Monday, 6 May 2013

What to Eat in China?

The fact that some mainland Chinese don't have any scruples selling bad food to others continues to baffle us.

Last week the police boasted how they detained about 900 people in a three-month crackdown for selling illegal meat, including rat, fox and mink meat disguised as lamb.

There were shrieks of horror of the thought of eating rat and one has to wonder how the taste even resembles lamb.

And did the kitchens not realize they were not getting lamb? Or were they in on the scam as well?

The latest shocking story is of two people who were hired to get rid of diseased pigs and instead sold the carcasses for profit.

A 44-year-old woman surnamed Lin and a 33-year-old man were hired by a county government in Fujian to destroy pigs that were killed by a viral disease called pseudorabies and the highly infectious reproductive and respiratory syndrome known as blue ear pig disease.

Lin is the prime suspect for allegedly seeing the potential for profit and began buying up dead pigs cheaply from farmers and also collecting dead pigs dumped on roadsides.

They acquired so many carcasses that they leased a refrigerated warehouse.

Within three months they allegedly sold 40 tons of this meat to processing plants in Guangdong, Hunan and Jiangsu. it is believed all the meat has already been consumed by customers in these provinces.

Police found 32 tons of pig carcasses in the warehouse and truck. The pair apparently hired three workers to help process and package the dead pigs.

What is going on? Do people have no shame?

I remember when the melamine milk scandal broke after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and I was working the capital at the time, that my local colleagues were furious.

They said they didn't mind buying fake-brand clothing or shoes because it didn't affect their health, unlike deadly chemicals put in milk powder used to feed babies.

Since that scandal the central government has pledged many times to fix the problem of unsafe food, but five years on has yet to even begin to set up a decent set of checks and balances to ensure food safety.

Meanwhile people on the mainland have no clue what is safe to eat anymore and are left on their own to figure this out.

Apparently China Central Television gave information yesterday on how to identify pork from sick pigs, with the key factors being the elasticity of the meat, smell and the external colour.

Food scandals like this shakes people's beliefs in the country. They have been taught to believe China is strong and now very wealthy, as its economy is second only to the United States.

But they are wondering how their rich homeland have questionable food supplies and have people who have no morals in selling tainted food?

This continues to boggle the mind.


  1. My question: what do those who contribute to getting those questionable food supplies (dare to) eat?

  2. Good question! Perhaps instant noodles?