Have They Never Eaten a Dirty-Water Hot Dog?

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www.musc.edu

Piling on
  • Piling on

Piling on

OK. First, the news: A Chinese TV network found a street vendor selling buns made out of freakin' cardboard. (AP at CNN)

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.

Yum.

Now, food safety is an important issue. And, yes, we've been following the food-from-China story closely. And, of course, no one should eat buns that are 60% cardboard.

But is there any reason why this should be on the front page of CNN.com? This is one street vendor. The problem here is so much larger: how to monitor manufacturing in a booming -- but still developing -- economy and how to monitor imports of food from all over the world.

I'm sure these individual problems happen everywhere. (Have you ever thought about what's in those hot dogs or brats you scarf down?) And while I think many of us enjoy these "news of the weird" items on one level -- I did link to this story, after all -- in the context of recent events this story seems to cater to the sort of idiots who think all Chinese people eat dog meat.

Good thing it wasn't Paris Hilton who ate the carboard bun. CNN probably would have interrupted its regular programming.

-Ian Froeb

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