Category Archives: Organic Agriculture/Food

Survey of Organic School Lunches in Japan

Please Participate in CUJ’s Survey on the Use of Organic Ingredients in School Lunches

Japanese text here

An increasing number of municipalities around Japan have recently started to use organically grown rice, vegetables and other ingredients in school lunches in primary and secondary schools. Citizens are also increasingly calling for organic ingredients to be used in school lunches, and various initiatives have been launched in various parts of the country.

Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ) considers that the inclusion of organic food in school lunches is not only good for children’s health, but also protects the environment and the producers, including local farmers. In order to further expand this trend, the initiatives of municipalities that are already using organic food (not only JAS standards) can be helpful.

We decided to conduct a survey of progressive municipalities in various regions. See below for the content of the survey in English:

Survey in Japanese here:


General overview of school meals:

Q: What is the population of your municipality and how many primary and secondary schools provide school lunches and how many students are served?


Number of Primary Schools Serving Pupils

Number of Junior High School Serving Pupils:

Q: Please circle the relevant school meal preparation method.
(1) Own school system by school
(2) Centre-based system
(3) Combination of own school system and centre system

School lunch costs

Q: What is the average cost per meal?
Primary school: Yen______________
Junior high school: Yen______________

About your organic school lunches

Q: When did you start using organic ingredients for school lunches?
Since year (e.g. 2020):

Q: How often do you serve organic school lunches each year?

Q: How often (in total days) are organic school lunches served?
Days per year:

Q: What organic ingredients do you use? Please circle all that apply and write the name of the ingredient for others:
Staple food: rice, bread (wheat etc.), noodles, other:
Vegetables: onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, radishes, other:
Meat: beef, pork, chicken, other:
Drinks: milk, fruit juice, green tea, other:
Fruit: apples, tangerines, grapes, bananas, strawberries, other:
Seasonings: miso, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, sake, mirin, other:
Please specify any other organic ingredients not listed above:

Q: What proportion of the total school lunch is made up of organic ingredients (in monetary terms)?
Rice %, wheat, barley %, vegetables %, meat %, drinks %, fruit %, seasonings %.

Q: How do you procure your organic ingredients? Please circle the relevant procurement method and ingredients.
(1) Directly from municipal farmers: rice, wheat, vegetables, meat, drinks, fruit, other:
(2) From municipal agricultural organisations: rice, wheat, vegetables, meat, drinks, fruit, etc.
(3) From other sources: rice, wheat, vegetables, meat, drinks, fruit, other:

Q: How did you come to use organic food? Please circle the relevant number. Please describe any others. (Multiple answers allowed)
(1) Residents’ (parents’) demands, (2) Producers’ demands, (3) Councilors’ demands, (4) Commitments by the head of government, (5) Nutrition teachers’ and cooks’ demands,
(6) Other:

Please send your reply to



〒169-0051 東京都新宿区西早稲田1-9-19-207




Ito City School Lunch Campaign (20 July to 12 August 2023) Poster:

Organic School Lunch Campaign in Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture in 2023

G7 Meeting Action Day in Miyazaki

Action Day to Bring Citizens’ and Farmers’ Voices to the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting
Date: April 23, 12:00-15:30
The G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Miyazaki Prefecture on April 22-23. What will be discussed at the meeting, what are the necessary international cooperation and political decisions, and what is needed to promote policies to protect food sovereignty in Japan? The Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) calls for your participation in the action and study exchange meeting in Miyazaki on the 23rd to promote agroecology and shift to an agricultural policy that supports small-scale and family farming in the pursuit of a sustainable society.

