to Washington DC to meet, listen to and present to thousands of researchers from all around the world – this year without any organized sessions. Mai Kobayashi joined a session on Cultural Landscapes, where her presentation “Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan” discussed the changing landscape of food choices and access in Bhutan, …