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Fake Rice In China
There is a sentence I absolutely never thought I would say. It sounds crazy right? Fake rice made by human hand? Yes, but you expect it to be like all those fake dishes made for restaurants and stores, to keep them on the counter or in a window, for a very long time because being made from all kinds of materials they never spoil. They are exposed to make people want to buy or order that product.
But, to make something from, basically plastic that you find it is added to real products that people consume ... that's just out of this world.
Searching the Internet yesterday, looking for something I needed for work, I had to watch all kinds of videos on YouTube, and you know how at the end of a video you have other suggestions made there, to watch other similar/or rather similar videos to the one you have just viewed.
At some point I saw a title that was talking about fake rice from plastic in China. Of course I thought of the fake food I was referring to earlier, so you can imagine my surprise when I accessed the video and there were images from a factory that was making rice, from something that looked like the stuffing you find inside teddy bears, and other stuffed toys.
Apparently it is made from resins (which is definitely not something good, even if there are some that are edible - beats me how something so synthetic is good to consume by humans), different kinds of potatoes and who knows what else. The point is that consuming this regularly will lead to serious health problems.
Can You Set The Two Apart?
Well, unfortunately you can’t. When the fake rice isn’t cooked it looks just the same real one, the one that grows from ground. So, no matter how hard you would study it, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
When you cook it, it creates a thin sheet on top (kind of like the one that natural rice makes, the only difference would be that the real one makes that sheet due to the starch it contains - while here is due to the type of plastic it is made from), which, after you dry it, if you light it up it burns like plastic does.
The fake rice grains still feel hard even after boiling them, and this might also be a way of telling whether you have real or fake rice (although I believe the best way of knowing is by the plastic sheet it creates while cooking it).
Is It Safe To Eat?
Nothing that isn’t natural isn’t safe for people (and not only - don’t feed your dog or cat with it). I know there are different types of plastic, and some apparently are edible, but still, specialists say that consuming three bowls of this rice daily will lead to problems from gastritis to ulcers (which believe me, they are not fun at all).
Is It Only In China?
When it first was discovered (apparently that happened five years ago), it was only a problem in China. Not only that it was fake, but it was also mixed up with a famous rice brand whose price is double that other rice brands due to its qualities and specific smell, and sold under their name.
Lately have been reports about fake rice in India, Vietnam and Indonesia as well. So, you do understand my concern when I am asking myself if maybe this rice hasn't reached other countries too. Should I worry every time I open a bag of rice? I have cooked some yesterday, it just happened that this is what I had planned as a side dish for dinner, and I do have to admit I have thought of the possibility that maybe it has some fake rice in it. So, I have kind of kept an eye on it to see if it makes that sheet of plastic on top, or if some of the grains seem hard and uncooked.
And as if this wasn't enough, searching for more videos about this, I have found out that there are also fake eggs, fake meat and fake watermelons ... and I am thinking, what else is fake and we have no idea? What kind of world are we living in? Until a short while ago we were worried about the chemicals they use in foods, not we also have to worry whether the food is real or not? It is a sad world - at least that's how I see it lately.