Keren Gu's Picazón

Sharing and Scratching Itches Everywhere

Where Has My Food Been?

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Eating in China is a big problem.

I know many Americans who love asian food. I used to understand why, but I was a food-rookie then. That was when I’ve never had anything but Chinese food. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the good Chinese food is reasonably delicious, but it’s also disturbing at the same time. I’m not talking about disturbing like how a plate of smashed tofu looks like puke, or how southern China has dishes like snake, or snails, or live monkeys brains (WTF). No, that’s not what i’m talking about.

I’m talking about the cancerous part of baby milk powder, about where cooking-oil come from in china. You never really know what you are eating, unless you do the shopping at farmer’s market and imported cooking ingredients. Even then, you don’t know what went into growing your carrots and potatoes. But that’s a global problem. A Chinese problem is how almost anything and everything might give you cancer. And nothing is fresh.

Like any major city in the world, there are well defined class separations in Beijing. You can tell by where you eat and how much you spend on food. (I’m generalizing here…) Higher price doesn’t mean your food is fresher and cleaner. You could only hope so. Cheap food on the other hand, I personally am skeptical of it’s origin. My apartment is surrounded by dozens of mini-restaurants, ones that are around 500-sqft each. They all have red-stickers on their window, with the one kind of food they serve. They use disposable utensils with no table cloth or any kind of serve. And they stand too close to the emission of beijing vehicles,  in 1-story collapsing buildings. I could only imagine how their kitchen looks like and how my food was process.

I usually don’t express my dissatisfaction with society, especially with China. I just thought of all these while having pudding, made in China. Puddings are weird — they look and taste like chemical.

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