February 16, 2016 554
Baby formula here refers to milk that is condensed to powder form, stored in tins and sold to consumers. Consumers would then mix the powder with water to get “liquid” milk. Fake baby formula was first discovered back in 2004 where dozens of children were reportedly dying in Fuyang, China. As many as 47 people were accused of producing these fake formulas. Further research uncovered the fact that these formulas were more likely to be made of chalk. So yes, these children drank chalk water. Such tragedy led to children developing “big head disease” whereby their bodies would slowly deteriorate while their heads swell.
At one point in time, there were large-scale raids conducted in China in order to prevent consumers from consuming fake rice. This scam involves mixing potatoes with some sort of synthetic resin (a type of gum that oozes out from trees). It is easily noticeable when this fake rice would stay hard even after being boiled. Plastic rice was mass-produced for scam artists to profit from them. Consumption of plastic rice in the long run would lead to cancer.
It seems that the measures taken to curb fake items being sold as food is quite slow, considering that the authorities usually don’t investigate. This implies that it is up to us consumers to be extra vigilant when it comes to choosing or cooking foodstuff especially if it is part of your meal. It was found that a market vendor in the Guangdong province substituted black pepper with mud while swapping white pepper with flour. He justified that his actions were not wrong as it would not kill people.
Sometimes you might have wondered whether science has gone too far to even produce artificial eggs. These things taste nothing similar to eggs but the “producers” have successfully manipulated consumers into buying them. The shell of the eggs was made from calcium carbonate while the contents of the eggs comprises of various chemicals such as gelatine, alginic acid, potassium alum, water, calcium chloride as well as artificial colouring. It was found that consumption of such chemical combination leads to memory loss and dementia.
Fake peas were discovered in 2005 where the peas remained hard even after boiling and the water it was boiled in turned green in colour. It was later found that these fake peas were created by dyeing snow peas and soy beans together. The catch here is that the dye being used is actually forbidden to be used in food products as it was found to be able to cause cancer through continuous consumption. Similar to the other fake products above, these were all done for the sake of greed since fake goods are produced at a cheaper cost hence bringing a lucrative market to the scammers though it is illegal and unethical to do so.
Now that you know a few foods that can be duplicated, should you be more wary of what you eat?
by Nicky Lee
Your typical neighbourhood ah pek who roams on the internet to satisfy his curiosity. Bold. Loud. Talkative. View all articles by Nicky Lee.