The reason why Japanese food got very popular is absolutely nutrition, without any question. It's probably the most important reason. People are worried about what is in their food. They also want something lighter and Japanese food is just not something heavy. That's something that's very important in the schools for me. Everybody likes noodles but I want whole green noodles because that's what's nutritious.
I think that it is important to re-think the American diet. I'm looking for food that children love. That's hard to find; food that children love that's really good for you, that's affordable, that's available or could be grown and things that can be put in there seasonally. It's very hard but the more you look into the cuisine, the more you find really interesting things.
Food is the most important way to understand a different culture because you are digesting the culture. You're taking it in. When you talk about memories, they are so often associated with food. Both adults and children say, "I remember when I ate that."
She has been promoting the slow-food concept to the American diet and Japanese food has made a contribution.