China is the world’s most populous country and is even one among the fastest growing economies. While the nation is making rapid progress in every field, one area where it significantly lags is food production. Feeding a population of such gigantic proportions is a Herculean task and the shortage in food resources is posing a serious threat. However some miscreants are plunging at the opportunity to fill their pockets by selling fake foods. From fake meat to fake rice, contaminated milk and wine, the Middle Kingdom is rampant with counterfeit food items. The rising gap between demand and supply is making the situation worse for common people. These stories where people have been the victims of food hoaxes will leave you wondering whether anything is left untouched by the malice of greed.
1. Cardboard Steamed Buns
Street food has always been deemed unhealthy and unhygienic but recently the news of steamed buns being sold in China with cardboard filling instead of minced meat has stunned all. The China Central Television broadcasted a report wherein vendors selling malicious dumplings were shown. Apparently, these unlicensed sellers use caustic soda to soften the cardboard and then use pork flavoring to create the filling for these catastrophic goodies.
2. Fake Meat Made From Rats
The meat industry in China has been under close scrutiny and more than 900 arrests have been made in relation to selling fake meat. In a crackdown, organized by the Ministry of Public Security in the country, the total tally of malpractice cases uncovered was as high as 382. Not only were the alleged, selling rat, mink, and fox meat as beef and mutton, they were also processing diseased meat using banned chemicals and injecting water to increase the weight of the meat, reported the Xinhua news agency. Over 20,000 tons of illegal meat products were seized during the three month campaign.
3. Fake Rice Noodles
The city of Dongguan is an important industrial hub in the Republic of China.The province had several factories manufacturing rice noodles but investigations revealed that the raw material they were using comprised of rotten and infested grains. The Beijing Youth Daily report, raised suspicions that close to 50 factories which were shut down used carcinogenic additives in the processing of food grains. Before the shutter was pulled down on these processing units, they manufactured as much as 1.1 million pounds of rice noodles in a day.
4. Walnuts Filled With Cement
Fraudulent nut dealers in China devised a nearly fool proof trick to maximize profits. They would meticulously scoop the walnuts and then fill the empty shells with a paste made of cement and paper and seal it shut. The mischief makers would then earn a fortune selling the fake nuts and the nut meat. The rising demand and sky-rocketing prices of walnuts in the country provide ample opportunity for fraudsters to run the scam.
5. Melamine Milk
Among the most atrocious in the history of food scams, the melamine milk scandal definitely ranks at the top. The miscreants were so blinded by their greed that they did not even batted eyelids before selling the tainted milk. More than 50,000 cases of infants, who consumed the dairy products contaminated with melamine, falling sick, were reported. The chemical melamine is used to artificially enhance the milk i.e. increasing its protein quotient.However the agent is toxic for humans and the effects are more profound in cases of small children.
6. Fake Eggs
As ridiculous it might sound some deceitful swindlers found a way to manufacture mock chicken eggs using a mélange of industrial agents.Sodium alginate mixed with warm water is first poured into the mold used for making the egg. A concoction of alum, gelatin and benzoic acid is then added to replicate the albumen.Food coloring is added to make the egg yolk. Calcium chloride is then used to make the egg membrane and the outer shell is made up of paraffin wax, gypsum powder and calcium carbonate. Fancy eating the phoney egg?
7. Fake Rice
After rumors of fake rice being sold across the Shaanxi province of China started floating, the Chinese Restaurant Association launched an investigation into the matter.The grains are purportedly made up from a mix of potatoes and other tubers like sweet potatoes, which are bound together using synthetic resins.The cereals can have adverse effects if consumed and three bowls of these tainted grains contains plastic equivalent to one polybag
8. Fake Wines
According to a Reuters report published in March 2012, the booming import of wine in China has presented counterfeiters with an opportunity to sell fake wine to the inexperienced customers. Jeannie Cho Lee, a renowned wine taster apparently detected fake wine being served during a Hong Kong dinner party, read the report. Ian Ford of Summergate Fine Wines in Shanghai said “What we’re seeing across the country is a proliferation of knock-offs and copycats and outright counterfeit as the imported wine industry really explodes in this market.”
9. Bacteria Contaminated Glowing Pork
In multiple incidents across the country, customers reported a blue hue emanating from the pork they had purchased. After much hue and cry was raised over ‘blue glow pork’ by the media, the Changsha Food Safety Commission ordered an investigation into the matter. All the involved parties were under scrutiny of the massive task force which was established to conduct the ongoing investigation.
The Shanghai Health Supervision Dept food experts conducted exhaustive studies on the tainted samples and inferred that the meat was contaminated by phosphorescent bacteria.