China is the world’s largest exporter of food: new techniques are being used to manufacture food products at very low prices. But food that’s cheap to produce is not likely to be the healthiest. Here’s a blacklist of 10 food products imported from China that you should avoid at all costs.
1. Apple juice
Apple juice manufactured in China contains alarming levels of arsenic. This substance was classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organisation) which means it can cause cancer. In particular, it has been linked to lung, bladder and skin cancer.
China has been the source of previous bird flu outbreaks, and for now, that’s not likely to change. But, the country still exports a huge amount of chicken to the rest of the world. It’s always preferable to buy your meat from a local source.
Did you know that majority of garlic in our supermarkets comes from China? It’s known to contain large quantities of pesticides and on top of this, it starts to germinate during the trip from Asia, making it harder to digest.
There are regular scandals concerning Chinese rice production: the latest one revealed high levels of cadmium in rice grains. This toxic heavy metal has been linked to cancer, bone malformation and kidney failure.
China is the world’s biggest salt producer. Unless you deliberately buy salt produced in your home country, it’s likely that your table salt comes from China. More than 90% of the salt made in China is manufactured for industrial use – but lax regulation means it can end up on people’s dinner tables. Do you think it’s worth the risk?
Famously, pepper imported from China can turn out to be simply a mixture of mud, flour and artificial flavoring.
Tofu made in China is manufactured using soy milk curds. Firstly, soya fields are sprayed with all kinds of pesticides and secondly, to speed up the soya fermentation process, they often use manure and ferric sulfate – a soil treatment that can be harmful for the environment.
8. Frozen spinach
Very high levels of pesticides have been identified in spinach coming from China.
These boneless fish live off the Chinese coast, but they are exported to countries all over the world. The problem? Chinese fish farming practices are not particularly hygienic and the fish are often fed excrement.
To speed up the cultivation of ginger, Chinese farmers use huge quantities of pesticides.
Of course, not everyone has the budget to only buy organic or local produce. But getting into the habit of reading the label and finding out the origins of your groceries can help you follow a better diet and live a healthier life