Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Monday, Oct 02, 2023

Tokyo school swaps fresh fruit for jelly as food prices soar

Tokyo school swaps fresh fruit for jelly as food prices soar

For months, Kazumi Sato, a nutritionist at a middle school in eastern Tokyo, has received notices about hikes in ingredient prices.
Mindful of the economic hardships many of the students' families face, local authorities are loath to pass the burden of pricier school lunches on to them. For Sato, that has meant constantly adjusting lunch recipes so that Senju Aoba Junior High School's kitchen can stay within budget.

"I try to include seasonal fruits once or twice a month, but it's difficult to do it frequently," she told Reuters at the school.

Sato says she substitutes fresh fruit, which is expensive in Japan, with jelly or a sliver of hand-made cake. She's taken to using lots of bean sprouts as a cheap alternative wherever possible, but worries she'll run out of ideas if prices keep rising.

"I don't want to disappoint the children with what they might feel is a sad meal," she said.

Inflation is becoming an increasingly political issue in Japan, a country unaccustomed to steep price rises, and many households are feeling the squeeze.

For schools, soaring food prices affect an important source of sustenance for lower income Japanese families.

These days, Sato says, an 18-litre (4.8-gallon) can of cooking oil costs 1,750 yen ($12.85) more than it did a year ago, while the price of onions has doubled.

The government imposes strict nutritional requirements for public schools, so there's only so much nutritionists can do before schools are forced to raise prices on families.

Authorities want to avoid that, knowing poorer families will skimp on nutritious meals at home. Some children return to school from summer break visibly skinnier, educators and public officials say.

In Tokyo's Adachi ward, lunches at public middle schools cost 334 yen, of which 303 yen is covered by families.

As part of relief measures, the national government said in April it would provide funds to help schools absorb some of the rising costs for meals. Adachi ward plans to use those, and its own extra budget, to avoid passing the burden on to families.

But Sato worries about the prospect of further energy and food price hikes, especially towards the end of the school year when the allocated funds start to run out.

"The rainy season ended earlier this year, so there may be a big impact on vegetables," she said. "I'm worried about what prices will be like in the fall and beyond."

($1 = 136.1500 yen)

Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner