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Avoiding food products from China


DanM
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Can't say about H.K. or Macao, as I have never visited those islands (well, excluding a few 4 hr stopovers in H.K., but I never left the airport...)

 

I did say most of the dairy avialable in S'pore comes from Australia and N.Z., as these countries have a somewhat cooler climate, a lot of beef, lamb and mutton is imported from there as well.  True, some dairy does come from neighboring Malaysia, but the milk cows there are usually kept in a/c barns and the overall quality of dairy products is not the same.

 

Actually, my father in law had one of the last farms in S'pore, the Gov't bought out /kicked him out in the early '80's.  They raised duck, chicken, and fish,  nothing is grown in S'pore now.

 

Most produce, poultry, meat, and dry goods in S'pore comes from Malaysia, via the bridge in J.B. (Johor Bahru), the very same bridge the Japanese used in WWII to enter and occupy S'pore, and a lot of produce comes from neighboring Indonasia as well.

 

While working in the hotels in S'pore, I had the luxury of ordering just about any ingredient I wanted--with the exception of poppy seeds and bubble gum.  No tariffs or import duties on food products from Europe, N.America, or any other place.  I could get USDA prime 109a's (prime rib) Avoset cream, HaagenDazs icecream, Swiss joghurt, French cheeses, German bakery products, etc, etc.  These products are widely available in NTUC and other grocery stores as well.

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whatever motivates you in your posts to boycott made in china, not that it bothers me in anyway, but please check your facts. Google is your best friend to start with. In the unlikely probability that you can read and understand Chinese, you may also want to search on Baidu.
 
For anyone interested in the continuing saga of the latest food scandal in China the chairman and CEO of OSI (the US privately owned company) has at last publicly apologised for supplying rotten meat to Macdonalds, KFC, etc. Check it out on google/baidu. It is not my opinion, but something that you can verify on the internet or from other sources of information. 
 
Who is poisoning whom?
 
whatever motivates you to dredge up your posting from 2013, again, please check your facts. 
 

 

 

Actually, the cadmium (and arsenic, and lead, and mercury) in the rice story from 2013 was interesting because of its significant scope and effect. With 44% of tested samples from guandong being contaminated, and rice being a major export, looks like a lot of people are slowly being poisoned both in and outside of China.

 

 

If you were in Japan at the time that you made your post on contaminated rice from China, or even today, check your facts and you will find that Japan has very high tariffs on imports of rice that basically makes it impossible to buy imported rice, from any country, including from the USA. So, you, or any japanese, could boycott all Chinese rice for all you want, but the facts are that you could not buy Chinese rice, even if you wanted to, at that time or now in Japan, and most unlikely to be able to buy Chinese rice in the US, as the US is a net exporter of rice. 
 
While China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice, it is also one of the largest importers of rice, and self sufficiensy in rice has yet to be achieved. So it is most unlikely that you will find Chinese rice in the US/EU anytime soon.
 
dont take my word for it, check out this and many other websites:
 
 
The above links and others would show that Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan (for its basmati rice), and the US are the major exporters of rice, although this may change with India exporting more rice. 
 
For anyone with concerns about the safety of food imports they may want to remember or consider the aftermath of the Vietnam war. Remember My Lai, agent orange, napalm, etc ?... the most extensive chemical warfare in recent memory? The effects are still visible today, if you care to google for abnormal birth defects in Vietnam that are attributable to all those chemicals dumped in Vietnam. Dont take my word for it, check out your facts.
 
Who has poisoned whom??
 
as already pointed out by earlier posters, food safety is a global issue, and not limited to China. Boycotting made in China (or any other country) does not help to solve this global problem.  For example, do you know where the fish in your fish fingers, fish nuggets or whatever comes from? Of course, you may not buy or eat fish fingers, fishburgers, hamburgers, etc, but if you walk into any local grocery store/supermarket, these are popular or at least well stocked items, well, at least in my neighborhood.
 
FWIW, i dont buy Vietnamese rice because Thai Jasmine rice is for me of better quality/taste, i dont buy Vietnamese panga or tilapia fish because they are sold mostly as fish filets, in where i live. I like my fish to be whole, ie with head, fins, tail, skin on etc. i do buy quite a lot of processed foods from Vietnam, like rice noodles, especially the kind used for pho, and fish sauces, etc. 
 
why? 
 
Its dangerous to eat, it is more dangerous to live.
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It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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  • 3 weeks later...

