Now that it clear that eastern and northern Japan, including Hokkaido, should not be trusted for their food, water and any natural or manufactured goods actually, I will not publish any other “proof” on the topic of the national fraud and instead focus on accessing safer food.
If you’re reading SurvivalJapan on a phone, you may bookmark this post and use it to check labels for food origin. Note that it may still be a fraud and in case of processed food (sausage, sake, jam, etc.), it tells you nothing about their ingredients (i.e. pork, rice, water, strawberries, etc.).
First you can check for contaminated prefectures, by looking up the Japanese in the list below:
Obviously this list is unofficial and let’s hope that it will not lead to any legal attack against SurvivalJapan.
Some websites propose a list of supposedly safe food products, in English (for example Safe Food Market) or in Japanese (like for instance OK Food). It is of course impossible to know whether they are geniuine or biaised but they are a good start in our quest. You can click on the links and try to find your product there while shopping. Some companies deliver at home premium food which are supposedly tested, like Oisix. It is however difficult to test food without advanced equipment (a Geiger counter is not enough), properly trained technicians and to do it extensively…
Some food and drinks are special from the contaminated prefectures and should be avoided altogether (Fukushima peaches…). Fish, seafood and mushroom origin are hard to trace and the current 15000 TBq (Tera Becquerels) leaks from Fukushima into the sea may take a while to get diluted (Tera means 1000 billions).
Japanese sake, for instance, takes a little less than a year to mature and cannot be kept for years like wine (it is in fact not a “rice wine”). Since new rice is being now harvested, sake available from Autumn 2012 may be outright dangerous. Mineral water from the Japanese “northern Alps” is most probably contaminated as well as tap water in Tokyo.
As much as you can, use imported food (even Chinese food maybe safer these days) and food from western and southern Japan. Conversely, some staples from these regions are likely to be made from local ingredients. Prefer tropical fruits over temperate climate ones. Call customer service to inquire about the origin of their food and of their ingredients – or ask a Japanese friend to do it for you. Avoid companies headquartered in Tokyo, Hokkaido, etc. like Meiji : they are likely to mix food (like milk, miso paste, chocolate, etc.) from different places. Be aware that some foreign brands are licensed to local companies and subsidiaries.
Wheat-based products (bread…) should be relatively safe as, due to wheat shortage, it is usually imported from Canada, etc.
Some store chains have already been caught frauding (Aeon, Daiei…) and some have claimed publicly their support for Tohoku region (7 Eleven) and should be boycotted. Restaurants are out of control and should be avoided altogether.