To Your Heart's Content

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Unappetizing Article

Just read an op-ed by a Stanford professor in the NY Times about cigarettes containing polonium, a radioactive substance (the same radioactive substance that has been tenuously linked to that Russian spy's death in Britain). As a cigarette smoker, this is indeed unsettling, especially in Beijing, one of the world's most polluted cities. In fact, just last Tuesday I read that the air in Beijing reached "hazardous" levels, the worst it can get. I remember that day clearly (or rather not so clearly) too. I looked out of the window of our office and could barely see the building across the street! Literally dense, dirt-brown air. Definitely the worst I've ever seen it.

Cancer is a big killer worldwide and China is no exception. I swear, each Chinese I've befriended has told me at least one story about a nuclear relative getting cancer. Not a surprise to me since I've long suspected (and I may be wrong) that exposure to carcinogens in this country is especially high. Not only from the air and water but from the food and clothing. YES! Clothing! Dies run like the godam Nile out of cheap clothes and the chemicals in the dyes are absorbed by the skin. Also, how the hell can a bellpepper stay glossy-fresh in my fridge for two weeks? It looks like they have a thin, shiny wax-like lining on them (which actually might be a kind of wax to prevent insects from digging in--this is done to apples in fact). And god only knows what the hell are in cigarettes here, especially fake ones ("the World Health Organization estimates that 10 million people will be dying annually from cigarettes by the year 2020 — a third of these in China"). I heard that wood shavings were found in some cigarettes and I've also heard that processed meats (those that are enclosed in individual airtight packages, for immediate consumption, that look like individually packaged hotdogs, but much pinker) have been found to contain plastic in them! Could just be hearsay, I know, but I have my suspicions, especially after a huge milk company, about a year and a half ago, was shut down because there were exorbitant amounts of some hormone or something in the milk.

As I argued earlier, environmental standards are a bit lax here and I wonder with how much impunity processed-goods makers, and others, take advantage of this.

4 Comments:

  • my god, I almost wrote the same kind of article in my blog several days before to describe our terrible living circumstance: the air, the water, the noise,the food(including the horrible restaurant, the meat with hormone, the milk with bacterium, the egg, the vegetable...all food can be found some problems now)

    By Anonymous , at 8:02 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • hey rui! was this information about meat with horomones, milk with bacterium, eggs, etc. in the news? And what is the problem with eggs?

    By Blogger justin fabish, at 5:25 PM, December 01, 2006  

  • I knew the milk taste better in China for a reason. Any chance you could look up what hormone it is as I might put a squirt or two in everything I eat.

    By Anonymous Brian, at 1:59 AM, December 02, 2006  

  • Hey,I found that article, it said the pigment such as Sudan was put in some eggs to accelerate their growth.

    By Anonymous , at 10:28 PM, December 03, 2006  

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