Food scandal thread


#21

[quote=“brobronek”][quote=“Muzha Man”][quote=“brobronek”]…Who in the west gonna look for a crime brûlée pre-mix or a simple mousse pre-mix???
In fact, our mummies since babies were preparing this stuff for us and from scratch… Not a difficult task.
Maybe because everyone in the west have an oven at home? I don’t really get the point of having all this pre-mixes.[/quote]

Sorry but what world do you live in? No offense but what you described hasn’t been the case even in the west for 40 years. Instant pudding has been around since the 50s. And who do you think invented Wonder Bread? Or cereals that are 90% sugar and have no cereal at all in them? Or pink slime sold as lean beef? Or beef for that matter which has to be well cooked as it almost always is contaminated?

Or how about Cheez Whiz, which incidentally stopped adding cheese to its recipe about 2 decades ago. :laughing:

Even regular cheese is almost all artificially aged.[/quote]

No problem man. I have never seen my mum using any kind of pre-mix. She always cooked everything from scratch.

I have nothing against the use of pre-mix. Of course you can use them and they are not that bad I believe. But for example I never used a pre-mix for my job and as a pastry chef I hope never have to use them. My problem is the systematic use of these products. That is the real problem.
I have a small but growing pastry catering business here in Taipei, and when visiting some restaurateur in order to make them some desserts menus, (The guys are as expat as me )talking about a target price of 11nt$.
Do you know what it means?
11nt$!!!
I am pretty sure they do not even know the price of an egg btw. And that they lost any kind of logic by the continuous use of these product. Of course their menu is cheaper but man, If some people knew what they were throwing into their mouth, they’ll be very surprised and chocked. I feel in Taipei people pay more for a place than for a meal.
Hey!!! My job is to feed people! That is how I see my job. And I will carry on what I am doing and how I am doing it. The way is much longer but make me more proud and that is it.

Some local pastry guys worked for me a year ago. And they were unable to do anything I told them. In fact when I asked them to do even a simple custard or pastry cream they just ask me where is the box of the pre-mix. Very chocking for me. :fume:

Ps: I said some places Not all of them in case :slight_smile:
Concerning the other stuff you are talking about, wonder stuff, cheesy things… Never heard about this stuff. Sorry.
And you should be worry when you have these kind of names on your food :laughing:[/quote]
You’re obviously not American … it’s a lifestyle
11NT$ for what, it’s foodcost right?
I know what many restaurants carry in their pantry, shocking that they are called restaurant, and people preparing food Chefs. Mostly canned, or vacuum packed, precooked in an industrial kitchen. It’s a business model that makes a lot of money for places/companies like Wow Prime’s Tasty chain.
People here don’t expect more than that … it should be cheap, famous, big portions (they should feel stuffed after their meal) and taste like something they can identify with … sweet … and service need to be good … than all is well.

Anyways, I’ve been offered everything premade, canned, packed, frozen that normally is made from scratch. Local F&B wholesale companies have it all.

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#22

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Ask them what ‘American cheese’ is? Something to be proud of? :slight_smile:

There was a famous case in Australia recently where a local supermarket claimed they were baking their own bread in store.

Turned out it was shipped frozen from Ireland!

Lucky Aussies getting the good stuff :frowning:,
Haha.[/quote]
Actually, they’re right … it’s called bake-off, you either bake it from frozen dough, after defrosting and rising … or you bake-off par-baked, defrosted bread … but either way, it’s baked on premise. Not made from scratch.
It’s big business in Europe and in Taiwan it starts picking up.

BTW, America has great cheeses, Vermont, Virginia.

CHEESEMAKERS - Artisan Food and Wine
artisanfoodandwine.com/cheeses/cheesemakers/

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#23

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Ask them what ‘American cheese’ is? Something to be proud of? :slight_smile:

There was a famous case in Australia recently where a local supermarket claimed they were baking their own bread in store.

Turned out it was shipped frozen from Ireland!

Lucky Aussies getting the good stuff :frowning:,
Haha.[/quote]

Well, I suppose they would argue it was baked in store. :laughing: Bread smells are supposed to encourage people to buy in supermarkets, so they do actually shove it in an oven, on the premises. I hate the smell of cheap bread, though. There’s something in it that make me really nauseous. Is it the oil, Belgan Pie?


#24

[quote=“Ermintrude”][quote=“headhonchoII”]Ask them what ‘American cheese’ is? Something to be proud of? :slight_smile:

There was a famous case in Australia recently where a local supermarket claimed they were baking their own bread in store.

