Monday, April 30, 2007

Impressions from China - GE*

One of the perils of living in China is the high chance of ingesting tainted food. Today, I woke up with mild abdominal cramps, nausea & have gone to the loo multiple times with watery diarrhoea. My son has also been affected, & I suspect it's from dinner at the restaurant in the clubhouse in our compound. So even eating in a nice establishment does not protect us from getting food poisoning.

I take precautions with food preparation here, as China does not have a particular good reputation as far as food is concerned.
  • I try to buy organic or green food when & where I can find it.
  • I go marketing at reputable stores.
  • As for fruits & vegetables, I have resorted to using vegetable detergent to clean off any remnants of pesticides (according to a neighbour with a degree in Chemistry from Columbia, the detergent helps to wash off any residue of oil-based pesticides), then rinse off three times with filtered water, then soak for at least 10 minutes before draining off. I know, the water soluble vitamins get leached off by doing so, but I'd rather get my vitamins elsewhere than to risk contaminated food.
  • We cook with filtered water.
  • We avoid eating at roadside stalls with questionable hygiene practices.
  • I avoid eating salads in restaurants.
We have also all been immunised against Hep A & typhoid. And I have a bottle of acidophilus, for what it's worth, to improve our GI immunity.

But I know, despite precautions, there will always be a chance of that little bit of contaminated food that will make us puke & purge. Speaking of which, excuse me please...I feel the urge again...

*GE = Gastroenteritis

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