Unless sushi train restaurants add a new dish to their menus, the wasteful trend looks set to continue.
In Japan, sushi is traditionally made with two vital ingredients: a neta topping, usually made from raw seafood, and shari, specially prepared rice commonly seasoned with a combination of salt, sugar and vinegar. While various types of sushi exist, in forms like temaki (hand-rolled), and gunkanmaki (warship roll), they all have one common ingredient: rice.
Revolving sushi train restaurants serve up hundreds of these rice-based morsels every day, so when customers spot fellow diners discarding one of the cuisine’s most vital ingredients, it’s sure to get sushi-lovers all riled up.
▼ Pictures of rice left behind on diners’ plates first started emerging four years ago, as customers seated next to wasteful consumers gaped at the shameless display of nonchalance and extravagance.
熊本本山スシローなう。 横の客…めっちゃ贅沢食いやっとった。 この写真の軍艦巻はイクラです。 写真には、見えませんが、中のイクラだけを拾い上げて食べてました。 他のシャリも、上だけ食べてシャリは残すという贅沢なやつ。やばいなこいつ。 http://t.co/k5sMmpqK—
渡邉かずき【ネギの人】 (@kazuboo4) May 06, 2012
In Japan, children are taught that “Every grain of rice has seven fortune gods,” so leaving behind even one grain at the end of a meal is considered rude and disrespectful.
JunJun (@jmmkr) February 16, 2013
Still, that appears to mean nothing to body-conscious young women these days, as they choose to ditch the extra carbohydrates from the rice, preferring to fill up on the low-calorie toppings in front of them instead.
スシローにて シャリを残す人いた まじか(゜ロ゜)www http://t.co/NiRZ9Dg91C—
のちぐ (@ngcykn) February 21, 2015
It’s a trend that shows no signs of stopping, as this Twitter user recently pointed out with a trio of images gathered from social media. These photos were posted by young women who said they were leaving sushi rice behind in order to watch their waistlines.
回転寿司「シャリ残す」女性が増殖中 理由は「糖質制限中だから」とのこと ツイッターなどのSNSには、若い女性ユーザーを中心に「シャリは太るから食べない」といった報告が相次いでいる状況だ https://t.co/XyUFCzZ2mW—
トマト大好き (@tmato30kcal) September 19, 2016
Since sharing the images, along with the note that more and more young women are following suit, the tweet received more than 40,000 retweets, with fellow sushi lovers weighing in with their thoughts on the unrelenting trend.
“This is disgusting and wasteful – they ought to be ashamed.”
“As long as they’re paying for it, it shouldn’t matter whether they eat the rice or not.”
“This is incredibly disrespectful to Japan’s farmers and farming communities.”
“They should create new dishes without rice for these types of women and charge them the same as normal.”
“Why don’t these women just buy sashimi from the supermarket and eat it at home instead?”
Although commonly mistaken for sushi, sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish which may or may not be served with rice. According to a Japanese media report, out of all the well-known sushi restaurants in Japan, only one – Hamazushi – offers sashimi on their permanent menu. While other popular chains like Kappa Zushi, Genki Sushi, Sushiro, and Kura Zushi might offer sashimi as part of special campaigns from time to time, it’s not always possible to order sushi without rice. With so many precious grains going to waste as customers try to watch their waistlines though, it might be time for sushi train restaurants to rethink their menus.