Turned out it was shipped frozen from Ireland!

Lucky Aussies getting the good stuff :frowning:,
Haha.[/quote]

Well, I suppose they would argue it was baked in store. :laughing: Bread smells are supposed to encourage people to buy in supermarkets, so they do actually shove it in an oven, on the premises. I hate the smell of cheap bread, though. There’s something in it that make me really nauseous. Is it the oil, Belgan Pie?[/quote]

In Taiwan? It’s the palm oil based shortening(margarine), stuffed with colorants and preservatives. Makes me puke.

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#25

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Are you sure it wasn’t just cost cutting?

One of the major problems with the food quality here in Taiwan is that inspectors are sent out by local governments. Yes the same local governments that often have gangster networks in charge and are tied to the hip with local businesses. You’ve seen local cops in Taiwan, don’t imagine local food and sanitation inspectors are any better.

You see where this is going…the big red envelopes.

They KNOW all about what is going on, they are paid to turn a blind eye to it. The same local food and health inspectors are tasked with ‘monitoring’ the companies after they have been outed in the media or by whistle blowers.

It’s all a game.[/quote]

I remember them when I opened my first place, they came into my kitchen … they’re jaw dropped onto their shoes … wow, it’s so clean, we’re not used to that … btw, you’re freezer should read -18c … I just had it opened, it read -16c … duh … that’s it nothing else, inspection passed.

But, a friend of mine works at a Subway outlet in Taipei, the friend says the place is swamped with roaches and rats, fridges are turned off for several hours a day to save on electricity, or are not fixed for several weeks (not cooling properly) … inspection doesn’t even check for that. Just stamp the OK.

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#26

[quote=“brobronek”]…I have nothing against the use of pre-mix. Of course you can use them and they are not that bad I believe. But for example I never used a pre-mix for my job and as a pastry chef I hope never have to use them. My problem is the systematic use of these products. That is the real problem.
I have a small but growing pastry catering business here in Taipei, and when visiting some restaurateur in order to make them some desserts menus, (The guys are as expat as me )talking about a target price of 11nt$.
Do you know what it means?
11nt$!!!
I am pretty sure they do not even know the price of an egg btw. And that they lost any kind of logic by the continuous use of these product. Of course their menu is cheaper but man, If some people knew what they were throwing into their mouth, they’ll be very surprised and chocked. I feel in Taipei people pay more for a place than for a meal.
Hey!!! My job is to feed people! That is how I see my job. And I will carry on what I am doing and how I am doing it. The way is much longer but make me more proud and that is it.
[/quote]

Believe me, I am on your side and wish the world had more people like you. I cook almost everything from scratch but the problem now is that so much is suspect. Where does your grain come from? Your eggs? What kind of sulfates are in your vinegar? How was your sugar processed? How processed is your wine, or how loaded with pesticide residue? Is that oil really pure or diluted? Are your fruits and vegies grown with excessive pesticides or black market fertilizer? Where does your fish come from? If farmed what kind of conditions and does your government ever bother to check imports? Even when guarantteed organic how can we tell?

Europe as a whole is better than America but remember nestle is the world’s biggest food company and they hardly have a stellar record of corporate responsibility.

Food has become too big an industry and shortcuts and speed ups are employed everywhere. I was shocked a few years back to learn that Aussie lamb is more and more factory-farm produced. But the gov wants to keep people believing they are all grass fed free range herds so many of these “farms” are in the middle of nowhere with high security.

A great book to read is Salt, Sugar, Fat on the food industry in America. What happens in Taiwan looks like child’s play in comparison. One particularly shocking part was the story on “pink slime.” The USDA allowed meat manufacturers to grind up the remains of cows after the good meat was stripped and then mix in with cheap cuts and label it as lean beef (lean because most of it was skin, bones, shit, etc and so not fatty). This was then sold to schools all over the country as healthy luncheon material.


#27

Coincidentally, the lab was on that factory. You searching English or Chinese? Well, neither will tell the whole story, but certainly, you do not expect a slap on the wrist on the good guys. Especially when at that time the big fish got away with less then a reprimand.

Wouldn’t surprise me if Imei has a new lab up and running somewhere else already but that was a major investment and hence a big loss , plus the action itself as meant certainly more of a “shut up or else” kind of message. It was all about timing.


