Do you worry about food safety in China?

HomeForumsIn ChengduDo you worry about food safety in China?

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    Hi,there.Many people once asked me why I choose to do something difficult like letting others know where to find the best organic food.That’s a great question.

    Actually,you can find few in the market.In China,there’s such a big group of people need to live,we have no choice to produce a lot of food by technologies 、pesticide、fertilizer and etc.

    I usually go to the west of Sichuan to take something out such as yak meat、vegetable(potatoes)

    By the way,I really wish you could love our organic honey,it’s from the Jiuzhaigou Valley,origin forest around.And we do this traditional over 400 year since the Baima Tibet people settled there.

    #54315
    Charlie
    Charlie
    Keymaster

    In my opinion it’s reasonable and responsible to be concerned about food safety in China. It is a major issue in China. One of the most popular posts ever published on CL was this one, way back in 2010: Fake Eggs are No Joke. I cook most of my meals at home. Not just for food safety reasons, also because I enjoy cooking and it is one of the best ways to live a frugal, healthy life.

    For anyone interested in the honey, I’ve tried Andy’s organic honey, it’s very good.

    #54325

    Merior
    Participant

    I met A Danish company at the Chengdu International Expo today who have established themselves in Wenjiang and are marketing Royal Farm products. So if Chinese milk powder makes you nervous and you suspect that imports of foreign milk may just be Chinese milk marketed under a foreign label then contact Jasper (yes he’s Danish) on wechat – royalfarmdenmark because they are selling skimmed, full fat and organic milk powder from Denmark, available on mailorder including Taobao (royal farm). They are also marketing Danish dietary supplements under the name of Gudenna Pharma, Denmark.

    No, I am not on commission but I did buy some of his milk powder to boost the thickness of my homemade yoghurt – nice guy, nice product.

    #54332

    coryg
    Participant

    I constantly worry about food safety although I’ve learned a few things over the years. Most mid-priced restaurants, hotels and any food served at the Buddhist temples are usually clean. The street food where you can get a lunch for 10-15 RMB a la carte usually is cooked with tainted oil. My body is super sensitive to this crap and I feel terrible after eating it. Same thing with the cheap bowza…

    The foreign owned restaurants, Tibetan restaurants and a the restaurants owned by Chinese Christians are usually clean. Peter’s Tex Mex is a good example of a well run establishment. I don’t think the food is that great but I do trust that it is clean.

    I have subscribed to an organic delivery company for 6 years now and I’ve been to their farm as well. I have to check but I can post their website/phone number if your interested. You can also go to the ground floor of the Far Eastern department store by Tianfu Square and talk to them in person.

    Recently I started carrying my own oil for BBQ and none of the vendors objected when I asked them to use my oil.

    #54336

    Merior
    Participant

    First define “organic” because it can mean whatever the grower wants it to mean especially if there are no legal definitions enforced.

    China is a long way from being unique in creating health problems and while the majority (between 60 to 80%) of us living in Asia are likely to be infected with a potentially dangerous bacteria called helicobater pylori if you go to somewhere like the USA then the big issue there are parasitic infections with something like 85% of Americans estimated to be infected. And most of these issues could be minimized with better hygiene in the general public and food outlets.

    The good news is that anything cooked in boiling oil is going to be dead by the time you ingest it so in that respect China can have an advantage over many restaurants in the west where it is fashionable to undercook meat. Conversely the practice of eating directly from serving dishes in Asian countries rather than using dedicated serving utensils to move food to your plate/bowl is a recipe for transmission of diseases and parasites. This is compounded by abandoning utensils in favor of your fingers or the use of wooden chopsticks that are reused so without sterilization are guaranteed to be harboring a colony of bacteria which have the potential to kill you.

    As for cooking oil, it is common practice to heat any cooking oil in Asia to temperatures that flash fry the food and that will quickly burn the oil leaving a taste, smell and colour that are big warning signs that it is a carcinogenic substance regardless of whether it has been recycled or not.

    So if you are worried about what you eat then, as Charlie wisely suggests, do your own cooking and find food sources that you can trust e.g. most large tomatoes now appear to have been loaded with undesirable growth hormones to maximize crop yield as is evident from their weight and internal structure. Conversely cherry and plumb tomatoes don’t seem to be plagued by this worrying trend.

    But after all this depressing information on food issues worldwide then you should probably consult a GP and get a prescription to bring your stress levels down or your elevated blood pressure will kill you as fast, if not faster, than picking up a few bugs that the majority of us are playing host to.

    And, incidentally, you can get helicobater pylori checked out in mid tier hospitals (and above) by the administration of a simple breath test so if you suspect that you might have a small problem you have a chance to prevent a bigger problem later on. Ideally we should get tested annually (groan).

    #54341
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    Yes,igarden.cn  provides the organic food,like most of the vegetables.However,they are not at the Tianfu square right now,the far eastern department store is doing up these months.I gave a call to them,they told me I can buy it on line and they would delivery it by Shunfeng(顺丰) express.

    #54342
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    Yes,Merior,as you said.The cooking oil is no longer a question in China,cuz you are easily to happened to that,and you even don’t know you are eating something what’s cooked with that oil.I could responsibly tell people that I saw a lady who was getting some hogwash oil from the sewer,which makes me really upset and felt disgusting.And I can’t believe in my eyes,it just happened near by my company in the daytime (too bad).