. S'poreans have the same negative reaction to mainland Chinese food products as we do, although dried foods and herbs/medicines are viewed much differently.

 

what is the source of your information? surveys? newspaper articles? that makes you believe that local Singaporeans have the same negative reactions....as we do? 
 
And who is ‘we’ ?  And why are dried foods, etc, viewed much more differently? Are dried foods not fresh foods that have been dried or processed? So any contaminants or undiserables would actually have been concentrated? 
 
Try this link to get a better idea of where singapore gets its produce.
a bit outdated, but which states that, as far as vegetables are concerned, 43% is from Malaysia, and 29% from China. Perhaps the China vegetables are only sold at the wet markets to the great unwashed masses who do not have the same negative reactions?

 

 

I really think we have to look at the whole picture of food production and inspection in China.  The melamine in milk powder was a classic example. Doctors knew there was poisoning, and knew it was coming from the milk powder.  They took their findings to the Gov't, they were told to shut up (with the usual threats and consequences) until after the Beijing summer Olympics were over.  Many infants died and many more still suffer from internal organ damage.  Relatively innocent companies like "White Rabbit" candies suffered immense damage.

 

For the Chinese Gov't to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible. 

 

 
who is ‘we’ that is qualified and have the authority/resources to ‘have a look....’.?
 
the milk powder scandal is much more complex than the 3 or 4 sentences above, although that is the storyline of sensationalist anti-china articles.
 
Assuming the storyline were true and that the Chinese govt did suppress what some doctors were supposedly reporting, the question to ask is: what has it got to do with the Olympics? The athletes and fans/visitors are unlikely to bring their infant children to the event, and even if they do, it is unlikely that they will buy local milk formula (from what i have observed, a very small sample, most would bring their own formula and even diapers when travelling anywhere outside their own countries).
 
If i had been a visitor then, i would be more concerned about H5N1, which had been reported long before the Olympics, and was endemic at that time.
 
In this globalised economy, consider these:
 
Danish-Swedish dairy cooperative Arla said on Tuesday its Chinese joint venture Mengniu Arla's baby formula had been implicated in a growing Chinese infant milk scandal.
 
New Chinese milk scandal - this time with a Western culprit
 
and there are many more links if anyone cares to search for global milk scandals or any other food safety scandals., in the country of your choice.
 
And if anyone wants to find out more about how governments, in various countries suppress food safety scandals, or how the mega agri business lobbies determines what ends up at the supermarkets, 
you may want to check out these links, for a start:
 
warning: its a long video and the best part is towards the end, where it documents how the Canadian govt attempted to pass legislation to basically gag whistle blowers. Check it out. 
 
Industry Has Sway Over Food Safety System: U.S. Study
and there are many links from other countries.
 
The point i am trying to make, and had been made by posters on this thread and other threads in this forum is that:
China has food safety issues (and is actively working on it), but which country does not have food scandals in the past or recently? With globalisation of the food production chain, food safety is a global issue, requiring a a global solution, if that is at all posssible.
 

 

 

For the Chinese Gov't to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible. 

 

why would China, or any other country, want to implement EU standards? 
 
Try replacing Chinese Govt with US Gov’t as in 
‘For the US Gov’t to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible.’  
 
As far as i understand, if the US were to implement EU standards, then there will be no more hormone fed/injected beef, and Mon Santo or any other GMO foods. However with the might and far reach of the US agri business lobby, the EU standards are likely to change, if not already.

It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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Okay, so, what 'readily available' (or reasonably available) safe food from China is so wonderful that I should definitely give it a try?

 

Hey, I do agree, that "questionable" food exists everywhere...when humans and money are involved t's a good idea to be CAUTIOUS!!!!!!!!!

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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what is the source of your information? surveys? newspaper articles? that makes you believe that local Singaporeans have the same negative reactions....as we do? 
 
And who is ‘we’ ?  And why are dried foods, etc, viewed much more differently? Are dried foods not fresh foods that have been dried or processed? So any contaminants or undiserables would actually have been concentrated? 
 
Try this link to get a better idea of where singapore gets its produce.
a bit outdated, but which states that, as far as vegetables are concerned, 43% is from Malaysia, and 29% from China. Perhaps the China vegetables are only sold at the wet markets to the great unwashed masses who do not have the same negative reactions?

 

 

 
who is ‘we’ that is qualified and have the authority/resources to ‘have a look....’.?
 
the milk powder scandal is much more complex than the 3 or 4 sentences above, although that is the storyline of sensationalist anti-china articles.
 