#28

[quote=“Icon”]
Coincidentally, the lab was on that factory. You searching English or Chinese? Well, neither will tell the whole story, but certainly, you do not expect a slap on the wrist on the good guys. Especially when at that time the big fish got away with less then a reprimand.

Wouldn’t surprise me if Imei has a new lab up and running somewhere else already but that was a major investment and hence a big loss , plus the action itself as meant certainly more of a “shut up or else” kind of message. It was all about timing.[/quote]

Chinese. I’ll look some more, thanks! There are a lot of mentions of it as a “60,000,000” investment. Not crippling for them I guess.

FWIW I’ve long felt Imei is one of the best food processors around.


#29

It is. From its ingredients to the technology up. One to follow as has been said before. But being good means gaining enemies. Because they are not doing what everyone else does.

In Spanish we say -actually, a famous quote from The Quixote: the dogs are barking, Sancho my friend, that means we are moving forward.


#30

It doesn’t surprise me when you understand how local government works here. I mean some of the local government are literally run by gangsters, what do people expect?

Anybody in charge of stamping anything with big $$$ connotations under local jurisdiction has a high chance of being on the take. You just don’t see it openly in Taiwan but it happens all the time. They don’t always solicit bribes so much as take bribes if you understand what I mean. The bribes are paid by KTV visits, gifts at weddings etc etc. I haven’t seen it directly in the food industry but the clues are all there. Local planning officials will take cash through third parties. How it works is there’s a warning or a denial of application and its up to you to make it right.

So a large part of the food quality issues are actually a result of corruption.


#31

Minister Shen from the EPA as much as admits corruption in local government is one of the major failings of the whole system, along with the paltry amounts of fines imposed.

Taiwan gives far too much power to local governments, which have been co-opted by local interests.

chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati … -sorry.htm

[quote]EPA Suggests Collecting ASE’s ‘Illegal’ Income

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Shen Shu-hung (沈世宏) said any local governments that discover a company conducting illegal wastewater disposal should also confiscate the company’s illegal income.

“I really support the Kaohsiung City Government’s actions in fining ASE because some local governments do not take such actions to stop companies from illegally dumping wastewater into rivers,” said Shen.

“If the EPA finds out that any local governments intentionally ignore companies that illegally dispose of wastewater in rivers, the administration will cancel the local government’s subsidies for environmental protection,” said Shen.[/quote]

taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_c … id=2364503

BTW, this ‘wastewater’ leak contained heavy metals and has been happening on and off for years. The surrounding farmland of 50-900 hectares could be contaminated (they use the same water from factory effluent as for irrigation…unbelievable system), meanwhile people have been eating the food grown there.

You can find factories doing the same in every part of Taiwan, it’s a polluted mess.

[quote]
The city’s Environmental Protection Bureau said tests near the K5, K7 and K11 plants would show whether 900 hectares of farmland had been affected by the pollution discharges. ASE reportedly released 5,000 tons of water per day into the creek, making it the ninth-biggest wastewater discharger in the city.

Environmental inspectors first found unexpectedly high levels of nickel during random tests in the Houjing creek. They traced the pollution back to the Ministry of Economic Affairs-backed Nanci export zone before pinpointing the source as the ASE plant.

The company tried to hide the pollution by offering tap water for EPB inspectors to conduct tests on, reports said. The company denied the allegation, but EPB Director Chen Chin-der slammed it for its behavior, adding that having been fined three times in 2012, ASE had still not mended its ways. Prosecutors said they would investigate whether there had been any conspiracy to hide the pollution.

Inspectors said their tests showed that the company might not have treated the wastewater at all but discharged it straight into the Houjing creek. Water authorities said there were 1,500 hectares of rice fields which would need water from the creek next month, causing fears over the pollution incident.[/quote]

Legally discharging factory effluent into the same river which irrigates crops… WTF?


#32

taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_c … id=2366392

News just in…surprise, surprise…not.

[quote]Authorities in He-mei Township of Changhua County say they have uncovered a buried pipeline that ten different factories in the area were using to secretly discharge wastewater that has contaminated at least 1,800 hectares of farmland in the Changhua City area. Thursday morning the Changhua District Prosecutors Office set bail for eight persons at NT$200,000 each as investigation into the case continues.
Personnel from the Prosecutors Office accompanied inspectors from the county Environmental Protection Bureau as they used ground-penetrating radar to track the path of a system of pipes laid between factories in the area and local creeks. They have uncovered more than a kilometer of underground lines and are pressing on to find whether there are more pipes and more companies involved in the dumping scheme.[/quote]

Just to let people know, Changhua is the ‘rice and veggie’ basket of Taiwan. Really.

