Dieting the Japanese Way - Q&A with Comedian Craig Anderson


In the new health documentary ‘Miso Hungry’, actor, comedian, and fast-food junkie Craig Anderson shares his thoughts and experiences of the Japanese diet with Food Matters. 

What is the biggest difference, from your point of view, between the Western and the Japanese lifestyles?

The Japanese seem closer to the environment. With food, their attention to detail. Japanese meals were always several plates of small, bite-sized portions. Regarding the lifestyle, I walked a whole lot more. It seems like the Japanese walk everywhere - to work, the train station, and to the grocery store. I also found healthy food is readily available everywhere in Japan.

Was it easy for you to continue with the Japanese diet back in Australia?

In Australia, we have a lot of Asian supermarkets. We also have a large Asian population, due to immigration over the past four decades. So, fortunately, I can find most of the Japanese ingredients. Except the Japanese fresh vegetables. We also do not have a culture of fish being available for every meal, as they do in Japan.

How has the diet changed other aspects of your life?

I'm much happier and focused. I sleep well. I don't wake up during the night, and a day now feels like a day and not an endless barrage of hours that bleed into one.

How did your Australian friends react to the change in your diet and lifestyle?

They're all very supportive.  They all say how much better I look, and tell me to keep up the good work. Of course, that means you can reverse engineer what they must have thought of me before and secretly hate them.

Did you succeed in influencing others to change their lives?

Making the change was a big undertaking, I have yet to convince anyone to do the same, but I make food for people and take them out to Japanese restaurants, which they appreciate and enjoy. So my healthier meals are affecting those around me.

What was the most difficult thing that you had to deal with?

Getting used to making my meals in the morning. I now have to set aside 35 minutes to cook and prepare my lunch and breakfasts. Also, eating with chopsticks takes time, but you learn to appreciate the food.

What message do you want to give to viewers of ‘Miso Hungry’?

Visit Australia if you want to see a dynamic of environments and colors. Visit Japan if you want to see traditional lifestyles and extremely healthy food. Also, try some Natto, you'll love it!

Miso Hungry is a light-hearted ‘docu-comedy’ about one man's journey towards a healthier life.