Stop the Food and Agriculture Crisis: Action Day to bring the voices of citizens and farmers to the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting
Date: Sunday, April 23
Action details:
12:00-12:45: Standing action

Place: In front of Miyazaki Yamagata-ya (department store) 5 min. walk from West Exit of JR Miyazaki Station
Address: 3-4-12 Tachibanadori Higashi, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki

13:30-15:30 Learning and exchange session Combined with online
Main presenter: Seiko Uchida (Co-president of PARC)
Naoya Matsudaira (Member of the Smallholder Agricultural Society of Japan, Representative Director of AMNet)
Toshiro Hasegawa (President, Japan Family Farmers Movement)

Promoting Organic School Lunches in Japan

Report on the Special Forum for the Promotion of Organic School Lunches all over Japan

By Koa Tasaka, CUJ

The forum was held on 26 October in Nakano, Tokyo. Over 1100 persons attended physically, and over 1800 joined on-line. In addition, 62 satellite places were set up all over Japan, with some 700 persons joining such events. Among those who attended in the main hall, there were 33 City Mayers including Mr. Ohta, Isumi City Mayor who has spear-headed the effort to introduce organic school lunches in his city. Nine Members of Parliament also attended. I attended the meeting as one of the organizers, and I found many persons I know in the hall such as Mr. Keisuke Amagasa of Consumers Union of Japan and representatives from the Civil Institute of Organic Rice Cultivation.

The program included reports by experts from France and South Korea, along with videos on the activities of school lunches with organic food from various places in Japan. There was a panel discussion as well as presentations by Prof. Nobuhiro Suzuki, Tokyo University, and by Ms. Seiko Uchida, representative of PARC. Ms. Yae, a singer and organic farmer, sang Amazing Grace at the end of the meeting before the declaration for promoting organic school lunches was announced. In addition, there were short speeches by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture, which is significant since these ministries will have to do something positive to promote school lunches with organic ingredients after giving speeches in front of so many people.

As a chemist, I know that the bread provided for everyday school lunches in Japan is made from imported wheat, which is highly contaminated with pesticides such as malathion, sumithion, or reldan. Recently, imported wheat from US has been found to be contaminated with glyphosate (Roundup) as well.

Japan’s Ministry of Education has disclosed a statement that over six percent of Japanese school children have some mental problems, without discussing the cause of these problems. Although it is not possible to prove it, mental problems among children may be related to the chemical contamination of school lunches. That is the reason why I am involved with the movement to replace school lunches using bread made from imported wheat to organically grown rice and vegetables. In that sense, I am very happy to see the development of the school lunch system in Japan with organically produced foods. I really hope that this movement develops further, so that children can grow in good health all over Japan!

Japan Resources – 187

Please click here for our latest English newsletter (pdf)JR 187


From the Editors: It Is All Connected

Report on the Special Forum for the Promotion of Organic School Lunch all over Japan

Growing Movement to Prevent Distribution of Genome-Edited Tomato Seedlings to Elementary Schools and Welfare Facilities

Public Comment: Ban 30 Substances in Pesticides

Press Release: “We Decide What We Eat Ourselves”

In the News: Over 11 years, close to 9 million people sign drive against nuclear power

From the Editors: It Is All Connected

This year ends with COP15 of the UN conference for biological diversity. We hope media will follow it as much as they did the recent COP27 of the UN conference for climate change.

In fact, these two global issues are interconnected and linked in many ways, that also influence us as consumers (and we, as consumers, can – and should – influence).

For example, by increasing the local and organically farmed food served to school children, Japan could go a long way to contribute to both mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity.

Some 3600 people all over the country are ready to make it happen, according to Koa Tasaka’s report from the Special Forum held in Tokyo this fall.

Please stay updated with CUJ’s activities and news on our English website, as well as on our English Twitter account:



Organic School Lunches, All Over Japan

On 26 October the National Organic School Lunch Forum will be held at Nakano Zero Main Hall in Nakano Ward, Tokyo

Food is deeply related to the environment. Expanding the use of food with a low environmental impact will lead to a society that is kind to living creatures and the planet, and where everyone can be happy. So, to help expand that system, we can give a boost to introducing organic food into school lunches.

And of course organic school lunches are delicious and very healthy for the children.
At this event, we will introduce examples from Japan and other countries that have introduced such organic school lunches, how they have changed and how they can be introduced.

This event is sure to be a useful reference for municipalities interested in organic school lunches and those considering adopting them.