New Trend: Eating Raw Meat

So, what would you do with raw chicken?
One might be tempted to say, "cook it."
But in Japan, some restaurants are serving it like sushi.
You may not want to try this at home.
From Tokyo, Kyung Lah looks at what the trend may say about society.

The proper slice…
hand molded rice…
for the picture perfect sushi.
Except this isn't raw fish.
It's raw meat.
Horsemeat, pork and chicken… says Chef Kensuke Onishi… all raw and uncooked.

Gobbled down by eager customers packing Nikusushi restaurant… "niku" sushi means "meat" sushi.
No fish allowed.
And in an odd way, the battle between meat and fish parallels the Japanese battle of the sexes.

Aya Kanazawa goes raw three times a week here.

I'm a carnivore girl, she says proudly… a buzzword labeling Japan's young, aggressive women.

Carnivore girls call the shots in love… they're independent and opinionated.
Raw meat-eaters.
A direct contrast to Japan's so-called herbivore boys… translated in Japanese, sex means "relationship in flesh."

So herbivore boys are less interested in sex.
Borne out of two decades of Japan's economic stagnation, traditional masculinity and career don't drive herbivores.

For a country aging at the world's fastest rate, with one of the lowest birthrates… herbivore boys embody the nation's societal fears.
What is a carnivore girl?
Carnivore girls are the reaction to herbivore boys, says this group.
It's the upheaval of the genders, says this girl.
Restaurant manager Hiroaki Toda, sensing a marketing opportunity… hit twitter… talking up his new raw meat sushi bar.

So you made this place trendy?
You could say that, he says... We're riding off the buzz of the carnivore girls.
Half of his customers are women.

The restaurant expanded to four locations and is looking into franchising.
Trend or not, since we're talking about the handling, the ingesting and serving of raw meat, it begs the question, is this all safe? Well, Japan has some of the highest food safety standards in the world. This restaurant says in the 8 months it's been open, it's not had a single reported case of food poisoning.

But there have been scandals--four people died at different restaurant chain two months ago after eating spoiled raw beef-- prompting this sushi restaurant to take raw beef off its menu. It's sticking to raw horse meat, chicken and pork for now.

American Matt Heibel says he's not worried about eating an entire meal of uncooked meat.
There's a lot of really odd things about Japan. Raw meat is only one of many. Just localize yourself, go native a little bit.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011 at 01:09 PM
    You can get tape worms eatting raw meat. And they will suck up your blood and you'll get real skinny and develope all kinds of medical problems.
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