May 19th, 2011
02:01 AM GMT
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Beijing (CNN) - I was out shopping for groceries the other day with a friend of mine who has been living in Beijing for over a decade. We stopped by the fruit section, and I automatically gravitated to the bright red apples that looked delicious sitting on the store shelf.

She immediately stepped in. "I choose the apples that are pock-marked and are slightly bitten up by bugs," she told me while replacing the apples in my basket. "I figure if the fruit is good enough for the insect, it's good enough for me."

In China, she told me, the most perfectly formed, most appetizing piece of fruit is the scariest of them all.

With so many food safety scandals in China, everyone seems to have a philosophy on how best to eat. Avoid seafood. Never eat meat from the local market. Don't eat Chinese branded dairy products including cakes.

Probably the best and most consistent piece of advice I have gotten is to diversify your diet. "Rotate your poisons," a food safety expert advised me. It's enough to make you paranoid about eating anything at all.

Fear over additives, antibiotics, fake foods, and dodgy practices has grabbed hold of consumers here, some of whom are taking matters into the own hands by forming organic food buying clubs.

The government has recently ramped up efforts to tighten regulations and root out food safety violators in a state-backed media campaign.

The latest food safety report? Watermelons so juiced up with growth-enhancing chemicals that the fruit bursts open in the field. The CCTV report noted that few fruit markets are willing to buy the melons because they could erupt in transit - oh, and irritate the digestive system if you eat them.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. icon pack

    In it something is. Now all is clear, I thank for hte information.


    September 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

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