Lecture: Bringing organic food into our daily life|Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Lecture: Bringing organic food into our daily life

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Associate Professor MAHICHI Faezeh supported by CIL Pedagogy Research and Event Subsidy hold a lecture entitled “Bringing organic food into our daily life” with the speaker Ms. Akiko Goto who is the founder of Oita Organic Market as a part of her CIL research.

Guest lecture: Bringing organic food into our daily life

As a part of the funded CIL research project with Prof. Faezeh Mahichi as principal investigator, Examining the potentials and challenges of grassroots activism as a pedagogical framework for implementing inclusive sustainable development in societies, locally, regionally and globally, Ms. Akiko Goto, the founder of Oita Organic Market, delivered a lecture to APU students on June 21st, 2021. Ms. Goto shared her journey with organic food and how the idea of “food as medicine” later became the founding principle behind the weekly organic market in Oita city. Her talk covered some of the historical developments of the organic food movement in Japan, while addressing some of the current and future challenges that local organic farmers face. The lecture further covered the following themes:
a) past and current trends of organic farming in Japan
b) local laws on organic farming
c) organic food production & different farming methods in Japan
d) impact of Oita Organic Market weekly & Organic Festa annually
e) future challenges for Japanese agriculture & food production.

To activate student learning and engage the multiple diversities present in the online classroom, students were instructed to investigate the percentage ratio of organic farming area relative to cultivated land area in their home countries. Student groups then presented the results to the class, which in general, indicated a relatively low ratio for most countries in the world. In her conclusion, Ms. Goto shared with students some of what she has learned so far from organic farming, stressing the connection between human health and the biosphere, the urgent need for leadership in this area and the value of cultivating healthy food as a way to practice environmental protection. The talk was well received by students and invited several questions and discussion during the 30-min Q&A session. A number of students expressed interest in volunteering at some of the organic farms around Oita city and visiting the Oita Organic Market (おおいた Organic Market). This market is open on every Saturday morning (except the fifth Saturday of each month) from 9:00 to 12:00 in Yutaka, Oita City.

Report by: Professor Faezeh Mahichi

Acknowledgements: Ms. Motoko Saito (translation), Prof. Peter Roux (EDLSC)