Categorized | Food and Ag

Worries About Imported Food Quality

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditDigg thisShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pagePin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

It’s not just us worried about the quality of imported food, shoddy inspection, and uncontrollable food quality standards from offshore facilities.  Hong Kong has it worse, with small capacity to produce its own food.

Kimbo Chan knows all about the food scandals in China: the formaldehyde that is sometimes sprayed on Chinese cabbages, the melamine in the milk and the imitation soy sauce made from hair clippings. That is why he is growing vegetables on a rooftop high above the crowded streets of Hong Kong.

“Some mainland Chinese farms even buy industrial chemicals to use on their crops,” Mr. Chan said. “Chemicals not meant for agricultural uses at all.”

As millions of Hong Kong consumers grow increasingly worried about the purity and safety of the fruits, vegetables, meats and processed foods coming in from mainland China, more of them are striking out on their own by tending tiny plots on rooftops, on balconies and in far-flung, untouched corners of highly urbanized Hong Kong.

“Consumers are asking, will the food poison them?” said Jonathan Wong, a professor of biology and the director of the Hong Kong Organic Resource Center. “They worry about the quality of the food. There is a lack of confidence in the food supply in China.”

Organic food stores are opening across the city, and there is growing demand in the markets for organic produce despite its higher prices. There are about 100 certified organic farms in Hong Kong. Seven years ago, there were none.

One Response to “Worries About Imported Food Quality”

  1. China Watcher says:

    As China continues its headlong race into urbanization, concerns about food safety will continue to rise all across the country, not just Hong Kong. In addition, China’s demand for food is rapidly outstripping the supply of water, especially potable water. Desertification is a reality in the north; the Gobi is marching relentlessly toward Beijing each year. That explains China’s interest in buying farmland around the world. Oddly, a cheap currency punishes Chinese who need to import food, seed, fertilizer, or processing technology — they have to pay extra thanks to the political gridlock that favors the SOE exporters.


Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Imports

Sign up to receive periodic updates