Planet China

Grains of truth

Over the years the Apple Daily newspaper has run many reports on fake food in China. But even the most cynical staff at the Hong Kong paper seem to have been surprised when it heard of a family from Guangdong province that had dined on a rice strain it hadn’t tasted before. Upon closer inspection, the “rice” they had bought from a local market was revealed as a bag of many thin strips of paper, each tightly rolled-up to look like the desired grain.

As a production process, it seems almost as labour-intensive as rice farming itself. But this isn’t the first fake rice scandal to hit China this year. Earlier in May ‘rice’ made from potato and resin made its way across Asia. Whilst the potato provided a little nutritional value, any calorific benefit was soured by the resin, which formed a skin like plastic when boiled up. Then again, some netizen wonder if the ‘paper’ rice is a hoax, pointing to a similar story in 2007 that wrongly claimed steamed buns were made from paper too.

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