To eat or not to eat (konbini food?), that is the question!

This week’s column is a little different from previous ones. For starters, I have some news…

I…

Have…

Hung…

Up…

My…

Partying…

Shoes.

Yep folks, that means that I’m not going out drinking anymore and yes, maybe I’ve turned into a slightly more mature (*cough, cough*) version of myself. Judge me as you will. I know some of my friends can’t quite believe it, but it’s true.

Now you might be wondering how this will impact my column and maybe why I’m even bringing it up. Well, as you may have noticed (I KNOW you have!) I frequently make references to alcohol and I do indeed include many alcoholic beverages in my reviews.

Do not fear! I assure you, I’m still very much dedicated to finding out about ALL new products at konbini [コンビニ], including alcohol and I will be recommending that you try them. In fact, this means that I need all of YOU to write in and tell me which ones I should include and which ones I should scrap when writing future columns.

Anyway, let’s get to the point of this week’s column, a discussion of the much-debated topic: is konbini food healthy or unhealthy?

I posed this very question to my second year English speaking class last week as they have been focusing on the topic of health. I figured, why not pick their young and less alcohol-riddled brains for a bit of on-the-job research and do a debate? Yes, I use ALL of my resources.

Hence, the topic was: “Konbini food is very unhealthy.”

Flipping a coin, the boys were given the affirmative argument; the girls, the negative.

What I discovered was that both sides had very valid arguments and surprisingly, I was torn between choosing a winner. The final verdict was that some food is indeed unhealthy, but there ARE healthy options available. Of course, that means it’s up to you to choose them! Responsibility sucks sometimes. So does being a mature grown-up.

bananas

I admit that I eat konbini food every day, but not for every meal and generally my choices are healthy ones. Except for when I feel like chocolate, or ice cream, or fried chicken, or meron/melon pan [メロンパン] topped with gigantic sugar chunks you can see from the moon. Sometimes you just feel like eating something BAD.

juice

Anyway, the healthy options as brainstormed by my class include:

  • Salads (including the ones without dressing for the super diet conscious)
  • Vegetable sticks with dip
  • Fruit (including fresh, frozen and canned, some of which is in natural juice)
  • Yoghurt tubs and yoghurt drinks
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Zero calorie jelly and zero calorie drinks
  • ‘Healthy’ choice onigiri [おにぎり] or riceballs such as plain rice, salmon and seaweed
  • Green tea
  • And (I couldn’t resist slipping this one in)… Strong Zero alcoholic beverages. Okay, okay, yes, it’s alcohol and MAN, they are strong (duh), but… they are made with real fruit. Yeah, yeah, I’m scraping the barrel to justify this. Humour me, will you?!

strong zero

chocolate

The unhealthy options as brainstormed by my class include:

  • Fried chicken (and indeed most of the items in those hot cabinets at the counter)
  • Potato chips
  • The entire chocolate and candy range (*sigh* all the fun stuff…)
  • Most of the ice cream
  • Some of the bread range (*double sigh*)
  • Alcohol (*triple sigh*)

You know what? They did brainstorm other things, but this list is too long and too depressing to continue.

I think… and this is how I’m ending this week’s column, that everything in moderation is okay. Yes, some of the food is unhealthy, but it’s only an issue if you eat it ALL THE TIME. By all means, try the healthy options at konbini, but leave some room for the fun stuff in life.

With that thought in mind, I’m off to have a drink… I mean, some chocolate 😉

Jade Brischke

Jade first visited Hiroshima with a group of her students from Australia and after falling in love with the city, vowed that one day she would return to live and work. It seems dreams really do come true! When she's not writing she's out and about with her camera, walking and exploring the streets or some may say, wandering aimlessly. She, however, doesn't believe any wandering is aimless. Jade blogs regularly at jackcrispy.com.

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