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Japan: Food education classes started using the theme of the rice bread cooker, GOPAN

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SANYO Electric has started a new food education class using the theme of GOPAN, a product that proposes a new way of eating rice and is gaining a lot of attention as an effective means of expanding its consumption. The classes, entitled "Rice cooking class - Learn how to cook rice bread!" are themed on rice, the staple food of the Japanese. The classes offer a curriculum to develop students' interests in rice, inspiring them to think about the food they eat on a daily basis. As a new possibility for rice, children get to sample fresh rice bread, while they learn about the special skills and ideas of people who work with rice.

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Children in the May 24-class sampled bread prepared using Fusakogane rice from Chiba Prefecture while those in the May 27-class sampled Koshihikari rice from Shiga Prefecture. Through happily stuffed mouths, the reaction of the children to their first taste of rice bread prepared using locally produced rice was: "It looks just like normal bread," "It's soft and yummy," and "The more you chew, the sweeter it gets."

The second half of the lesson encouraged the children to think about the three key phrases of "Local production for local consumption," "Food self-sufficiency ratio," and "Food mileage" with video interviews with the developer of GOPAN and various rice farmers. The message from the developer who created the GOPAN from a desire to contribute toward solving such problems, told of his hope in creating the GOPAN, that people would eat more of the rice that Japan is so proud of. Through this class Panasonic hopes to encourage children's interest in rice, promote increased consumption of it, and support the creation of Japan's agricultural future.


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