Assuming the storyline were true and that the Chinese govt did suppress what some doctors were supposedly reporting, the question to ask is: what has it got to do with the Olympics? The athletes and fans/visitors are unlikely to bring their infant children to the event, and even if they do, it is unlikely that they will buy local milk formula (from what i have observed, a very small sample, most would bring their own formula and even diapers when travelling anywhere outside their own countries).
 

 

 

Firstly, I lived in S'pore from 1991-1996, and have gone back for visits every 2-3 years since then. I also worked in Hotels and private clubs as a Chef  (that is, one who does ordering, purchasing, sourcing, and dealing with purveyors), so I have a good idea of what foods are available in S'pore. 

 

By "WE" I mean the e-gulleters who have subscribed to this thread.

 

My "Sources" come from:

BBC radio news

CBC Radio news

First hand accounts from Chinese nationals who are now residing in Vancouver. (Vancouver has an extremely large concentration of mainland Chinese)

Firsthand accounts from S'porean nationals who lived/worked in Beijing during the summer Olympics.

 

All of these sources agree on three items:  The first is that the milk powder was intentionally adultered, it was not contaminated through ignorance.  The second was that it was adultered to boost the vitamin content.  Not all sources agree that higher prices were commanded for milk powder with higher vitamin content.  And the third is that at least one suicide from the milk powder plant management is attributed to the scandal.

 

What does this have to do with the Olympics?

 

Quite simply, Prestige, reputation. 

 

I have many humerous anecdotes from S'poreans that relate to the "education" of Beijing residents a good year prior to the Olympics reminding them not to expectorate or urinate in public areas, and of "food police" cracking down on questionable eateries. Most of the "sources" agree that the scandal was hushed up until after the Olympics to avert a world-wide publicized (and televised) scandal.

 

Many of the dried foods (i.e. assorted fungi, dried vegetables, and various herbs) are viewed as medicine.  Virtually every Chinese family has "recipies" of "tonics" that are made from stewing chickens (or meaty pork bones) with assorted herbs for most common ailments. Vancouver and suburbs have thier share of TCM 's (traditional Chinese medicine practitioners) who diagnose ailments, and subscribe and dispense the various herbs. An increasing number of Caucasians are using these services, and there are an increasing number of Caucasian licensced TCM's.  Most of the herbs and fungi available in both Vancouver and S'pore orginate from mainland China.

 

Why this is so, and why many people believe that dried foods from China are somehow immune to food poisoning is beyond me. Drying foods is one of the most ancient, basic preservation methods common to virtually all peoples. The methods  First Nations people (U.S. American Indian) use to dry salmon is eerily similiar to the methods Chinese use. Deliberatly adultering dried foods after processing for the purpose of resale is difficult to do.  Water is life, and if you remove 85%-90% of water from foodstuffs, even the most basic forms of life like bacteria, can not spoil food.  A fact virtually every army and explorer around the world has taken advantage of.

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why would China, or any other country, want to implement EU standards? 
 

 

 

Forgot the last question.

 

Why?

 

Because China DOES export a lot of food.  At any grocery store here in Vancouver, I can buy the enormous 2 lb carrots, chinese garlic, ginger, Lytchees, logans, mandarin oranges, etc. If I choose to.   Should there be a food scandal with Chinese fruits and vegetables, or meat, poultry, or  poultry products in the future, importing countries will want some kind of a guarantee that guidlines and procedures are being adhered to. 

 

I could have written that China would adopt USDA regulations, but these regulations only deal with one country, EU regulations cover many, many countries.

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Simply adopting the regulation doesn't ensure compliance. Pharmaceutical manufacture is a great example. Indian and Chinese generic drug makers are bound by US FDA regs and disregard them flagrantly.  It would be even harder to control with food.

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I found this NYT article interesting. I wish I hadn't given up my Chinese lessons after just one year....

 

I've come across this guy before. He comes out with some ridiculous statements.

 

"Rich families that can afford to buy from regular supermarkets... ...may to a large extent avoid unsafe foods."

 

The melamine laced milk was almost all sold through "regular supermarkets".

 

He does go on to say that supermarkets may also sell unsafe foods, somewhat defeating his own argument.

 

"vegetables are more reliable as sources of untainted food"

 

With the pesticides being used wholesale without safeguards, I doubt that very much.

