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星期五, 3月 24, 2017

In Sweden, Happiness in a Shorter Workday Can't Overcome the Cost太昂貴的快樂 瑞典實驗每天工作6小時

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紐時周報精選 In Sweden, Happiness in a Shorter Workday Can't Overcome the Cost太昂貴的快樂 瑞典實驗每天工作6小時
As Japan Ages, Menus Adapt to Finding the Gourmet in Purées人口老化 日本端出菜泥美食
In Sweden, Happiness in a Shorter Workday Can't Overcome the Cost太昂貴的快樂 瑞典實驗每天工作6小時
文/Liz Alderman

A controversial experiment with a six-hour workday in one of Sweden's largest cities wrapped up this week with a cheerful conclusion: Shorter working hours make for happier, healthier and more productive employees.

There's just one catch. The practice is too expensive and unwieldy to become widespread in Sweden anytime soon.



The two-year trial, which took place in the southern city of Gothenburg, centered on a municipal retirement home where workers were switched to a six-hour day, from eight hours, with no pay cut. Seventeen new nursing positions were created to make up for the loss of time, at a cost of around 700,000 euros, or $738,000, a year.

Although it was small, the experiment stoked a widespread discussion about the future of work, namely whether investing in a better work-life balance for employees, and treating workers well rather than squeezing them, benefits the bottom line for companies and economies.



"The trial showed that there are many benefits of a shorter working day," said Daniel Bernmar, the leader of the Left party on Gothenburg's City Council, which had pushed for the experiment. "They include healthier staff, a better work environment and lower unemployment."

But the high price tag, and political skepticism about the practicality of a shorter workday, was likely to discourage widespread support for taking the concept nationwide.

"The government is avoiding talking about the issue," Mr. Bernmar said. "They're not interested in looking at the bigger picture."




While a growing number of countries and companies are studying the concept of employee happiness, the idea of improving it through shorter work hours has by no means gained broad traction. In Gothenburg, the City Council's conservative opposition parties derided the experiment as a utopian folly and sought to kill it, citing high costs for taxpayers and arguments that the government should not intrude in the workplace. The current government is also not backing a shorter workweek.

Even the handful of progressive political groups aligned with Mr. Bernmar's Left party have not made a six-hour workday in Sweden a priority in their platforms. Nor have large Swedish companies, including multinationals active around the world, embraced the idea. Other Swedish towns that previously conducted limited experiments with a shorter public-sector workweek eventually abandoned the concept, citing high costs and flawed implementation.



As Japan Ages, Menus Adapt to Finding the Gourmet in Purées人口老化 日本端出菜泥美食
文/Motoko Rich

The 94-year-old man had come for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and he was determined to make the most of his squid and leek stir-fry.

Eigo Shinoda, a former shipbuilding executive and fighter pilot in World War II, spends his days in a wheelchair and has trouble eating solid food. But that was no impediment as he dug into his meal with a plastic turquoise spoon recently.



That's because the staff at the restaurant, Kaze no Oto, had pureed the stir-fry in a food processor and served it to his group, which was from a nearby nursing home. While it didn't look that appetizing, it did the trick for Shinoda. He finished by licking his plate clean.

Kaze no Oto, in a suburb of Yokohama, is one of a few restaurants in Japan catering to an aging population with meals for those who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. In the way that restaurants have long offered children's menus, some are now offering special senior meals, too.

那是因為這家kaze no Oto餐廳的工作人員,用食物調理機把韭菜炒墨魚打成了泥,供給他們這群住在附近養老院的人享用。雖然這道菜泥看起來不怎麼開胃,但對筱田來說,這一招很成功,他把盤子舔得一乾二淨。

位在橫濱郊區的kaze no Oto餐廳,是為咀嚼和吞嚥有困難的老人準備餐食的少數日本餐廳之一。就和一般餐廳長久以來供應兒童餐一樣,有些餐廳現在也提供銀髮族專用餐。

Japan has the world's highest proportion of people 65 and older, at more than one-quarter of its population. The country is a global leader in adapting to the needs of an aging citizenry, with racks of reading glasses at bank counters and walking-cane holders in city offices.

With its expanding efforts to accommodate the growing population of the elderly, Japan offers a foretaste of the kinds of societal changes that are beginning to shake wealthy places with rapidly aging populations, including many countries in Western Europe as well as South Korea and Hong Kong.



In Japan, companies are developing special thickening products that can be added to meals during preparation to alter the texture of various foods and ease swallowing. In a culture where meals are prepared with great care and artistry, the thickening gels make it possible for chefs to reshape the food into visually pleasing dishes.

At the Mutuai nursing home in Yokohama, nutritionists and chefs experiment regularly so that they can offer residents a variety of meals.



On a recent afternoon, the lunch menu was Japanese sea bass and sweet-and-sour marinated carrots and radishes, with a side dish of spinach and mushrooms. To adapt the meal to those with slight swallowing problems, the kitchen staff substituted flounder, a more tender fish, and removed the mushrooms and stems from the spinach.

For the residents who have more severe swallowing issues, the staff sent the meal through a food processor, adding a gel powder before cooking the pureed versions in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Then the resulting gelatinous blocks were poured into molds so that the chefs could create meals that looked like a piece of fish accented with slices of carrots and radish.





本文報導日本人如何為老人料理美食,有幾個關鍵字,包括菜泥(puree)、食物調理機(a food processor)、把食物變濃稠的膠化物(thickening gels)、真空低溫烹調(cooking in vacuum-sealed plastic bags)。

puree源自法文,當名詞是做成泥狀的食物,通常是已煮熟的食物,例如,a puree of sweet potatoes and carrots(番薯和胡蘿蔔泥)。

當動詞是把食物做成泥狀,例如,use a food processor to puree the squid and leek stir-fry(用食物調理機把韭菜炒墨魚打成泥)。

thickening gels通常指生髮膠,這裡是指把食物變濃稠的膠化物。

cooking in vacuum-sealed plastic bags是種真空低溫烹調法,先把食材放入塑膠袋並真空密封,然後把整個袋子放入熱水長時間烹調,水溫通常在攝氏50度到80度間,烹調時間有時超過24小時。這種烹飪法目的是要帶出食材(尤其是肉類)的最好滋味。

箱根有吃又有玩 想泡溫泉就來這裡!

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