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Amparo Bertram

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08:18 pm: 'Tis the season to...get food poisoning?
It is officially food poisoning season. Apparently there was an incident yesterday in which one (or perhaps several) of the teachers got food poisoning from their delivery lunches. (Many of the teachers have standing orders with a certain food delivery place. Very few people actually bring a lunch.)

Food poisoning is of great concern here, because A) it's freaking HOT in summer, B) refrigerators are too small to hold everything, and C) there is very little indoor temperature control. In the winter, one's entire apartment can double as a refrigerator and food can be left out for quite a long time without spoiling, but in summer...not so much.

No doubt prompted by this, today some teachers were talking about food spoilage, and they mentioned that Americans leave food in the refrigerator long past its expiration date. This idea disgusted them greatly. The overall consensus was that Japanese people are much more sensitive to the taste of fresh food than Americans are because they base their judgment on eating things (eggs, fish, etc.) raw rather than cooking them. (The idea of eating raw eggs disgusted me just listening to it, but that's simply one more of those cultural differences, I guess.)

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 22nd, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
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they base their judgment on eating things raw rather than cooking them.

Yeah, raw, or...fermented.

I remember once, when I was younger, I was horrified when my dad drank some milk that was past the expiration date. He said to me, "When I was a kid, we didn't have expiration dates. We just drank it until it went bad."
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, raw, or...fermented.

<snicker>

That reminds me, I forgot to mention that I did a nattou dance yesterday. My "speech" class students are all doing their speeches about food (they couldn't think of any better topic, so they all went with the example I happened to put on the board). One did her speech and concluded that nattou is delicious and more people should try it. When I asked the other class members to give feedback on the speech, they said she should have used more gestures. Then one shouted out, "Dance!"

...So I said, "Like this?" and made up a nattou dance on the spot. The girls were quite tickled.
[User Picture]
From:havocthecat
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
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See, and here's where I'm like, "There's an entire culture of people who ditch their food if it's past the expiration date? That's so cool." My husband bitches mightily at me for refusing to touch food where there's a hint of spoilage. He's such a guy sometimes.

His attitude: So what if the spaghetti sauce was on the counter all night? Eat it anyway!

My attitude: The spaghetti sauce was on the counter all night. It has gone irrevocably bad.

(Okay, so this is an unusual situation. But it did happen once. Oy.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
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My husband bitches mightily at me for refusing to touch food where there's a hint of spoilage. He's such a guy sometimes.

<laugh> You know, in one of the Japanese novels I've read, the king dies because he eats a packed lunch that had been sitting out all day. Then at the climax of the story they use spoiled food to kill a rampaging dragon.

You just can't be too careful about food poisoning...

[User Picture]
From:havocthecat
Date:June 23rd, 2005 06:33 am (UTC)
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Oh, I love that, especially the ending to the story! *giggle* Because, yes, I'd imagine most dragons aren't too particular about their food and spoilage issues.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:June 22nd, 2005 11:43 am (UTC)

downright un-American, I guess

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Americans leave food in the refrigerator long past its expiration date.
We do? Please don't tell Homeland Security, but I don't. (Of course, my refrigerator is mostly filled with carbonated beverages and condiments. Nutritious food is for health nuts and people who want to live past 40.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)

Re: downright un-American, I guess

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We do? Please don't tell Homeland Security, but I don't.

<g> I do, but mainly that's because I'm only one person and I simply can't finish it before it goes bad. And then it gets shoved to the back and I forget it's there.

(Besides...if you think about it as the "sell by" date, it still has a while to go before it really expires.)

Either that, or I leave it in the fridge because it isn't burnable garbage day. It tends to smell a lot worse if I take it out of the fridge and let it sit in the trash for a few days.

(Ah...my Killua "that's nasty" icon would have been so perfect for this comment... <sniff>)
[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:June 22nd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)

Re: downright un-American, I guess

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(Besides...if you think about it as the "sell by" date, it still has a while to go before it really expires.)


Speaking of which, is the date on Japanese containers of food the 'sell-by date' or the 'eat-by date'? I remember looking up the kanji once and it was the latter, but I always had thought it was the former which makes me wonder how much expired food I have eaten (however, sometimes, I forget to even look at the date, which beats the point, bad me.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC)

Re: downright un-American, I guess

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Speaking of which, is the date on Japanese containers of food the 'sell-by date' or the 'eat-by date'?

Hmm...the literal meaning of 賞味 is "to enjoy eating or drinking" so I'd guess 賞味期限 is the "eat-by" date.

Not that I ever look at the date. I just continue using the food until it smells/looks/tastes bad.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 22nd, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)

Re: downright un-American, I guess

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Ah...my Killua "that's nasty" icon would have been so perfect for this comment...<sniff>

And you couldn't upload it because....? It's not like you're lacking in icon space.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC)

Re: downright un-American, I guess

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And you couldn't upload it because....?

Because I'm waiting for the Official Proclamation of Fansub Completion before I unveil the HXH icon bonanza.
[User Picture]
From:basicblack
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
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The raw eggs on cold noodles honestly aren't that bad.

You just have to, at all cost, absolutely not think about what you're eating. And the fact that it's unfeasibly slimey.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
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And the fact that it's unfeasibly slimey.

See, the slime is what would get me. I couldn't handle it. X_X
[User Picture]
From:kataren
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
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and they mentioned that Americans leave food in the refrigerator long past its expiration date.
Heh, guilty as well. ^^; It's amazing what I find in there sometimes.

First time I ate raw eggs was at a party some Japanese friends were having. They tossed a bowl of sukiyaki together, mixed in the egg, & shoved it at me. I'm still surprised I didn't flinch, & even had thirds. :P
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