Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Jul 12, 2007 09:56 AM

this chinese food kinda tastes like cardboard"

amusing yes, and scary as well.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yeah, I just read it. Crazy!

    1. Nah, we don't need country of origin labeling laws, other countries will police themselves.

      1 Reply
      1. now here's the twist: how much of the food we eat on a regular basis (bought in a supermarket or from a can, frozen, processed, ready-made, supplied to a restaurant and then reheated for us, etc.) has the same sort of fillers, additives, chemicals, preservatives, etc.? is it more distubing because it seems artisanal (local friendly street vendor) or is it the same if a factory or food conglomerate does the same thing, but puts it in pretty packaging?

        2 Replies
        1. re: bigjeff

          I can certainly appreciate the sentiment as we do likely consume too much on the way of preservatives and additives, etc. However, I don't think you can quite compare a (theoretically) FDA approved food additive to industrial chemical softened cardboard...

          The news article was scary scary stuff. Given the recent reports about shady industry practices in China in general I wonder how widespread this is and how much of it is media hype...

          1. re: Ladycale

            to add information, the chemical in question, caustic soda, seems to be found all over the place (granted, in industrial applications) but also in various food preparations.


            now, picking up cardboard from the street, to mix with the stuff? whole different game. This particular story, on top of all the other stories about chinese exports (bad toothpaste, dog food, etc.) is quite scary, and what with the recent execution of a chinese party official as scapegoat for some of these incidents, there's plenty of spotlight. as to whether FDA or DOH approval actually means anything in this country (and it does, but the FDA's power is also diluted by the agribusiness industry and its whims), where does it apply to some of our favorite chowfinds (arepa ladies included)?

            I'd have to say overall though, the more spotlight and exposure of these practices (and preferably all over the world, please) the better. Especially when Wal-Mart wants to green its entire food inventory and become the largest purveyor of "organic" goods (a large part of which will be produced in china), accurate sourcing is incredibly important.

            1. re: tochipotle

              right on, just read this on reuters:


              so what does all this mean after all? I certainly believed it, hahaha!

              1. re: bigjeff

                I can't tell you how relieved I am. For some irrational reason this story horrified me more than previous stories about shady industrial food practices.

                I wonder how much trouble this guy is going to get into...