As our population exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet, and natural resources dwindle, I imagine we’ll see more and more companies selling things for human consumption that probably shouldn’t be consumed. While none of the recent examples of “fake food” that I’m aware of rise to the level of the case in China a few years ago, where parents were being sold lethal baby formula which included malamine, a chemical used in the making of plastics, it seems as though every day there’s another story in the news about deceptively-labeling food products making their way onto store shelves. From tilapia being passed off as red snapper and horse meat being sold as beef, to the widespread sale of fake olive oil and faux pomegranate juice, the stories have become commonplace. (And let’s not forget the possibility, according to a recent edition of This American Life, that the delicious calamari that we’re so fond of eating is really pig rectum.) It’s certainly nothing new that unscrupulous sons-of-bitches looking to make a fast buck would be willing to substitute lower quality food items for ones of higher perceived value, but it seems to me that it’s more pervasive now than ever… Maybe that’s good news, though. Maybe the fact that we’re hearing about it more these days means that we’re getting better at identifying fraud. I can’t help but think, however, that more examples are coming to our attention because things are getting exponentially worse, and we’re rapidly descending the slippery slope that ends with the mass consumption of Soylent Green.
Thanks to a post on Metafilter, I’ve spent the last hour learning about contaminated honey from China. Apparently, several years ago, we erected trade barriers to keep Chinese honey out of the United States market, as it showed traces of heavy metals, and the antibiotic chloramphenicol (which has been linked to aplastic anaemia), but that hasn’t kept companies from smuggling it into the U.S. through other countries, like Australia. In fact, according to a 2011 investigation by Food Safety News, more than one third of the honey consumed in America, despite the laws we have in place, has its origins in China, where the natural environment is fast collapsing under the burden of the unfettered free market.
Speaking of China, did you happen to see today that a Chinese entrepreneur is offering a reward of 200,000 yuan to the head of their environmental protection bureau if he’ll swim for 20 minutes in one of the country’s toxic rivers? I’m encouraged that there seems to be a burgeoning environmental movement in China, but one wonders if it can possibly happen quickly enough to change the course that the rapidly growing country is on.
And, here, as long as we’re talking about China and the problem of fake food, is a fascinating little piece of video on the production of counterfeit eggs made from chemicals… Yes, it would seem that someone in China has figured out that it’s cheaper to make fake eggs in a filthy bathtub than feed real chickens and collect natural eggs from under their feathery bottoms.
This, my friends, is what true freedom tastes like…
And it can be ours, right here in America. All we have to do is follow Rand Paul’s advice, kill the EPA, roll back those regulations that we still have on the books, and defund our consumer protection agencies. If we can just do those three things, soon we’ll be living in a paradise like the people of China, enjoying the good life, with our bellies full of delicious “eggs,” just like Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ intended.
[note: Not all fake food is bad.]