Magazine to describe food safety(「食の安全」届ける 「そうま食べる通信」10月創刊)

Hironobu Kowata, Motofumi Kikuchi and other members of Soma Taberu Tsushin discuss the composition of the inaugural issue..(創刊号の構成などについて話し合う小幡さん(右)や菊地さん(左)ら、そうま食べる通信のメンバー)

 SOMA, Fukushima - The publication of a quarterly magazine describing the safety and quality of food from Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, as well as the passion of local producers, is to accompany produce bought from the area as early as October.

 The magazine, titled Soma Taberu Tsuhin (See Clip), is currently edited by eight experts from various relevant sectors. Among them are a fisherman, a marine products processor and a construction worker. The team is working as volunteers in order to reinvigorate the primary industries of the city. They are also using the Internet for activities such as communicating with readers and running auctions of local fish in an attempt to communicate to the rest of the country information on local produce and their love for Soma.


 "How can we distribute it to group tourists?" "Let's find a way to enable all the producers in Soma to exchange information with each other" were just two comments from a group discussion during preparations for the magazine's publication.

 Hironobu Kowata, a coeditor in chief who runs a construction company, conceived the magazine project. Worrying about sales of local products, which hit a brick wall following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Kowata, 39, thought something must be done. His idea gained the support of his friends, and they have been working on the project since February.


 They joined "Nihon Taberu Tsuhin League," an organizer of local food magazines around the nation, and printed 2,000 copies of the promotional pilot issue.


 Currently, the team is trying to find ways to attract readers. The determination of the eight members is represented by a slogan brandished on the pilot issue's front page: "No one but we in Soma should take action."


 Soma Taberu Tsushin is to be sent to readers four times a year. Content will cover local producers; foods harvested in the area, including fish; and local recipes. There are also plans to distribute coupons that can be used in Soma. Besides sending the magazine by post, they are also considering communicating with readers through the social networking website Facebook. They are also undertaking the challenge of directly introducing readers to producers, such as by conducting field trips to producers' workplaces and running auctions on Facebook to sell fish caught by local fishermen.


 "People who worry about radioactive contamination will never stop worrying," said Motofumi Kikuchi, 39, a fisherman and the other coeditor in chief of the magazine. "I want to gradually increase the number of people who want to eat products from Fukushima Prefecture, because they are delicious."


 "I want to deliver not only delicious and safe foods, but also background information on their production and the passion of the producers," he added. Radiation tests will be conducted on all the foods to be delivered, and they eventually hope to purvey foods not only from Soma but also the neighboring Futaba area.


 The inaugural issue of Soma Taberu Tsuhin, which will come with a portion of local whitebait and include recipes, among other content, is priced at \3,500. For more information (in Japanese), visit the magazine's website:

( Translated by The Japan News )


 Taberu Tsushin

 A type of food magazine, which accompanies food purchases, that covers workers in primary relevant industries and articles on food and local producers. The movement to publish such magazines in local areas was kick-started by "Tohoku Taberu Tsushin," produced by a nonprofit organization in Iwate Prefecture in 2013. Students of Asaka High School in Fukushima Prefecture are also publishing such a magazine.



 【 2015年8月14日・本紙掲載 】