Pathway to a transformative future: Changing the illusion of ever-lasting growth – Report on “KYOTO 2020: IASC-RIHN Online Workshop on Commons, Post-development and Degrowth in Asia(IASC-RIHN)" (Norie Tamura, Senior Project Researcher and Hiroyuki Ishibashi, Visiting Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop

Norie TAMURA (Senior Project Researcher) and Hiroyuki ISHIBASHI (Visiting Researcher) contributed a report on “KYOTO 2020: IASC-RIHN Online Workshop on Commons, Post-development and Degrowth in Asia” to RIHN’s Newsletter Humanity&Nature (No.84: 2-5p), which you can download by clicking the link (in Japanese). Here is the English translation.  Rethinking and transforming a set of values and lifestyles that prioritize economic growth are required to adequately address global environmental issues. On one hand, industrialized countries need to reduce their environmental impacts while maintaining the quality of life. Developing countries, on the other hand, are exploring a way out of poverty while taking into consideration their environmental impacts. Social practices create “commons” as …

Guest speaker at an online event on bees (Maximilian Spiegelberg)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Midori Farm, a volunteer Non-profit organization, organized an online event “Midori Farm Talk: Bees” on Feb 10th, 2021. Maximilian Spiegelberg, FEAST Researcher, joined the event together with Mr. Kenneth Sallit, a beekeeper in Canada, talked about the situations and challenges of honeybees and beekeeping in Japan and Canada. The recording of the event is available on YouTube (about 2hrs, in English).  

The 4th Asia Pacific Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics Conference 2020 (Kazuhiko Ota, RIHN Assistant Professor)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

The 4th Asia Pacific Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics Conference 2020 (APSAFE2020) was held for two weeks from December 3-16, 2020 with the theme of “Supporting Sustainable Food Systems: Quality Food and Ethical Consumption”. It was our first time to organize online conference, but the format allowed to attract 150 participants from 21 countries, and it ended with a great success. APSAFE2020 was initially planned to be part of the International Conference on Applied Ethics (ICAE) scheduled to be held at Hiroshima University in December. Unfortunately, however, the spread of COVID-19 led our decision to hold an online conference. The following are the three main objectives. 1) To create …

Two bee-related papers published in Japanese magazines

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Two bee-related papers (one on the issues of beekeeping registration system and the other on neonicotinoid insecticides) were published in Japanese magazines as follows: 1) Shinkai, R., Spiegelberg, M., Rupprechet, C. D. D., & Tamura, N. (2020), The importance of collecting basic data on beekeeping in Japan: issues and ideas for reform based on an analysis of differences between prefectural application forms for beekeeping registrations. Sustainable Livestock Production and Human Welfare, 74(11), 921-929. 2) Shinkai, R. & Spiegelberg, M. (2020). Daily products containing neonicotinoid insecticides (tentative English title). Tsuchi to Kenko journal, 501, October/November combined Issue, 16-21. We would like to thank the volunteers in particular who helped the survey …

Nitrous Oxide Budget 2020 and Our food System @ Online (Steven McGreevy)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project Leader was invited to  Online Forum “Global Nitrous Oxide Budget 2020 and Our Food System” held on Oct 29th, 2020 and gave a talk titled ” Transitioning to 1.5-degree food systems”. You can find more details about the event (flyer) from here. Abstract: The Paris climate agreement’s goal for limiting global warming to 1.5-degrees has been hailed as a critical achievement to catalyze action to protect the planet for future generations. Food system impact on climate has been catalogued extensively by the IPCC, EAT-Lancet, and in a number of high-profile studies. However, discussions on decreasing food system impact on the environment fall well short of the …

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, WG6, WG6_Publications

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 …

AAA@the 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 …