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not nice rice

Rice for the Japanese is like fish and chips for the Brits. Without the grease.

But just recently the rice industry in Japan has gone tits up.

In a bid to boost profits, several companies have been buying cheap imported rice meant for industrial use, such as glue-making, and selling it on as high quality rice to distributors who have in turn sold it to makers of rice crackers, sweets and alcoholic beverages.

This cheap rice is contaminated with pesticides such as methamidophos and aflatoxin.

Two salarymen enjoy a stiffer-than-usual drink with some uncontaminated tandoori chicken.

The scandal has even forced the resignation of Japan's Rice Minister, Seiichi Ota. At a recent press conference he attempted to confuse the Japanese public by speaking in English and using a double negative. It didn't wash.

The outgoing (meaning he's leaving, not that he's an extrovert, though he may well be) Rice Minister, Seiichi Ota.

In an if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em spirit, cooking magazines across the nation have been making the best of it:
Recipe for Contaminated Rice Cakes:


2 cups of rice
Half a cup of water
2 tsp aflatoxin
1 tsp methamidophos
A pinch of salt

Directions: Mix together to make a pliable dough. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Make small balls. Eat and phone ambulance.

Japanese housewives are up in arms about the situation. Here one lady gives her opinion on the scandal....

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On Saturday, 20 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

wow, i can't believe you went there on the last picture. That pun was priceless :)  

On Saturday, 20 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

One more green-hued moldy rice kernel and the old lady is toast!  

On Saturday, 20 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

All this resigning lately ... Fukuda, the sumo stable master and now this guy. Wonder why officials here are so quick to resign ...?  

On Saturday, 20 September, 2008, Blogger Tamakikat said:

Another goody.  

On Sunday, 21 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Have I mentioned that I love your blog?? Well, in case I haven't, I do!


On Sunday, 21 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good grief, have I never said before how I'm allergic to bad puns? Right now my eyes are bleeding, my head hurts and my feet smell...not blaming you for that though.  

On Wednesday, 24 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's all nonsense there's nothing wrong with the rice. In fact I'm sipping on a beverage fermented from rice and chewing on some
some mochi as I type this comm.......aaargh......ggrrrn....ekkk!  

On Friday, 26 September, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's been 6 days since u delighted us with ur witty blog ! When may we expect the next big bang ;- ?  

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