Let’s be honest, air quality in China is notoriously bad and water and soil pollution is equally as horrendous, contaminating crops and other farmed foods to an absurd degree. While Asia might seem like land that’s far, far away from us in America, the truth is that globalization allows this food from China to easily make its way to our grocery store shelves and freezers.
While we certainly don’t want to be “that person” who refuses to eat anything unless we know where it came from and every ingredient used to make it up, we also don’t want to end up sickly, poisoned by our food for days on end.
The simple truth is that many foods from China tend to be contaminated and it’s important to know what is and is not safe to eat. (1, 2, 3)
Why Is Food From China Contaminated?
The fact is that food production and safety is poorly regulated in China, if it’s regulated at all. Additionally, the food inspection process is notorious for its thorough corruption, resulting in Chinese citizens having little to no confidence in the quality of the food they are offered to consume. Both water and land are so thickly polluted, that crops and animals can barely grow without being contaminated with some kind of bacterium, heavy metals, pesticides, industrial waste, animal waste, or other toxins. Lakes, rivers and water reservoirs become so polluted in China that many local farmers testify that it is frequently discolored or black, but since this “dirty water” is all they have available, they must farm with it.
Many of the foods that are imported from China for other countries (including the U.S.) to sell to consumers are made up of meats, fish and crops that a Chinese citizen would refuse to eat. (1, 2, 3)
To further prove the questionable quality of Chinese food imports, it’s valuable to know that United States Customs officials quite frequently reject enormous quantities of food shipments from China due to their containing unhealthy additives, dangerous drug residues, harmful bacteria, or other unsanitary byproducts. Even with this line of defense to American foods, many contaminated food products from China still leak into our markets, making their way to grocery stores and markets near you. (1)
How To Avoid Contaminated Food From China
Some foods imported from China should just be avoided altogether, including fish, chicken, apple juice, garlic, mushrooms, rice, green peas, salt and more. Beyond that, here are some tips to help keep your food as safe as possible: (1, 2, 3)
- Try to eat organics, or foods labeled with GreenFood. While China’s regulation for “organic” foods is greatly inferior to America’s, buying from Walmart or other American stores betters your chances of eating food that is actually certified as organic.
- Wash and peel. This applies to foods no matter where you buy it. All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed and anything that can be peeled should be peeled. This increases your likelihood of discarding any bacteria or contaminated skins.
- Always, always, always beware when buying seafood. This includes any type of seafood. Fish, crab, oysters and more. Seafood from China is by far one of the most dangerous food products they offer consumers. While it’s fine to love sushi and enjoy some shrimp in your stir fry, the fact is that China’s waterways are heavily, darkly and disgustingly polluted. This means that any fish, crustacean, or other gathered from water sources will likely be contaminated, too.
What are your thoughts on this information about contaminated foods from China? What do you do to ensure that your food is safe to consume? Share with us in the comments, we would love to hear from you.