• Global Kitchen

Choice, Not Chance, Determines Destiny

  • delicious Japan
  • November 2019
Harue Suzuki,
President of Suzuki Plastic Surgery Clinic
Owner of gluten-free & vegan cafe CHOICE


The Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, prompted me to turn my attention to food safety, and made me notice how unhealthy I had been eating so far.

There are no opportunities to study nutritional science in Japan's medical schools. Aren't Japanese doctors eating the most unhealthy diets as they do their exhausting work? I resolved to spread foods that would be better for the body and taste better, and immediately after the earthquake, I broke ground on a building that would incorporate a cafe.

I learned whatever I encountered about food and nutritional science, including molecular nutritional science, enzyme nutrition, macrobiotics, natural hygiene, and raw food, and that led me to encounter the China Study by T. Colin Campbell, which is a seminal work in nutritional science. I reached the conclusion that the most healthy foods are plant-based whole foods (PBWF). The PBWF diet goes beyond preventing diseases, to actually reverse them. I settled on CHOICE as the name for the cafe, which I opened in September 2013, and I made more healthful choices in all ingredients, condiments, preparation methods, and cooking utensils. One common problem that troubles vegetarians around the world, and the last barrier to making the transition to PBWF, is that cheese just tastes too good.

In November 2011, I joined a live-in program by Dr. John McDougall, a doctor who practices the PBWF diet presented in The China Study. There I met Miyoko Schinner, the mother of vegan cheese, who would later become my best friend. In March 2013, the six starting members of CHOICE went to train at Miyoko's kitchen. Starting from that training, we developed CHOICE Fromage, and succeeded in making cheese that produces the most delicious dishes, in addition to being good for health.

Our instructor in Japan is Atsushi Hirata, the owner-chef of Akai Haze, a farmhouse restaurant in Kurume. He is a great master of French cuisine, and since switching to macrobiotics, his reliable skills, knowledge, and sensibility have made him a leader in Japan's macrobiotic cuisine. In addition to the abundant science-backed knowledge and spirit of inquiry that Miyoko, Atsushi, and CHOICE director Masako Horie have in common, I think they also share the depth of their love for nature, as it encompasses humans and all living things. Their cooking is more delicious because it is built on a foundation of kindness.

The healthfulness of PBWF food is now backed by countless scientific studies. In contrast, there is no scientific backing for the low-carb diet, which recommends the consumption of animal protein. "Whole" examines why PBWF is not spreading in the USA despite the publication of the China Study in 2005 and the revelation that PBWF is the best dietary method, and the book "Low-carb Fraud", which was written as part of it, was published as a separate book. I translated it into Japanese. I also revised a book, published in 2017, about research into athletes, and into cases of people who overcame cancer, allergies, and other maladies for which the causes are unknown to Western Medicine. I also translated Whole into Japanese, and it is due to be published soon. There are still no courses of nutritional science in Japanese medical schools, but I am trying to let some light into the world of medicine. I have been invited to speak to the Japanese Circulation Society, Japan's largest medical society with 26,000 doctor members, about PBWF in March next year.