Thursday, January 19, 2012

(UPDATED) 2,500 US Walmart Stores Selling "Japanese" Cuisine Pushed by Japanese Food Giant Ajinomoto

(Update 1/20/2012: According to the customer service of Ajinomoto USA, the "Simmering Samurai" line of frozen food currently uses ingredients from China, Japan, the US and other countries, depending on the seasonality and availability.)


since September 2011. There is no critical thinking behind the CNN article below; if there were, the writer would have asked questions like "Where are the ingredients coming from?"

It looks Ajinomoto, of MSG fame, makes "Simmering Samurai" frozen food in its Oregon manufacturing facility, according to the article, but it's not clear from the article. So I went to Ajinomoto's site, and it is still not clear. All they say about ingredients (for pot stickers, not for "Simmering Samurai" line of frozen food) is:

Before accepting any ingredients, they are thoroughly checked for freshness & quality. If they pass Ajinomoto's strict quality standards, they are received.

Looking at the package, "Simmering Samurai" looks more Chinese than Japanese.

(What a stupid naming.)

From CNN (9/12/2011):

Walmart bringing 'real' Japanese food to the United States
Millions rejoice on discovering it's not going to be sushi rolls again

Spend any time in Japan and you’ll soon realize that the local cuisine is the Best In The World (there, we said it). But return home and the old “What next?” question arises all too soon.

Luckily, if you’re in the good ole U.S. of A, Japanese catering giant Ajinomoto is riding to the rescue and pushing its Japanese culinary expertise to the masses through a new deal with Walmart.

Country-wide deal

Later this month, Tokyo-based Ajinomoto will start selling its existing “Simmering Samurai” range at 2,500 Walmart outlets across the United States, giving it what it hopes will be a fast track to the American stomach.

The frozen lineup will include Chicken Fried Rice, Orange Chicken and Beef Broccoli, each selling for about $9, and enough to feed three or four.

Changing tastes

Ajinomoto says it’s looking to growing U.S. demand for ethnic foods to help it sell more Japanese lines. Previously, it had concentrated on mostly niche products with typically expensive price tags.

Now, however, the firm is able to team up with a big-box retailer like Walmart as it has a manufacturing base in Oregon that helps keeps costs down.

Bonus fact: Ajinomoto also holds naming rights to the 50,000-seat Ajinomoto Stadium soccer arena in Chofu, Tokyo, which is home to two pro soccer teams.

Update: Yes, we know full well the dishes aren't particularly Japanese -- one would assume Ajinomoto has done trials to see what works well in the United Stated and planned accordingly. Food has a long history of "adapting" to fit the target market, after all.

(H/T anon reader)


Anonymous said...

Little Canary said,

Great, for the non informed consumers.

By the way Ajinomoto itself is so healthy...

Adding some secret ingredients from Fukushima,
Massive radiation evacuation for food has just started, hitting the infamous Walmart stores!

With these kind of products Japanese and US Corpomaniacs can booze the pharmaceuticals sales in the future.

Dont take it seriously is just business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for trying to find out where the ingredients are coming from. Did you call them directly to ask? just wondering..

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is this world coming to?

Doyu Shonin/Risa Bear said...

I don't know if these are of any use:,en&lng2=da,de,el,en,es,fi,fr,it,nl,pt,sv,&val=342992:cs&page=

Anonymous said...

the cool thing is that the meals are all 'self heating' because of the radioactivity....!


Anonymous said...

For those in the U.S. who are interested, just skip right down to section IV, Tables 1 and 2.

Compare that to the current allowable levels in Japan.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Those are intervention levels, aren't they? Why should the US use those numbers in peacetime? Just to help out Japan?

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon 3:23. If I'm getting this right they raised the permitted levels of cesiums (yummy) from 370 Bq/kg to 1200, and added in acceptable levels of plutonium, americum and ruthenium.

Clearly winning.

no6ody said...

arevamirpal::laprimavera--maybe because the US has exploded more a-bombs than any other country, and has far too many nuclear reactors?

Thank you, anon at 3:23. That's a useful link!

Anonymous said...

Just squeeze on the Wasabi and voila! your own Japanese food.

May or may not contain real Wasabi,radionuclides vary,no right of litigation.

Anonymous said...

"Ajinomoto .. has a manufacturing base in Oregon that helps keeps costs down."

Oh, so Oregon wants to play a more central role in distributing poisons to the American people, is it ?

Chibaguy said...

@anon 3:23

Thank you for the link. I wonder how many people are aware of this? WTF!

Anonymous said...

Those are intervention levels for nuclear emergency. The numbers are based on Codex, which is about imported foods. Numbers are high because the US does not expect to rely on contaminated imported food that much.

Anonymous said...

I will be sure to add Walmart to my list of peddlers of adulterated foods. Sam Walton would roll over in his grave.

Also...I was wondering yesterday just exactly what brands of Japanese tea leaves are being foisted on American consumers in traditional brand name boxes. It is getting harder and harder to avoid the contaminated food stocks.


Anonymous said...

areva, yes those are the DILs. They have been keeping an eye on milk since the glory days of unfettered atmospheric testing. Today you can look at the NRC site and see that plants located near dairy producers have monitors sited to take readings. Too bad everyone couldn't participate in the meetings when the acceptable levels of atmospheric/effluent discharge were determined for the industry.
@5:14, please read the document. It is about domestic and imported food.
Here are the Drinking water standards

Here is the Import Alert 99-33 following 3/11

Anonymous said...

"I will be sure to add Walmart to my list of peddlers of adulterated foods. Sam Walton would roll over in his grave. "

Sam W. began spinning in his grave at flywheel speeds some time ago, 7:02.


Anonymous said...

Let them eat cake

catering services in philippines said...

I can't cook without ajinomoto,lol! like your photos.


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