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经济学人:长寿的秘诀 日本健康零食

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Healthy snacks in Japan

日本健康零食
The joy of soy
黄豆欢歌
Defying Western food imperialism
小黄豆不畏西餐帝国主义
If you want to learn how to live longer, look at the people of Okinawa, a string of islands in south-western Japan. Raised on a diet of fish and soyabeans, their life expectancy is among the highest on Earth. There is a natural control group; many Okinawans fled to Brazil and Hawaii after the second world war, where they switched to a meatier diet of steaks and burgers. All have been studied regularly by Japanese researchers over the past three decades to prove that a soya-rich diet can prolong life. Now it is time for the taste test: can a healthy bag of soya nibbles sweep the fatty potato snack off the table?
想知道延缓衰老的秘籍,不妨学学冲绳岛的原住民。冲绳岛群岛位于日本西南部,岛上居民自古以鱼和大豆为食,平均期望寿命居全球之首。二战结束后,许多冲绳人逃亡至巴西和夏威夷,饮食习惯也入乡随俗,改为以牛排和汉堡为主的肉食;这些冲绳人便成了天然的对照组。日本研究学家为证明富含黄豆的饮食能延缓衰老,在过去的30年里一直对两组人群做定期研究。如今到了测试口味的时候:健康小黄豆是否能取代高脂土豆零食,成为桌上新宠?

日本健康零食.jpg

Kaoru Yamada, a young food specialist at Otsuka Pharmaecutical, a Japanese drug company, has risen to the challenge. She dislikes the taste of soya, so she invented a lightly baked soya pastry that tastes of cheese, is crispy, has soyabeans rattling inside it and can sit on a desk—or even on a bar—for months without going soggy. Called SoyCarat, her creation went on sale in Japan this month. Otsuka, which also produces a big-selling health drink called Pocari Sweat, sees it as part of a counter-offensive against Western snacks that are making Asians fatter.

日本大塚制药株式会社的青年食物专家山田薰已着手应战。山田小姐因为不喜欢黄豆的味道,故特意研发出了一款奶酪味黄豆酥。这款名为SoyCarat的黄豆酥经低温烘焙而成,内含嘎吱黄豆,口感松脆。在台面或柜台上存放数月也不会受潮变软。山田小姐的新发明将于本月在日本上市。亚洲人在西式零食的影响下日趋肥胖,生产热销运动饮料宝矿力的大塚制药则将SoyCarat视作西式零食大反攻行动的一部分。
The science is compelling: research, albeit part-sponsored by Otsuka, suggests that eating soya protein quickly lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The company notes that the average American eats less soya in a year than the average Japanese eats in a day. Otsuka is not alone in Japan in trying to use science to sell consumer products: for instance, Uniqlo, a clothes retailer, sells hi-tech underwear that it says makes sweat dry quicker.
科学研究显示,摄入大豆蛋白能迅速降低血压、减少心血管疾病发病率。虽然大塚制药是该研究发起人之一,但科学研究总能令人信服。公司指出,日本人日均大豆食用量高于美国人年均摄入量。在日本,利用科学研究推销产品的公司大有人在,大塚制药绝非独家——服装零售商优衣库就在推销一款号称能超速吸汗的高科技内衣。
But the marketing may be a problem. Sophisticated diners insist that soya is scrumptious, but others vehemently disagree. Gary Larson, a cartoonist, once drew three disgusted lionesses spitting out the wobbly flesh of “a tofudebeest—one of the Serengeti’s obnoxious health antelopes”. It struck a chord.
然而,将新产品推向市场或将不会一帆风顺。精明的食客们坚称豆制品美味至极,但其他人却强烈反对。漫画家加里.拉尔森(Gary Larson)画过这样一幅漫画:三头母狮们厌恶的相继吐出口中摇晃着的块块鲜肉,因为它们捕到的是“塞伦盖蒂最令人作呕的健康羚羊——豆腐羚”。该漫画引发了公众的强烈共鸣。
SoyCarat’s brand name is tricky: whatever the spelling, it evokes the idea of two things children shun and adults munch only reluctantly. Perhaps it should be portrayed as something laid back and Okinawan instead, like a bar snack. After all, what could be better than a life-enhancing glass of Orion beer in one hand, and a life-extending bag of soya snacks in the other?
SoyCarat这个品牌名本身就很复杂——无论soy和carat怎样组合,总会让人想起“黄豆”和“克拉”这两种小孩避而远之,大人勉强食之的东西。或许应该将它描述成具有冲绳风情,在酒吧吃的那种休闲小零食。毕竟,还有什么能比一杯增加生命宽度的Orion啤酒,一袋增加生命长度的黄豆小食更惬意的呢? 翻译:王葭苇

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challenge ['tʃælindʒ]

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