by Ewa Nowogorski
In Japan, the most-purchased item of all time at 7-11 convenience stores is white sliced bread, interestingly, with the second most purchased item being fried chicken.
In America, the most-purchased item is the fried chicken as well.
Japanese convenience stores have the image of being healthier than American convenience stores, but this is not innately true. There are indeed healthy options, just like there are in American stores, but there is a plethora of unhealthy foods to choose from as well. Fried and hot foods remain some of the most popular sells in convenience stores between these 2 countries because of their affordability, ready-to-go-ness, and palatable taste.
You can do virtually anything at a Japanese convenience store, from paying your bills to picking up Amazon packages to buying concert tickets to simply grabbing a meal. And the meals are all ready to go. Virtually nothing requires any prep work on the customer’s side, and there are microwaves available to warm up your food for you.
Japan, unlike America, does have a huge selection of premade lunch boxes ready-to-eat in its convenience stores. They have the false perception of being healthy because of their usually low calorie count, their balanced portions, and an even divide of protein and vegetables and carbohydrates. It all checks out at first glance, but upon closer inspection you will realize that these foods are far from nutritionally balanced. A lot of salt, and sometimes old, is used to season these lunch boxes. And while that in small amounts is not too bad, these boxes are packed with preservatives and artificial flavorings to make the food taste better. They also lack a lot of nutrients, and are just not as healthy as they seem.
America does not attempt to hide the fact that a lot of its fast foods are bad, but Japan masks its unhealthy foods behind a seemingly healthy disguise. Always buying food from convenience stores is also more expensive than cooking at home, and you should take cost into consideration as well when buying food items from them.