Essay on Food Differences in England and Japan

Published: 2021-08-11
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Harvey Mudd College
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Human and environmental factors affect food production in both England and Japan. Human production factors and include farmers and their families, the likelihood of farmers to make profits and benefit from incentives from the government, as well as the availability of new equipment, techniques, as well as technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of food production. Essentially, farmers have a high-profit motive when they sell the surplus at local markets, which increases food production. However, before selling the surplus, it is inevitable to grow crops in a conducive environment. In fact, the adequacy of the food supply in any country, including England and Japan, is mainly dependent on the climatological factors. Adverse climate changes, for example, due to climate change is poised to have an effect that is measurable on the quantity and quality of food that is produced in a particular country. Fortunately, if there are excellent climatic conditions, the food production will increase significantly (Frenzel, 2014). Another aspect that promotes increased food production is technology and availability of factories. England and Japan being economic giants in Europe and Asia respectively have suitable climatic conditions and technology that allows for increased food production, but also the culture and flavor, types of food and profitability connection, as well as the cooking styles and techniques also influence food production in both countries.

Japan and England are similar in food production culture in that they borrow from other cultures, for example, Indian, Celtic, and China (Hope, 2011; Assmann & Rath, 2010). Also, the two countries include fish species in their cuisine. Incorporation of vegetables in meals is also a common practice, and thus, traditional foods are still part of the cuisine in both countries. Notably, vegetables are cooked in broth in both countries. The flavors are similar in that they include spices as a flavoring, including herbs, for example, thyme, that accompany meat stews and sauces in England (Wall, 2015). Curry is also common in England. In Japan, they use soy sauce, green tea ice cream, and syrup (Assmann & Rath, 2010). In most instances, both the English and Japanese cuisines incorporate one or more main dishes and side dishes. Soup is also a typical delicacy in both cuisines.

However, there are a few differences. For instance, in Japan, they detest different flavored dishes in the same dish compare to the English people, and thus, various dishes are given their plates. Also, traditional cuisine in Japan is based on rice with miso soup (Ashkenazi & Jacob, 2013) while in England includes bread and cheese (Wall, 2015; Hope, 2011). Besides, while the Japanese cuisine is mainly based on staple foods while that of England is on meat.

There are various fish species in English cuisine. These include catfish, crawfish, crayfish, cuttlefish, dab, gray mullet, haddock, herring, mackerel, monkfish, salmon, sea trout, tuna, crabs, and trout (Hope, 2011). On the other hand, fish species found in Japanese cuisine include mackerel, Japanese amberjack, skipjack tuna, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, scallops, shell, tairagi, oysters, kaki, gaper, murugai, abalone, awabi, sazai, and ubagai (Ashkenazi & Jacob, 2013). As such, there are some of the similarities in the number of species included in both Japan and England, and these include crabs, mackerel, and tuna.

In Japan, there are various cooking techniques that are applied to the primary dishes, which is referred to as okazu, which entail raw (referred to as sashimi), simmered (in some instances, it is called boiled), grilled, vinegared, deep-fried, dressed, and steamed. Therefore, Japan uses almost all the cooking techniques available (Ashkenazi & Jacob, 2013). On the other hand, English cuisine incorporates various techniques, which include poaching, boiling, baking, braising, steaming, broiling, frying, grilling, roasting, sauteing, and stewing (Hope, 2011). Also, just like the Japanese, the English also deep fry. Therefore, there is a similarity among the two cuisines that indeed use similar styles and techniques.

Environmental factors also influence food production in Japan and England. Japan is located in Asia while England is in Europe. England is in north-western Europe and bordered in the south by the English Channel, to the west by the Irish Sea and the east by the North Sea. On the other hand, Japan is located east of China, particularly in the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. Both countries are similar in that they are islands. However, the only difference is that Japan is made of a chain of islands.

Japan is rainy with high humidity, and because it is a series of islands, there are a variety of climates. It is characterized by a humid and temperate climate and regional variations that range from cool in Hokkaido to Kyushus subtropical (Saito, 2015). Climate also varies with the altitude. Northern Japan is warm with long summers and cold winters coupled with heavy snow. Central Japan is however hot, with humid summers and short winters. Average precipitation averages 100 and 200 millimeters between June and September where 70-80% of precipitation falls in this period and when agriculture is viable (Saito, 2015). In contrast, the climate in England is temperate oceanic. The eastern areas are drier, cooler, and with fewer winds. Northern areas are colder, wetter, and characterized by broad temperature ranges (Frenzel, 2014). There is also high precipitation of about 130 millimeters annually. Therefore, both climates are conducive for agriculture.

Anthropic Environment Factors also influence food production in both countries. Anthropic factors are external factors that influence crop production, such as deforestation, urbanization, agriculture pasture, nutrient release, availability of factors, as well as forests. In both Japan and England, there is increased mechanization of crop production, as well as the availability of many factories that can manufacture the crops and in turn provide food for the population (Saito, 2015; Frenzel, 2014). Factories manufacture end products that can easily be accessed in the retailing and eatery joints. The two countries are similar in that they also export agricultural produce and the factories can preserve the foods and crops for extended periods of time. Both countries have maintained afforestation which helps preserve diversity (Saito, 2015; Frenzel, 2014). This, in turn, helps preserve the ecological conditions, thereby allowing for increased crop production. Even so, both countries have also deforested forests for agricultural purposes, which has, in turn, increased production of food. However, the deforestation has been accompanied by afforestation, thereby allowing for ecological protection.

As such, it can be concluded that human and environmental factors influence food production in England and Japan. Human factors includes the culture of each of the cuisines involved. Essentially, the culture is crucial as it helps the people adopt various cooking styles, as well as highlights the adoption of traditional and new cooking styles. In both England and Japan, there is a similarity in the use of flavors. Both cuisines seem to have borrowed some of the practices from other cultures. Also, there is a similarity in the types of fish species in both cuisines, such as crabs, mackerel, and tuna. Besides, there is a similarity in the styles of cooking, such as steaming and frying. Both England and Japan have conducive environmental factors that can be used for increased crop production. The precipitation allows both countries to grow a variety of crops. Also, the countries usually use technology for increased crop production. These factors when coupled together lead to increased crop production.


Assmann, S., & Rath, E. C. (Eds.). (2010). Japanese Foodways, Past, and Present. Illinois, CA: University of Illinois Press.

Ashkenazi, M., & Jacob, J. (2013). The essence of Japanese cuisine: An essay on food and culture. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Frenzel, F. (2014). Exit the system? Anarchist organization in the British climate camps. Ephemera, 14(4), 901.

Hope, A. (2011). Londoners' Larder: English Cuisine from Chaucer to the Present. United Kingdom, UK: Random House.

Saito, O. (2015). Climate, famine, and population in Japanese history: a very long-term perspective. Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands, 213-29.

Wall, W. (2015). Recipes for thought: Knowledge and taste in the early modern English kitchen. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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