Increasing number of women leave rice behind at revolving sushi train restaurants

Image: Twitter/@ngcykn

TOKYO —

In Japan, sushi is traditionally made with two vital ingredients: a “neta” topping, usually made from raw seafood, and “shari,” specially prepared rice commonly seasoned with a combination of salt, sugar and vinegar. While various types of sushi exist, in forms like “temaki” (hand-rolled), and “gunkanmaki” (warship roll), they all have one common ingredient: rice.

Revolving sushi train restaurants serve up hundreds of these rice-based morsels every day, so when customers spot fellow diners discarding one of the cuisine’s most vital ingredients, it’s sure to get sushi-lovers all riled up.

Pictures of rice left behind on diners’ plates first started emerging four years ago, as customers seated next to wasteful consumers gaped at the shameless display of nonchalance and extravagance.

In Japan, children are taught that “Every grain of rice has seven fortune gods,” so leaving behind even one grain at the end of a meal is considered rude and disrespectful.

Still, that appears to mean nothing to body-conscious young women these days, as they choose to ditch the extra carbohydrates from the rice, preferring to fill up on the low-calorie toppings in front of them instead.

It’s a trend that shows no signs of stopping, as one Twitter user recently pointed out with a trio of images gathered from social media (photos below). These photos were posted by young women who said they were leaving sushi rice behind in order to watch their waistlines.

Since sharing the images, along with the note that more and more young women are following suit, the tweet received more than 40,000 retweets, with fellow sushi lovers weighing in with their thoughts on the unrelenting trend.

“This is disgusting and wasteful – they ought to be ashamed.”
“As long as they’re paying for it, it shouldn’t matter whether they eat the rice or not.”
“This is incredibly disrespectful to Japan’s farmers and farming communities.”
“They should create new dishes without rice for these types of women and charge them the same as normal.”
“Why don’t these women just buy sashimi from the supermarket and eat it at home instead?”

Although commonly mistaken for sushi, sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish which may or may not be served with rice. According to a Japanese media report, out of all the well-known sushi restaurants in Japan, only one – Hamazushi – offers sashimi on their permanent menu. While other popular chains like Kappa Zushi, Genki Sushi, Sushiro, and Kura Zushi might offer sashimi as part of special campaigns from time to time, it’s not always possible to order sushi without rice. With so many precious grains going to waste as customers try to watch their waistlines though, it might be time for sushi train restaurants to rethink their menus.

Source: Itai News

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  • -6

    Silvafan

    It takes forever for that sticky rice to leave your gut. It is almost like swallowing chewing gum, and it offers no nutritional value. I don't blame them. I only occasionally eat it when I am out with others. Whenever possible, it is brown rice and quinoa for me.

    The businesses have to be responsive to changing customer needs. Modern people are more food saavy. Using myths to teach small children social norms aren't going to work on them. Just diversify the menu during certain hours like lunch time. Maybe it can be bento box only or something. Then those insulted customers won't have to watch these health conscious individual attack their "traditional food culture".

  • 2

    Strangerland

    it offers no nutritional value.

    It has vitamin B1, B2, magnesium, and protein.

    It doesn't offer a lot of nutritional value, but more than 'none'.

    I don't actually eat it myself though.

  • 0

    Aly Rustom

    If that's the case, why not offer kaiten sashimi alongside sushi?

  • 7

    coskuri

    why not offer kaiten sashimi alongside sushi?

    They do, if you order. As most people want the rice, sashimi, wasabi, seaweed kombo, it's the offer by default. But you can order "without wasabi", "without nori", "without rice" or "without fish"... and if it's without anything, you can just wait for your friends drinking tea, or just the hot water. These pigs are just too lazy to order and wait 10 minutes.

    Just diversify

    No, if people don't want rice, they have no business entering a rice shop. I don't go the butcher's or the pharmacy to buy flowers or ice cream.

    As long as they’re paying for it,

    Even if they pay, it's a disgusting view for other patrons. Just like people that do food battles, put cigarettes butts in dishes, spill food all around...

  • 5

    F4HA604

    I don't eat rice that often neither, but I think its two different things to avoid eating rice by not ordering it, and ordering something with rice and leaving it to be thrown out.

    The latter is just class-less.

  • 0

    Aly Rustom

    They do, if you order. As most people want the rice, sashimi, wasabi, seaweed kombo, it's the offer by default. But you can order "without wasabi", "without nori", "without rice" or "without fish"... and if it's without anything, you can just wait for your friends drinking tea, or just the hot water. These pigs are just too lazy to order and wait 10 minutes.

    You're right.

  • 3

    Otacon512

    “Why don’t these women just buy sashimi from the supermarket and eat it at home instead?” This was my first though as well. Well, without the "supermarket" and "at home", but seriously, why not just eat sashimi?

  • 1

    Reckless

    it's called sashimi, which I also prefer to sushi.

  • 4

    marcelito

    First world issues. Stop wasting the food airheads.

  • 2

    Ripped Dervish

    This reminds me of another story I saw on the news about people ordering bentos without rice. The reporter asked a rather large guy ordering a rather large karaage bento why he didn't want rice, and without missing a beat he goes, "Because I'm very conscious of my health." People have some pretty warped ideas about healthy eating nowadays huh.

  • 3

    DiscoJ

    I don't blame these people for trying to avoid rice, but specifically going to sushi restaurants, wasting food they specifically ordered and then (in some cases) posting proudly about it on social media? There's something wrong with the way some people think these days.

    I can admit to leaving rice behind when it comes 'unexpectedly' (e.g. as a side to a main dish), but otherwise I'll just tell the staff to exclude the rice. It's not hard to do.

  • 0

    adorabledc

    B vitamins?! Protein?! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_rice

    White rice is basically carbs without nutrients. Everything that is good for you in brown rice has been taken out.

    (no, this isn't the USA where white rice has vitamins added back in)

    ... https://www.choosemyplate.gov/lets-talk-trash The Japanese are merely following the example set by their Amerikan babysitter. "There is a growing concern about food loss and waste throughout the United States. Consider that about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year."

  • -2

    MeLuvULongTimes

    Such a waste. This needs to stop as there are many starving African children who would love to eat that rice. Japan also needs to stop wasting the Amazon Rain Forest by using wooden chopsticks one time and then throwing them away. If you insist on eating with primitive sticks, then please make them plastic and wash and reuse them.

  • 0

    Edward Gherasim

    Actually I understand the women. I'm trying to cut back carbs and it's almost impossible to find a place that serves you meat or fish and vegetables and no rice in Japan. I don't want the freaking rice but half if the dish is always rice.t ry buying a bent without rice, the only thing close to that is a small, very badly made combini salad.

  • 1

    Ripped Dervish

    It's true that carbs play a big role in manipulating body weight, but if we're talking about restaurant/combini food I think the main enemy isn't carbs but the amount of salt in food (especially in the Kanto region). You might be surprised at how much water weight you'd lose if you cut out "gaishoku" for a month or two and prepared meals at home instead.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    I'm trying to cut back carbs and it's almost impossible to find a place that serves you meat or fish and vegetables and no rice in Japan. I don't want the freaking rice but half if the dish is always rice.t ry buying a bent without rice, the only thing close to that is a small, very badly made combini salad.

    I went to a place recently, and was given the choice of bread or rice.

    'Neither' I replied.

    'But it's included'

    'Yeah, but I don't eat either of them, so it's a waste'

    'But you need to choose one'

    'Neither thank you'

    Poor woman. I threw her for a loop and she didn't know what to do. They probably ordered me rice in and just threw it out or something.

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