Poisonous Food

Beryl Gorbman
All photos from the web

Of Eggs in Mexico. Chinese lies, and Whole Foods USA

Disclaimer: I’m just a consumer – not a public health authority of any kind.

BUT, there are certain things that I know are being sold mass market without interference by government agencies, either in Mexico or in the USA, that are toxic.

Eggs in Mexico

First, my pet peeve in Mexico. Eggs are not refrigerated either in stores or in transportation vehicles.

Salmonella loves eggs. Chickens may become infected with it and the bacteria gets into the egg while it is still in the chicken’s reproductive tract. Refrigeration keeps salmonella at a low level, not dangerous to humans. In unrefrigerated eggs, salmonella proliferates and can make us seriously ill.

In commercial egg production environments, most external salmonella is washed off the eggshell before eggs are packaged but the bacteria may already exist in the egg yolks.

Some people advocate not washing eggs at all, as they are hatched with a protective coating against bacteria. There is some validity to this for home-grown eggs unless, of course, the egg has been infected in utero.

Another approach, used by people who need to store eggs for months at a time, is to coat the eggs with vaseline to prevent critters and oxygen from crossing the shell barrier. Yuk.

The American FDA orders that eggs be certified not only to be stored under 45 degrees but also to be transported at under 45 degrees F.

This from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service:

Why should eggs be refrigerated?

Temperature fluctuation is critical to safety. With the concern about Salmonella, eggs gathered from laying hens should be refrigerated as soon as possible. After eggs are refrigerated, they need to stay that way. A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the movement of bacteria into the egg and increasing the growth of bacteria. Refrigerated eggs should not be left out more than 2 hours.

I am not a COSTCO shareholder, but COSTCO is the only store I have seen in Merida that keeps eggs refrigerated.

Food produced or packaged in China

It is my belief that food labelling in China is fiction and that the information that is provided is simply to meet export specifications and has little relationship to truth.

Finding melamine in Chinese packaged baby food sold in the USA is the tip of the iceberg. (You may recall that melamine is a hard, flame-retardant plastic used for making durable dishes and other useful objects.)

IMHO, it is best to avoid purchasing any product whatsoever that is made in China. Paint is toxic. Toys are toxic. Critical parts of machines break like glass.

From CNN:

In June, the United States banned five types of fish and shrimp from China because inspectors found traces of cancer-causing chemicals and antibiotics in the products.

This seafood is shipped as frozen shrimp and is also widely packaged into fish products, like dumplings or full meals with a variety of contents.

The infamous milk poisoning disaster in China killed 300,000 babies there in 2008 and affected many more. The milk contained lethal doses of insecticides and preservatives. Melamine is also present in animal feed, affecting all meat, eggs and dairy products.

There is no single inspection agency in China answerable for the outrageous disregard for human safety in mass produced foods. They are still working on defining safety parameters.

Confiscated food containers, China

It’s often hard to tell whether a product is from China, as the information on boxes of prepared foods (in the USA) skips around this by saying the food in the box is “Distributed from”…Minneaplolis, San Francisco, etc. It does not say where it was made or packaged.

A few years ago, in an effort to stop buying Chinese goods, I noticed that Lean Cuisine, which I bought at Whole Foods (all that natural goodness) was Distributed in instead of Made in. Pain in the ass that I am, I wrote to Lean Cuisine’s corporate offices asking whether any part of the production of packaging process of their product was in China.

After a month, I received a response on corporate letterhead that began with something like, “Lean Cusine is a subsidiary of Nestle SA, a global company. China is one of our most important trade partners….”

Too bad. I loved Lean Cuisine, but I don’t want to eat melamine or poisonous disenfectants. Which leads me to one of my major disappointments in this industry, Whole Foods.

Whole Foods

When Whole Foods opened in Seattle, we were so happy. A safe, natural food store with natural products, an alternative to our dowdy little Puget Sound Consumer’s Coop, which didn’t always have everything we wanted. And it was so big, so shiny, and the fruit practically glowed.