 

I generally agree with his advice that if "something has an unusually low price, it may very well be unsafe". Unfortunately, the crooks know that, too so they sell their fake goods at regular or even higher prices.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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What about Hongkong? Macao?

 

Asians consume not much dairy products because of Lactose Intolerance. Australia export only about 10% of Singapore's food supply.

 

dcarch

 

:rolleyes:

 

News to me and my mom, who once swore that she couldn't keep up with the pace of my milk consumption when I was a teenager.  She'd buy a gallon of milk on Saturday and it would be gone by Monday.

 

Generalizations are bad, mmkay?

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China's latest food scandal.

 

Ooops! It's America poisoning us again!

 

 

 

BEIJING—H.J. Heinz Co. recalled some infant food in China after regulators found excessive levels of lead affecting more than 1,400 boxes.

The recall is the latest food scare in China, where both foreign and domestic companies have grappled with quality and contamination issues.

 

The full story is here.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Heinz doesn't represent America, it's an international company apparently making contaminated cereal in China from contaminated Chinese soybean products....

 

"A soil survey in April showed that nearly a fifth of China's farmland was contaminated by toxic heavy metals and chemicals, and that more than 33,000 sq km (12,740 sq miles) – an area the size of Belgium - were unfit for agricultural use."

 

Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/08/19/heinz-to-tighten-supplier-controls-in-china-after-infant-food-scare/

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Heinz doesn't represent America, it's an international company apparently making contaminated cereal in China from contaminated Chinese soybean products....

 

"A soil survey in April showed that nearly a fifth of China's farmland was contaminated by toxic heavy metals and chemicals, and that more than 33,000 sq km (12,740 sq miles) – an area the size of Belgium - were unfit for agricultural use."

 

Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/08/19/heinz-to-tighten-supplier-controls-in-china-after-infant-food-scare/

 

But surely the company making the final produce should be equally, if not more, responsible for checking the material it uses.

The American dig was in relation to a previous post where it was pointed out that recent "China" food scares have been by American companies.

American companies selling tainted food in China is no reason for non-Chinese to boycott Chinese products.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Good point about multinational companies selling tainted food that originates in China.  Who do you trust?  I doubt that there's a word on the box of Cheerios that says where the oats come from. So how can you know? With generic drugs at least, the manufacturer is listed on the bottle and one can choose to avoid companies with bad enforcement records or those from suspect countries.

 

I guess with food our only hope is that trusted manufacturers do the right testing to ensure that the stuff is safe.

 

But there is still great uncertainty. The recent recalls of ground beef because of horsemeat "contamination" concern me because they highlight the possibility that if a bunch of horsemeat can be thrown in with the beef, so can the meat from a cow at risk for BSE....and (unlike horsemeat) that would not be detectable.

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I think we need to be careful with the overall motivation and end results when we are dealing with a complicated topic.

 

Boycotting all food from China is not going to be doing the USA farmers becasue we sell more to them than the other way around. If we start a trade war, we end up being the loser.

 

dcarch

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I think we need to be careful with the overall motivation and end results when we are dealing with a complicated topic.

 

Boycotting all food from China is not going to be doing the USA farmers becasue we sell more to them than the other way around. If we start a trade war, we end up being the loser.

 

dcarch

 

Boycotting all food from China is not going to be doing USA farmers much good becasue we sell more to them than the other way around. If we start a trade war, we end up being the loser.

 

(couldn't go back to edit, sorry)

 

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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By "WE" I mean the e-gulleters who have subscribed to this thread.

 

My "Sources" come from:

BBC radio news

CBC Radio news

First hand accounts from Chinese nationals who are now residing in Vancouver. (Vancouver has an extremely large concentration of mainland Chinese)

Firsthand accounts from S'porean nationals who lived/worked in Beijing during the summer Olympics.

 

 

which BBC or CBC news are you referring to? First hand accounts? what is your sample size? ie how many Chinese have you spoken to to form that ' first hand accounts"? Do you even speak and understand chinese?
 
Where do these Chinese nationals do their grocery shopping?  at Loblaws?
 
yes, there are many chinese nationals residing in Vancouver, but what does it say about food safety, or as the OP posted, avoid/boycott chinese food imports.
Edited by jsager01 (log)

It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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BBC = British Broadcasting Corporation, aka "Beebs"

CBC = Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

Sample size?  Are we conducting an authorized or paid for survey? Did you want to foot the bill?

 

How many Chinese nationals do I speak to?  On a daily basis? Maybe 4 or 5. Monthy? Maybe  40 or 50.  I o/o a chocolate and pastry business and I deal with customers daily.  I don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese (there is no such thing as "chinese". but my partner does.

