Sunday, May 27, 2007

No China Diet: Food

We've reached an official month of the No China Diet, in which we've rather meticulously read the labels of the things we buy and tried to avoid those that are explicitly Chinese in origin. Why? In short, human rights violations, animal torture, environmental degradation, food safety, intellectual property theft.

We're not big consumers or spenders in general, so much of what we buy isn't electronics or clothes, but food. One of the issues with food from China is that farmers overuse pesticides, some of which are toxic enough to be illegal in the United States (but not in China), and don't wear gear to protect themselves.

However, pesticide abuse aside, another issue with food from China is that it is often mislabeled in some fashion. The most recent example I came across (randomly, mind you, I'm not even looking for mislabeling examples from China) is of pufferfish mislabeled as monkfish. Monkfish are fish that won't kill you; pufferfish are fish that will kill you. And so two Chicagoans were hospitalized after eating what they thought was (and labeled as such) monkfish, but was actually pufferfish from China. And, there is no antidote to the poison in the pufferfish.

Thus Speaks the Paranoid Harpy of Doom.