    #54343
    Charlie
    Charlie
    Keymaster

    First define “organic” because it can mean whatever the grower wants it to mean especially if there are no legal definitions enforced.

    This is a great question and an important distinction. I notice organic fruit and vegetables in some markets here, available at much higher cost, but I’m skeptical that they are worth paying much more for, without any real, verifiable information about the source or methods used to cultivate.

    #54367

    Merior
    Participant

    It is exceedingly difficult to identify food that is organic as opposed to that which isn’t. And there is apparently no proven difference in taste or nutritional value albeit that the organic food can be noticeably smaller and blemished. Can a farm who are growing organic products truly do so without importing organic waste from other sources that may not be organic?

    However, I inspected three samples of dried milk powder today. The Chinese one had almost no smell, the Australian one had a very mild smell whereas the Danish one that I mentioned in an earlier post, certified as organic, had a rich creamy smell. Having used the Danish one to make yoghurt, my wife has sworn never to buy a commercial yoghurt ever again after years of using commercial yoghurt to seed a fresh yoghurt batch made from regular milk.  Perhaps the smell can be attributed to fat content like the richness of milk/cream from Jersey & Guernsey cattle outclasses milk from other cattle breeds?

    #54378
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>It seem like you guys are really annoyed with this problem.I guess I could do some help. I can talk to a farmer and let him plant some vegetables what  you are interested in.Besides,there are lots of potatoes and fruits and all my honey is produced in Aba state,and these things are organic, I do promise that I will never let you down. You can check in my website:http://www.mucunliving.com</span><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>or add the wechat official account 木村生活。</span>

    Or PM me<br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>Thanks!</span><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>Happy Chinese New Year</span><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>Yours Andy.</span><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>Sent from my iPhone</span>

    #54380

    Merior
    Participant

    @andy – Just a cynic thought on the concept of “organic” honey. Given that bees forage in a 4 mile radius I find it improbable that all the flowering plants within their range are certified as organic and that no pesticides and artificial fertilizers are being applied.

    #54417
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    Yes,dude,you’re absolutely right.If this happened in another country, I would believe that it’s true.On the contrary, If you are in China,I think go to some far place from Chengdu,and be sure there is just a few people and less farmland for argriculture,and all the food produced in that place may be really organic .It’s difficult to find a nice one satisfied with us,all the people ,including us Chinese are tired with this problem,food safety.Be lucky.

    Thanks,Merior.

    Happy Chinese New Year.

    Andy

    #54426
    drjtrekker
    drjtrekker
    Participant

    @andy,

    Where do you raise your bees (honey), you produce honey, right?

    BTW guys, on this topic of Health/organic food etc,
    there are quite a few laowai doing this in Yunnan Province.

    Some own the land, many others are leasing the farm land.
    Years ago I read that some families in Beijing would rent a plot of land to farm so in this way they would know the quality of the food.

    I often have thought about doing this in Chengdu, or just outside of CD, instead of purchasing organic from the local farms.

    Pragmatically it may not work, but I wonder if there is now more desire for this sort of thing??

    I would be interested in this sort of thing, or a similar type project, permaculture, hobby farm, organic farming, etc.

    #54546

    Merior
    Participant

    @ drjtrekker – several years ago I was interested in renting/buying agricultural land. The general consensus was that I would need a Chinese partner. No real estate agencies responded to my posts.

    #54547
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    Yep,DJ,many people doing this in our Miaozhou village as a beekeeper.We provide part of this honey as commercial ,and keep some for ourselves.The bees fly in the mountains,and get the honey from many wild followers.

    We are sorry that we can only supply just a few of honey to people because of the amount is limited.Villagers just have few farmlands,people depend on grabbing the Chinese medicine in the forest or go to Jiuzhaigou valley to get a job like an actor to make ends meet.

    Once I take some of passengers to the village and enjoy the forest,they were so excited and thought it’s great.

    By the way,the honey in Jiuzhaigou is different with Yunnan,the flowering is shorter than Yunnan,and we could only get the honey in August,just one chance each year.

    Actually,the honey in Yunnan is also good.But they would like to keep the Italy bees not Chinese bees,the bees are bigger than the Chinese ones,it can get more honey at the same time.The Italy bees cannot fly too far because of its heavy body.So,the beekeeper should make them in a place where have lots of flowers,the farmlands is the best choice,and they cannot avoid the problem of pesticides.Besides,this kind of honey is usually a single nectar source.

    People would like to choose the honey produced by the Chinese bee,we call it 土蜂蜜,and many Chinese would like to pay more money to get it.Many factors like the amount, various flowering, environment,  which means organic, healthy, absolutely.

    #54549
    drjtrekker
    drjtrekker
    Participant

    Thanks Andy for the information.

    @merior
    That’s my general understanding as well regarding countryside land and purchasing.

    There are quite a few foreigners leasing land in Yunnan farming.
    The ones that do not have a local spouse generally have or are trying to get a WOFE.

    #54550
    Andy
    Andy
    Participant

    My pleasure,DJ.And if you are really interested in the organic honey or some other food , you could add my wechat,I’d like to share more information and get a develop discussing with you.

    Here is the wechat:13568909404

     

    #54551
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