How much were the fines? Why was there no criminal prosecution?

[quote]
Prosecutors say the toxic substances found in the discharged water include cyanide, hexavalent chromium, chromium, copper, nickel and other elements. Cyanide and hexavalent chromium are both highly toxic and hazardous to human health and can cause cancer, thus prosecutors have decided to charge the suspects with releasing poisons and harmful substances in accordance with Section 190 of the Criminal Code, which carries a sentence of a maximum of seven years in jail.[/quote]


#33

This should be merged with the longtermers are you reconsidering Taiwan thread. Awful stuff.

This article is also food for thought (and barely edible too) for those who think the west is so much better. If it’s this bad in the UK you know it is even worse in Taiwan.

Stay healthy folks.

theguardian.com/uk-news/2013 … l-activity

[quote]The risk of criminal activity in the UK food chain is now so great that a dedicated new food crime unit should be set up with investigatory powers similar to the police to deal with it, according to a government report launched in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The UK food sector is a “soft touch for criminals at the moment” who know there is little risk of being detected and even if they are the penalties are not high, chairman of the report, Professor Chris Elliott, said.

The interim report argues that food crime consists of deliberate organised activity by networks of criminals rather than a few random acts by “rogues” within the food industry.

It catalogues a series of ways that organised criminals are able to make huge profits from the food chain due to in adequate enforcement of regulations such as labelling.

The new food crime unit, says the report, should be set up as a non-Home Office police force with the capacity to deal with “complex food crime perpetrated by highly organised and dangerous, potentially violent organised crime groups”.

Elliott calls for urgent investigation into whether these groups also cross over to networks already established in trafficking drugs, cigarettes, fuel, firearms or people.

The report - which was commissioned by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs but is independent of government - is also highly critical of aggressive supermarket buying practices and “too good to be true” cheap offers. He recommends that they and other sellers should be held criminally liable if they sell mislabelled meat to consumers, so putting the onus on them to check their suppliers.

Elliott told the Guardian he believed food crime was now endemic in the UK food system and already involves serious organised crime. He added that it was likely to get worse because supply chains have become so complex, margins are being squeezed and the capacity of regulators to enforce the law had been cut.

He said an urgent change in culture was necessary in the food industry and government, which he says had concentrated so much on food safety and hygiene that it has failed to understand the scale of the threat from crime.[/quote]


#34

Britain needs to stop equating border controls and trade tariffs and controls with either right wing bigotry or left wing economic protectionism. And yes: put the onus on retailers. A couple of giant lawsuits and they’ll start using their economic clout to check their supply chain, not to bully farmers into selling below cost. Consumers also need to start asking more and being less greedy. Can’t afford organic meat? Tough. Earn more money or cut down. And use yr brains and stop eating frozen lasagne.

Even things that aren’t illegal are gross. That giant chicken plumped up with water also has a bunch of extra chemicals micro injected into it to make it retain that water. Chicken breasts are soaked in a bath of water and the same chemicals. Farmed salmon isn’t pink. Smoked fish isn’t yellow. Rant rant rant.

Here in the glorious peoples thingy, ‘high class’ food shops advertise that they have safe and high quality Taiwanese imports. While I’m sure it’s better than badger meat on a stick served with cancer village cabbages and gutter oil, it doesn’t exactly fill me with joy either.


#35

Not so much that area the factories are in, the veggies are farther south. Zhanghua is also the capital of zinc plating. This is where all the heavy metals and nasty shit comes from. We also punch above our weight in styrofoam manufacturing.

This does explain why the people in Homei and Lugang seem to be so “special”.


#36

Why can’t Taiwanese master zoning? This is such bullshit.


#37

they’re good at zoning out.


#38

http://www.fark.com/go/8058670

A quick reminder of what we really eat :no-no:
In fact, everyone knows about it but still…


#39

For waste dumping into rivers, please head to Linkou area. Black water for everyone! I’m sure if you drink of it you get high (not sure if you can survive though).


#40

The thing about Taiwan.

The really interesting thing.

Is the ability of people to ignore shit literally staring them in the face.

Then someday the Apple daily runs a story and people run around like headless chickens.

(1 month later)

See that shit over there!

Where?