While I was there, I don’t recall many edible things that couldn’t be found in Japan (only licorice comes to mind). Certain things that we take for granted elsewhere (like fresh herbs, fruits etc.) were outrageously expensive, but at least they were still available and there was plenty of everything else.
So such a severe shortage of a basic commodity like butter, did ring a few alarm bells. This article, sent by Victor and titled “Japan is a market pioneer again: the first industrialised nation with no butter”, describes the situation and I also found another one discussing the issue in further detail.
Though this may just be an isolated incident, I can’t help but wonder if the future of mankind (especially the more developed kind) will be a dark and gloomy one.
Coincidently, I just watched Soylent Green, the cult classic from 1973, starring the late Charlton Heston. Amazing how accurate some of the predictions of the future were (though the super-rich still had running water, real meat, vegetables etc.).
I don’t believe people will ever end up on my plate, but there’s hardly anything we consume that isn’t processed and packaged to look very different from the original contents.