It is shocking to us that in China lately, some people are putting gelatin into shrimp to make them plumper. Last month, according to a report by government-run radio in China, a substance which seemed like gelatin was discovered in fresh shrimp sold by some grocery stores in Tianjin.
Gelatin is a kind of protein which comes from cows, pig’s hide, and bone. It is used to make processed food like jelly, pudding, and so on. The shrimp was revealed through the accusations of a housewife in China, and then the story spread quickly among food distributors. ‘Gelatin shrimp,’ as it became known, is that which was sold in fish markets after being injected with an alien substance (gelatin) during the circulation process.
We have learned that this method can expand a shrimp’s weight by 20%~30%. Moreover, it makes defrosted shrimp look like fresh plump shrimp. According to the report, a fish merchant acknowledged he put gelatin into shrimp but said, “Because I put edible gelatin allowed by the government into it, the gelatin is harmless.” But experts said, “This requires attention because the possible harmfulness of this shrimp was not examined before people bought it.”
In addition, travelers who visited China said that foods made by street vendors are harmful because they are altered in these ways. For example, foods made with harmful or toxic chemicals (e.g. bamboo shoots made with chemicals, colors and wooden sticks), or fried in industrial oil have been reported, though they are not found in all regions of China.
Hearing these examples, our sensitivity about food from China is worsened. We should be careful about these bad, altered foods, and people who make them in China had better reflect on themselves and their faults.
Park Ji-min firstname.lastname@example.org
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