Many parts of China are actually known for their fine cuisine. Many of us treat ourselves to fine Chinese cuisine every now and then but as of recent years, people everywhere are avoiding food imports from China, and it’s easy to understand why.
China has been inventive in creating outrageously-toxic fake products and food items, and the first case came about in 2008 where many infants died of liver failure as a direct result of drinking milk powder that had been laced with a plastic compound called melamine. Renewed scrutiny has found many similar examples of synthetic food being illegally manufactured in China.
The list below is just ten examples of illegal counterfeit food product from China that may make you think twice about purchasing food from online sources that ship from across the ocean.
1. Fake Eggs
The lengths some unscrupulous people go to is astonishing. These fake eggs look very much like the real thing. They are made very cheaply with gelatin, artificial food coloring, water, and a wax shell. The yolks are even said to be bounceable when dropped: that’s how unreal they are.
The chemicals needed to make these fake eggs are: Alginic Acid, Potassium Alum, Gelatin, Calcium Chloride, water and artificial color. The eggshells are made from Calcium Carbonate. Eating these eggs may cause memory-loss and dementia.
2. Plastic Rice
Rice is the staple Chinese grain, yet sadly it’s not safe to assume that all the rice in China is genuine. Some rice has been manufactured entirely from potatoes mixed with an industrial resin that could be deadly. The fake rice is very hard to digest, and eating three bowls of it is said to be equivalent to eating a plastic bag. You can tell the fake rice from the real by burning a grain of it with a match and seeing whether or not you can smell burned plastic. Fake rice also dissolves in hot oil.
3. Fake Walnuts
It’s been discovered by some unlucky shoppers, that markets in Zhengzhou are selling walnuts filled with cement. Vendors are emptying the walnuts, selling the nuts separately for a high price, then filling the empty shell with paper covered cement to disguise the hollow knocking sound and sealing it closed. The cement nuts are then sold too, allowing the vendors to make a profit.
4. From Pork to Beef
Because pork is less expensive in China, some restaurants have sold it instead of beef – but not before they performed some chemistry on it. What they use are a beef extract and a glazing agent to “marinate” the meat in for 90 minutes. Doctors have advised people to stay away from this fake product as its long-term use may cause slow poisoning, deformity, and even cancer.
5. Fake Mutton
To combat the high price of mutton, some food sellers have been serving chemically altered rats, minks, and fox as if they were mutton. In 2013, police arrested 900 people for this nefarious scheme. They also seized 20,000 tons of this ‘meat’. The level of E. coli found in the ratty meat was said to be seriously high.
6. Fake Wine
Wine is big business in China, but the customers are disastrously ill-informed about the products they are purchasing. Thus, many wine-sellers in China simply fill posh looking empty wine bottles with cheap fruit juice and alcohol. You can’t trust labels in China.
7. Fake and Adulterated Honey
China is very bad when it comes to honey. In the Jinan Province alone, some 70% of the honey is fake, of which there are two types. The first is known as adulterated honey, that is, a blend of honey with sugar, beetroot, or rice syrup. The second looks like honey but is made from alum, sugar, water, and coloring. 1 kg of fake honey might be made for as little as $1.60 and sold for around $10.
8. Fake Green Peas
You wouldn’t think it, but in China green peas are often fake. They are made from a combination of snow peas, soy beans, green dye, and metabisulfite. The latter item is actually known to cause cancer and is banned from use on produce. Luckily there are some tell-tale signs of fake peas. When boiled, the water turns green from the food dye, and the peas don’t become soft.
9. Fake Table Salt
Cheap table salt in China is not actually what it purports to be, at least in some cases. In fact, industrial salt has made its way into the food market in a big way. Never buy salt from China, just in case it contains industrial salt. If you consume this, you are at risk of heart attack or stroke.
Ginseng is an extremely popular medicinal and culinary root in China that is sold by weight. To make the ginseng appear heavier, some people have been boiling ginseng in sugar water. Natural ginseng is meant to contain 20% sugar, while fake ginseng may contain up to 70%.
Source: The Guardian