Sunday, July 15, 2007

Medbroadcast: Report: Cardboard main ingredient in steamed buns sold as Beijing street food

Infections - Signs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment - Medbroadcast:
BEIJING (AP) - Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and made tasty with pork flavouring, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighbourhood, state television said...

"What's in the recipe?" the reporter asks. "Six to four," the man says.

"You mean 60 per cent cardboard? What is the other 40 per cent?" asks the reporter. "Fatty meat," the man replies.

The bun maker and his assistants then give a demonstration on how the product is made.

Squares of cardboard picked from the ground are first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda - a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap - then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning are stirred in.

Soon, steaming servings of the buns appear on-screen. The reporter takes a bite.

"This baozi filling is kind of tough. Not much taste," he says. "Can other people taste the difference?"

"Most people can't. It fools the average person," the maker says. "I don't eat them myself."

The police eventually show up and shut down the operation

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