Thursday, October 17, 2013

Potatoes, pototoes, and many more pototoes!

So it is Fall at last, and sweet potatoes are in season.  This week, every day at the kindergartens has involved some action or another with sweet potatoes.  So, if you haven't heard about sweet potatoes in Japan, now is the time!

Yesterday we cooked up about 100 of them, mashed them into moosh, added salt and sugar, and formed balls of "yaki imo,"  a traditional Japanese food.  It looks like this:

Very appealing picture I'm sure.  Actually it is quite tasty!

Then today, we had a mini fieldtrip to a nearby farm, where the kids got to pull their own sweet potatoes!  I did not take any pictures, so a stole two from the internet (Japanese websites and which does not seem to exist)  This post is filled with pictures that are very appetizing!  From here on, enjoy two bug friends from Japan:

This is the legendary MUKADE 百足。A somewhat deathly poisonous Japanese centipede which often finds its' way into old houses here.  I've also seen them walking along roads, in the sandboxes that the kids play in at the kindergartens, and today we saw two of them mixed in with the sweet potatoes the kids were picking!

This one is a Yatoumushi 夜盗虫。Otherwise known as a cutworm.  They eat the leaves of the potatoes, and the people call them bad.  Aside from eating the leaves, I don't know what damage they do, but there were plenty of them today!

I love biodiversity.  I love animals, sea creatures, and yes bugs as well.  Actually bugs may be my favourite of the bunch, because they are generally so alien looking!  It's really cool to get such experiences as hanging out on little farms here!  And by the way, when I say little, I literally mean *little!*  A standard farm here is about 112 square meters!  
 Back to biodiversity, I think it's both  beautiful and a very important thing that kids these days are exposed to nature in its' rawest form.  I have met so many people in my life that look at a bug, and can think of nothing other than "ew" to say.  But without a strong and diversified bioverse, we cannot survive.  Not just the laws of our Earth nature, body nature as well -- there is not any one single food that we can all survive off of, because nothing gives us everything we need.
Hypothetically speaking, even if we were to develop something we could live off of, such as a pill form food, I don't think we as humans should take the stand to decide which creatures live and which die -- just because they do or don't survive a purpose to us.  (Except for mosquitoes! hah!) No religion speaking here, I just think if we try to control everything, life will be far less exciting. 

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