I’m the owner, Akashi. I’m so sensitive to chemicals that I have inflammation on my skin, feel itchy even not to be able to sleep or feel sick with a cold sweat if I accidentally take preservatives and chemicals.
Although these symptoms are usually explained as atopic or allergic reaction, I understand this is “excretory function” that human beings inherently have.
Because of this physical condition, I only had a couple of times that I could fully enjoy “eating out” in my life.
To be honest, I cannot help thinking “Is it safe to eat?” before feeling excited to the meal just served.
I can buy only a limited products in a grocery store. First thing I do is to check ingredient list on the back of each product I picked up. Most of the products contain unfamiliar named substances, so I become very careful to buy things.
Questions to food industry and agriculture.
These days, we can have vegetables and fruits that are grown without pesticides and chemicals send directly from farmers. Hopefully, I would like to eat only naturally grown produces, but organic produces are much more realistic when I think of the cost. It is nice if I could track “what kind of organic fertilizers they use”, but I know it would be an endless story.
What supported Japan after the war is agriculture using pesticides and chemicals. I understand these techniques were meaningful because it saved Japanese people from starving, so I think it was inevitable that these techniques expanded as a national policy. However, it is a big guilt of the country that they did not mention the influence to human body on purpose.
However, even today that we have plenty of food, economy has changed the way agriculture should be. The faster, the cheaper and the more stable production are welcomed nowadays.
One example is that there is a reformed seed (so called type F1) that is programmed not to grow without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
“Economy > Health” Is it OK for the world to have this structure?
It might be too exaggerated, but I see this world as people prioritize own profit than the others’ health. People artificially extend expiration date to get more consumers living in a distant. The result of such artifices is people’s health damage.
I see many agricultural products that post farmer’s name and picture of his/her face in many farmer’s markets and grocery stores. I guess it is to appeal secure and safe products, but they don’t explain how those products are safe. However, I think choosing such products are tantamount to committing a sin.
By the way, I don’t think my physical condition unfortunate. I even feel very lucky to be able to find bad substances in a moment. Even one of snacks by a popular food company that had a catch copy “No Preservatives and MSG-Free” makes me suffer by atopic reaction. I’m not saying that they are lying, the problem is the grains and oils that they use as ingredients.
The reason why I made uchikawa Rokkakudo an organic cafe.
My passion for quality of food that we use in Rokkakudo stemmed largely from my experiences and my feelings I mentioned above. I believe there are not a few people who have to care about what they eat.
It might be true that I’m the one who was delighted the most by opening of this place. And it is no doubt that I’m the most frequent customer. Eating food served on your table without any doubt, this matter of course makes me happy.
Food safety, Staffs and Atmosphere
Although we keep trying our best to exclude chemical substances, we are not serving all the food on the menu with 100 % confidence. We promise to keep pursuing and to be able to say “All menus are preservative free, MSG free and organic” someday.
We also have a cost barrier. If I were to prepare “Rokkakudo Reuben Sand” with all organic ingredients, the price would be about 1,400 yen by itself.
My ultimate aim is to make “Rokkakudo Farm” and “Rokkakudo processing plant” to cultivate naturally and do in house production. However, only dairy products are hard to meet my expectation. I have stayed in a farm in New Zealand to learn organic farming of grazing and found it is closely impossible to do the same thing in Japan due to a land use issue. Only a few farmers, such as in Hokkaido, manufacture dairy products but unfortunately it is not possible to get their products at the moment.
I would like this cafe to become a place that customers find improvements in the safety of food, the way staffs serve and the atmosphere every time they visit. It is my pleasure that we can make a good relationship with the customers in the long run.
Please feel free to let us know anything you noticed or things to suggest. Thank you very much for your support. I’m looking forward to seeing you at uchikawa Rokkakudo.