 

Where do Chinese nationals do grocery shopping?  Wherever they want to, I guess.  They buy chocolates and pastries from me.  Many of them also swear up and down that they won't buy any Chinese food products.

 

What does the fact that Chinese nationals reside in vancouver have to do with food safety?  Many customers I've spoken to tell me it was either move out of Beijing or become chronically Ill, as with many other large cities.

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What does the fact that Chinese nationals reside in vancouver have to do with food safety?  Many customers I've spoken to tell me it was either move out of Beijing or become chronically Ill, as with many other large cities.

 

The predominant health reason people leave Beijing is the atrocious air quality, rather than anything food related.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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"----------- Many of them also swear up and down that they won't buy any Chinese food products.

 

What does the fact that Chinese nationals reside in vancouver have to do with food safety?  Many customers I've spoken to tell me it was either move out of Beijing or become chronically Ill, as with many other large cities."

 

It is interesting we all have different perceptions of the same reality.

 

All I see here, as well as everywhere, are people lining up to shop for Chinese food. The stores are huge, you can't find parking, more stores are opening, many of them 2-3 times the size of regular stores. Many people live around Chinatown areas so they can shop easier. In credible turnover fresh food.

 

"Become Chronically ill"?

 

Again, look up global life span/life expectance. 

 

dcarch

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All I see here, as well as everywhere, are people lining up to shop for Chinese food. The stores are huge, you can't find parking, more stores are opening, many of them 2-3 times the size of regular stores. Many people live around Chinatown areas so they can shop easier. In credible turnover fresh food.

 

"Become Chronically ill"?

 

Again, look up global life span/life expectance. 

 

dcarch

 

 

I spend quite a bit of time in Chinese food stores.  I don't know about your city, but in Vancouver a large portion--well over 50% of the store's inventory is not from mainland China. 

 

Most of the fresh produce is locally grown, true, the giant 2-lb carrots, garlic, and ginger are from China, but most of the other produce is not.  Fresh meat is local. Many of the specialty meats (Chinese sausage) are local made.   Frozen seafood can come from China, but also Vietnam, Thailand or the Philipines.  Most of the soy products are locally made. Bottled beverages from all over Asia. Many bottled condiments are from Lee Kum Kee (S'pore) or Yeo Hap Seng (S'pore)  Maggi and Knorr products are manufactured in other parts of Asia.  The ubiquitous frozen won-ton wrappers are not from mainland China, and Taiwan is supplying quite a bit of high-end value added food products.

 

Look, right now is Moon cake festival.  The Asian grocery chain that I supply my stuff to (30 stores, bought out by Loblaws two years ago) is now featuring a mind-boggling display of over 200 different types of moon cakes, it's is just wild, and I really suggest you check it out at some of your Chinese stores.  Look at the labeling, many are manufactured locally, many from Hong Kong, and many from S'pore, and Taiwan. 

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Lee Kum Kee (S'pore)

 

As, I've pointed out before. Lee Kum Kee is registered in Hong Kong, but most of its produce comes from mainland China,

 

 

I spend quite a bit of time in Chinese food stores.

 

I do all my shopping in Chinese stores. Something to do with living in China. The only time I got sick in 20 years was eating ice cream in  a western restaurant.

 

For the umpteenth time. food adulteration is a global issue and picking on China is, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, dangerous.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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"  I spend quite a bit of time in Chinese food stores.  ---------------well over 50% of the store's inventory is not from mainland China. -----"

 

So in other word, you for one at least, shop a lot in Chinese stores. And the stores outside of China, about 50% of the food is from China .

 

I have been to Vancouver a hundred times. Tell me how easy it is to get in a Chinese restaurant there, even in the middle of the week for breakfast lunch or dinner. if Chinese food is known to be  so poisonous why would all these people be suicidal?.

 

dcarch

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I thought we were talking about food products from mainland China?

 

The restaurants in Vancouver, as with the stores, are buying a lot of fresh produce and products locally.  For instance Wing Tat grows quail and black silky chicken, there are many local fresh noodle mnfctrs, the same with soy products. Beef, pork and chicken are local.

 

But when you're here, you HAVE to check out the mooncake selection at T & T supermarkets,  

 

Lee Kum Kee used to have, don't know if they still do, a mnfctring palnt in S'pore, on Pandan Loop where all the other big mnfctrs are.

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