Tldr: we now have a patreon if you want to support us at patreon.com/TheJapaneseFoodLab
You may recently have noticed ads appearing on this website. A difficult decision for sure, and one that has been mulled over for months if not years.
I’ve always been interested in what made great food great, forever curious about why there could be such a large disparity in taste for the same dish, cooked by a different person or made from a different recipe. I was constantly looking for explanations and when I couldn’t find them, I started this website with a single goal in mind- to produce content that answered the questions I myself would have been curious about and wanted to know the answer to.
The results are far from perfect. There are some series that have missing articles, the mobile experience and user interface could be improved, many emails go unreplied for forever, and some articles are too long winded. For a long time that led to a deep sense of dissatisfaction. There was always more to be done, things to tweak and improve on. However, being a big fan of Sam Harris’ work, I realized that in our short lifespan on earth, there would never be enough time for everything I’d wish to accomplish with this website and any meaningful time spent on this project should be counted as a blessing. Making peace with this allowed me to have a healthier relationship with my writing.
It’s undeniable that the number of people who consume information though the written word is declining exponentially. Mere text on a screen can do little to compete with the most advanced computer algorithms that have worked out the most efficient way to grab people’s attention. Working behind the scenes to give people small doses of seemingly random but sustained doses of dopamine by recommending people the latest short video or trending news.
So why stick to writing to communicate information? As of now, I believe that it is still the most efficient way to communicate hard and difficult concepts. I may be sorely mistaken, but some of the longer explanatory articles in this website would probably need an equivalent of several hours of video to do the same job.
Unfortunately, the changing internet landscape means that this website is becoming more and more unsustainable. Soon, it may be impossible to even find content written by a human being. More and more often, I come across websites that use AI written content that are highly search engine optimized, meaning that it’s harder and harder to find this website using a search engine. It’s even rarer nowadays to see anyone write on a topic without trying to sell you a product or give you a biased opinion.
So to help keep this website alive, I’ve decided to go down the route that you’ve seen a countless number of creators go down- creating a patreon for people to support our writing.
What does support this website get you? Well, nothing really. I can’t guarantee more in-depth articles or more timely responses. After all, I’m just a single person doing research, carrying out experiments, taking photos and then writing it all up, trying to keep this project going in whatever little time I have outside of my fulltime job. What I can promise though, is that none of the information here will ever be behind a paywall and that all content will always be freely available to anyone, supporting us or not. If the ads on this site annoy you, then install an adblocker, I honestly don’t mind. This was the guiding principle of the project to begin with and won’t change.
Instead, if you choose to support this website, you will be helping in backing and sustaining the documentation of Japanese culinary knowledge in the English language. That is, until this website becomes unsustainable.
Until then, thank you to anyone who’s dropped by the website. The content here isn’t perfect and there isn’t even anything done editorial or design-wise. Therefore, it’s always encouraging when people visit or write a nice email.
Support us at: patreon.com/TheJapaneseFoodLab
If you interested in how I think about time management, check out British author Oliver Burkman’s facing finitude on Sam Harris’ Waking Up App.
I’m also a big fan of the educational youtuber and podcaster CGP Grey. In his 2023 yearly theme, he talked about ‘working, while you still can’ in response to the possibility of human content creation being replaced by AI content. At least even if not replaced, diluted to the point that it becomes harder and harder to find high quality content produced by humans. Following his journey in 2023 was one of the main driving factors in taking steps to monetize this website.