ITOCHU offers its first Green Curry containing Ishigaki-produced Euglena as part of a TABLE FOR TWO MENU at its employee cafeteria
-Contributing to society by offering an easy, well-balanced meal in the summer when appetite wanes due to heat-
August 9, 2012
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), non-profit organization TABLE FOR TWO International (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahisa Kogure, Director; hereinafter TFT), and euglena Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Mitsuru Izumo, President; hereinafter Euglena Co.) announced today that they will offer Green Curry, which contains the Ishigaki-produced Euglena, for a limited time as a TFT menu item at the ITOCHU employee cafeteria. This is the first time the Ishigaki-produced Euglena will be incorporated into a TFT menu and also the first time a menu item containing the Ishigaki-produced Euglena will be offered at an employee cafeteria.
The Ishigaki-produced Euglena refers to the powdered form of microalgae euglena (Japanese name: Midori Mushi) that Euglena Co. produces on Ishigaki Island. Euglena belongs to the same species as seaweed and kelp, and has characteristics of both plants and animals. It possesses an abundance of 59 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and DHA, and is gaining attention as an ingredient that could compensate for the lack of nutrition in the diet today. The advantage of this food product is that it is possible to absorb a great amount of nutrients at once during this season when fatigue from the summer heat could curb one’s appetite.
TABLE FOR TWO is based on the concept of people in industrialized countries sharing a meal with children in developing nations. Ordering a meal at an employee cafeteria, etc., from a TFT Healthy Menu*1, which contains fewer calories than regular meals, is equal to buying a gift of one school lunch (worth 20 yen) for a child in Africa. The fewer calories consumed are to be translated into extra calories for children who are suffering from starvation, making it a program that makes sharing a meal possible beyond the concept of time and space. As one of ITOCHU’s employees was a supporter of TFT at the time of its establishment, ITOCHU was the first corporation to introduce the program to its employee cafeteria in 2007. To date, ITOCHU has donated around 3 million yen*2 to school lunch projects in developing countries. Having noticed Euglena Co.’s prospects for the future ahead of the pack, ITOCHU invested in the company in 2008 and has been exploring supply routes for euglena as a food.
Meanwhile, the fundamental concept behind establishing Euglena Co. stems from the founder Mitsuru Izumo’s (current president) realization for a need to resolve food and nutrition-related problems around the world during his travels to newly developing countries while he was a student. The latest endeavor is a product of Euglena Co.’s founding principle of simultaneously resolving the two problems of gluttony and starvation and TFT’s aim to contribute to society. And this was realized in the employee cafeteria at ITOCHU, which has had a capital and business tie-up with TFT and was the first corporation to adopt the TFT program.
Going forward, ITOCHU and Euglena Co. will propose food and prepared meal manufacturers to develop menus using Ishigaki-produced Euglena based on feedback they receive in the employee cafeteria. The two companies will also aim to develop commercial products to be used in cafeterias nationwide that adopt the TFT program as well as promote the development of new products.
|Menu item||Green Curry with the Ishigaki-produced Euglena|
|Nutrition value||Calories 649; protein 17.7g; fat content 17.8g; carbohydrates 103.8g; salt 2.8g|
|Euglena||0.5g (per meal)|
|Sale price||580 yen (20 yen to be donated to TFT)|
|Available period||August 17 (Fri), August 24 (Fri), August 31 (Fri)|
|Number of meals available||150 meals/day|
Green Curry with the Ishigaki-produced Euglena
ITOCHU Corporation Overview
|Incorporated||December 1, 1949 (founded in 1858)|
|Capital||202.241 billion yen|
|Business||ITOCHU is involved in domestic trading, exports, imports as well as overseas trading in each of the following areas: textiles, machinery, metals, energy, chemicals, foods, realty, information, insurance, logistics services, construction and finance. The company invests in businesses in Japan and abroad, and is active in a wide variety of businesses.|
TABLE FOR TWO International Overview
|Business||TABLE FOR TWO is based on the concept of people in industrialized countries sharing a meal with children in developing nations, by ordering a meal from the TFT Healthy Menu at an employee cafeteria or a store, 20 yen of the sales proceeds will be donated toward a gift of one school lunch for a child in Africa. To date, around 500 organizations, including corporations, government agencies, universities and hospitals, have participated in the program. The program has been popular for being able to easily contribute to society while preventing metabolic syndrome, and has delivered as many as around 15,300,000 meals (equal to around a year’s worth of school lunches for 69,582 people) to Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya in Africa. Currently, the overweight population from overeating, etc. in industrialized countries is at 1 billion out of 7 billion people worldwide, while the starving population is 1 billion in developing nations. TFT’s social work is aimed at simultaneously resolving the two issues of gluttony and starvation.|
euglena Co., Ltd. Overview
|Founded||August 9, 2005|
|Capital||460.65 million yen|
|Headquarters and Research Center||
University of Tokyo, Entrepreneur Plaza, 7-3-1, 7th Floor, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Becomes the first in the world in 2005 to successfully develop technology to mass cultivate microalgae euglena (Japanese name: Midori Mushi) that has a superior ability to fix CO2. The company develops and sells functional foods and cosmetics that contain the euglena, as well as conducts research on carbon dioxide fixation, water purification and the manufacturing of biofuels.
- ITOCHU’s donation via TFT program
For every 10 yen spent on a small bowl of food as part of ITOCHU’s TFT program, the company matches the amount to bring the total amount of donation to 20 yen. And for every TFT meal, 20 yen of the proceeds is donated, with ITOCHU matching that amount to make the total donated amount to 40 yen. Including other fund drives conducted within the company, the total donation has totaled 3 million yen to date.
- TFT’s Healthy Menu Guideline
1. Fewer calories per meal*
Cafeterias that cater to employees who mostly work at their desks all day: around 730 calories (680-800 calories)
3. Includes a great amount of vegetables
- See Ministry of Healthy, Labour and Welfare’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2010); the range varies depending on the amount of daily exercise.