A group of 22 first-year high school students and 2 teachers from Kumamoto Prefectural Uto Junior and Senior High School visited JIRCAS on December 8, 2022 as part of the Super Science High School (SSH) Future Experience Learning Program. This was the fourth visit to the school in three years. In the previous visit, the students exchanged opinions on global food issues through a lecture on evaluation of rice traits using drones.
This time, Senior Researcher FUJITA Kaori (Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division) gave a lecture entitled “Let's take a peek! Food in rural Laos" and discussed the world's food situation and nutritional improvement through case studies in rural Laos. Senior Researcher MARUI Jun-ichiro (Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division) gave a presentation entitled “Padaek, a fermented seasoning made from freshwater fish and salt in Laos” and introduced Laotian cuisine and microbial research on padaek. After the lecture, padaek was actually prepared in the hall, and students were able to experience the smell of padaek.
In addition to introducing the research, the presentations also touched on the importance of communicating the results obtained to local people, and introducing activities with overseas researchers and producers. We hope that through this lecture, the students will become familiar with the world's food problems and become interested in local efforts to solve them.