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Using food science, technology in the wake of natural disasters

What if a fire, flood, earthquake, tsunami, or any other major disaster destroyed your lifetime of work, all your contacts’ database, and all of your business information?

June 8, 2011

What if a fire, flood, earthquake, tsunami, or any other major disaster destroyed your lifetime of work, all your contacts’ database, and all of your business information? How would your company survive, given such a worst-case scenario? Kiyoko R. Kubomura, Professional Member and Fellow of IFT and President of Kubomura Food Advisory Consultants, ponders this question in her online exclusive article “Major Natural Disaster and Environmental Crisis in Japan Reinforces the Importance of Food Science & Technology.” She asks: How can we prepare for these types of disasters and how can we provide clean water and safe food for our survival?

Kubomura shares her experiences after the recent earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. She explains that when the earthquake and tsunami first happened, victims needed access to emergency food and meals. However, there were only enough supplies for approximately one million meals, which quickly ran out. This occurred due to lack of electricity to process and transport foods and infrastructure damage, so distribution was difficult. In addition, they faced a serious shortage of packaging for the foods. Prepared meals would have provided instant relief to this situation; the energy source they provide would have helped us to survive the initial days without adding to the pressure on stretched food supply chains. In light of what has happened in Japan, Kubomura expresses the need to develop nonperishable prepared foods as part of a disaster plan to feed people affected by any future disasters.

Kubomura online exclusive

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