First-class Koshihikari rice sold by a tableware manufacturer. Cultivated with fertilizer created from discarded tableware.

ボナース米

As people’s awareness of sustainability rapidly increases after the coronavirus pandemic, the concept of a “circular economy” has been attracting attention. The circular economy refers to an economic system that is designed to prevent waste and pollution from the production process of products, and to regenerate the natural system by continuing to use raw materials and products once they have been input into the economic system for as long as possible.

In the area of food and the circular economy, there are a wide range of themes such as food loss reduction, composting, container and packaging reduction, recycling and upcycling of food residues, and locally produced, locally consumed supply chains, etc. Restaurants that engage in zero-waste and use waste ingredients are attracting attention worldwide. Zero-waste restaurants and restaurants that make use of discarded foodstuffs are attracting attention around the world.

BONEARTH, a fertilizer created from discarded dishes

The ceramics manufacturer “Nikko Company” has been actively promoting various initiatives in line with the principles of the Circular Economy, including “NIKKO Circular Lab”, a cross-organizational research and development project. As one such initiative, the company announced the release of “BONEARTH rice,” a Koshihikari grown with “BONEARTH“, the world’s first fertilizer created from discarded tableware, on November 9, 2023.

In September 2023, Nikko, a long-established tableware manufacturer founded in 1908, developed “BONEARTH”, a recycled fertilizer made from out-of-spec product generated in the manufacturing process at its plant, In September 2023, “BONEARTH CIRCULAR COMMUNITY” was launched as a community for all people, from producers to consumers, to connect, have fun, and think about the sustainable “future of food.

As part of these activities, the company is using BONEARTH to grow a variety of crops with the cooperation of Green Support Demura Corporation. This time, rice, the staple food of the Japanese people, was grown using BONEARTH.

NIKKO BONEARTH FARM

BONEARTH contains phosphoric acid, which is effective in forming fertile soil. Furthermore, since it is not soluble in water, it does not easily runoff into rivers, making it a fertilizer that can be used safely even on farms that are blessed with water due to their proximity to irrigation systems.

BONEARTH rice is grown in the Torigoe area, located in Hakusan City, where Nikko’s headquarters is located. The Torigoe area has long been known for its ability to produce delicious rice due to the large temperature difference in the mountains, a mountain wind called “Hakusan Oroshi,” and the early rise of the morning sun and early fall of the evening sun. The rice grown in this area is characterized by slow growth and a small number of ears because of the mountainous terrain. Growing up with fewer ears, the rice is packed with flavor and has a glossy appearance when cooked.

BONEARTH Rice

BONEARTH rice (Koshihikari first-class rice)

Mr. Demura of Green Support Demura Corporation, a farmer cooperating in the cultivation of the “BONEARTH Rice” this time, said that he wanted to grow safe and delicious rice under the following conditions: “The amount of pesticides and fertilizers used were reduced (the number of pesticides used for reduction was 50% or less and the nitrogen content of chemical fertilizer was 50% or less). The rice was cultivated using BONEARTH.” He says, “We dared to cultivate under the strictest standards”.

In addition, while the number of rice certified as first-class rice has been decreasing due to this year’s nationwide heat wave and water shortage, the “BONEARTH Rice” harvested this year has received a first-class rating.

BONEARTH rice can be purchased at Nikko’s general store, “Lost and Found Tokyo Store“, located in Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, and in addition to 1kg packages, 300g (2go) is also available for trial use or as a small gift.

BONEARTH Rice

Nikko fine bone china tableware made from the sustainable fertilizer “BONEARTH” and cooked “BONEARTH rice”

Nikko’s tableware is recycled and turned into fertilizer, and the rice grown with the fertilizer is again served on Nikko tableware and returned to us.Nikko believes that its own efforts alone are not enough to spread the “circular economy,” and calls for the entire food-related industry to unite in the recycling of tableware.

Farmers who want to add unique and sustainable value to the crops they grow, and restaurants interested in creating an integrated sustainable story from tableware to ingredients, are encouraged to inquire.

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