Things have changed. I never shop there. The Coop (“PCC”) labels all produce and meat “locally grown,” if it is (and almost all of it is). At Whole Foods you take your chances and it’s full of Chinese goods.

And according to Reality Sandwich, Whole Foods has made a far-reaching deal with the devil recently by agreeing to purchase genetically altered and chemically treated wheat from the giant conglomorate Monsanto, which will affect not only wheat products, but animal feed and the entire spectrum of food products, including feed products that reach organic producers.

In what Reality Sandwich calls “a profoundly misleading email” to the public, marketeers at Whole Foods make a case for the “coexistence” of natural food producers and the megahuge producers like Monsanto. It is a new low in the art of marketing.

Whole Foods is a beautiful, immaculate store, fast spreading across the USA. It purports to sell mostly natural foods but it doesn’t. It does enough to be annoying, like just selling biodegradable toilet paper and organic dog food that costs as much as sirloin, but they do not guarantee, and certainly do not carry, all organic goods.

All the inexpensive, lovely produce looks like a cook’s dream. But the ginger is purportedly from China as are most of the melons and vegetables. They do not label products “locally grown” because consumers will notice how many products are NOT locally grown.

The PCC has enjoyed a resurgence. People who care about healthy food shop there and even at a few of the chains that label locally grown food. PCC has spiffed itself up and is becoming suspiciously enticing and attractive. We’ll have to keep a careful eye on them.

I don’t know what this is, but I liked it.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in General Blog, Merida Expat Life, Restaurant Reviews and Food and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Poisonous Food

  1. Estela Keim says:

    To the best of my knowldege, the only Mérida food store which refrigerates eggs is Costco. Upscale Superama doesn´t. But at least they keep the A/C at reasonably cool levels. Elsewhere, you buy eggs off shelves in 90 degree heat, at your own risk.

  2. Re: I don’t know what this is, but I liked it.

    That, Beryl, is Japanese squid porn.

    If you want to learn more about it, there is a wealth of information both online and at select specialty video stores.

    In this video from The Vice Guide to Sex entitled Genki and the Art of Eel Porn, our intrepid sex tourist visits Kabukicho and meets up with a movie director who is best known for a “half-porn, half-art” film in which “800 baby eels come out of a girl’s ass.”

    I should warn you that this video is not only not safe to be viewed at work, but anywhere else for that matter. I also can’t stress this enough: once it is seen, it cannot be unseen.

    Seriously, though, you probably shouldn’t even watch it.

    • lynne says:

      HA HA Beryl ….squid porn. I will say that i have seen the baby eel ass shoot and it’s hilarious. I know you told me you were freaky but not that freaky.

  3. Great articles. I am sitting here at work reading them. Not sure what my mates who sit around me are thinking when they see a picture of dirty eggs or the heads of pigs at a market…

  4. Frank L. says:

    I enjoyed your article on Telchac and surroundings. I also like La Picuda…no nonsense good fish.

  5. I was just shopping at Whole Foods–hard to get as many “organic” fruits and vegetables in one place back east, and I’m making food for Sam who is nursing and eats only organic stuff. I’m really interested in yr article about that. Just had time to skim it so far but re–

    They are now doing lots of labeling “local,” “locally grown” and they give the specific places–states, towns, sometimes farms. Perhaps they’re responding to the leaking of the info you’re referring to. Trouble is, the produce labeled “local” is almost always not labeled “organic” as well. I also always buy stuff that says “organic” and “U.S. grown.” But I’ve got to read yr article carefully.

  6. Tiesha says:

    I KNEW IT!!! My conspiracy theory is that China is engaged in biochemical warfare. As Americans, we are simply not paying attention and are being infected with cancer-causing, genetic altering, obesity toxins. We must be more cautious about our food choices.

    • BG says:

      Tiesha, I am going to assume you are serious and say that although I hadn’t considered this, it is an excellent observation. Have you read anything to substantiate this?

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