Saturday, April 09, 2011

Fake Eggs, What Next?

Someone has gone and copied one of the most versatile food ingredient - the humble, but absolutely awesome chicken egg.

You give them a peek at your design, and *3 days later you see a copycat in the market, mass produced and sold at *98% cheaper than you ever meant it to be. They add melamine and nitrates into milk to kill children. They rocked the Olympics opening ceremony when they had the chance, though. And now, eggs...

A few days ago, a housewife brought some eggs to the consumer association after finding something quite amiss with them while cooking, and they were found to be fakes. Now the **whole country is quite worried if they had accidentally consumed the fake eggs (allegedly made of chemicals) without noticing it. I know for a fact that I might probably dismiss the fact that the egg didn't smell like an egg, or had the wrong consistency as just a 'batch problem' if I wasn't aware of the fake eggs story. Who would even think of such a thing as a fake egg?

The thing that bothers me the most is how on earth can people actually have the heart to mess with our food. It's something we take in for nourishment, for goodness sake. I mean, I can understand if you want to use inferior materials and pass it off for a laptop, or make geometry sets that can't be used for more than three months - both true stories, but to mess with food, that's just sick.

* Estimated numbers (please note that I do have the tendency to exaggerate)
** Well, people have been giving tips on how to identify fakes on facebook status updates

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/4/8/nation/8437638&sec=nation

Edit: There's also another story about the whole thing being a hoax. Hmmm...

16 comments:

  1. This is a video from the news site:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R54EvuNXEbs&feature=player_embedded

    and this is another site from the country where the eggs actually came from:

    http://www.chengduliving.com/fake-eggs-are-no-joke/

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  2. I LOVE eaggs and now I'm really wary of all the eggs I eat. There goes my one favourite piece of food.

    I wonder what they'll think of next? Fake rice? Fake water?

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  3. I'm puzzled. What are fake eggs made of? How can they look like real eggs? And how do you fake eggshells and yoke? This looks like one of those hoaxes to me.

    I see the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry has done some preliminary tests on "fake eggs" and concluded they're genuine.

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  4. Nick Philips: I can't say... it's crazy at first thought, and then again you realise that the people of a certain country are behind it. If they could have the heart to put melamine in milk, fake eggs are nothing.

    nick: Using chemicals to recreate the texture and taste of eggs and pass it off as the real thing to gullible people?

    Yes, it could all be a hoax (as I've put under "edit") However, one of the few sites I read says that there's actually a course on how to make fake eggs. To be honest, I'd rather it be a hoax above anything else, but somehow I think that it might be true.

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  5. Oh boy, how did I miss that piece of news! Thanks for sharing this, Terra Shied.

    It is horrifying what these people are doing to kill us all. How desperate are they to make money?

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  6. According to the Malaysia Star on Tuesday, the Director General of the Veterinary Services Department says he can find no evidence of fake eggs. He has offered a cash reward for anyone who can show him one.

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  7. LMC and nick: Well, it was in the news one day and a few days later the govt says that it's not true... (I don't believe the govt, though)

    Here's my theory: The thing is, eggs in Malaysia is supposed to be totally local. Admitting that there are fake eggs is admitting that foreign eggs are in the market, which in turn will put a whole lot of people in trouble. Since they're all probably looking after each others backs (until someone decides that back stabbing is a fun sport), naturally they are going to say that the news of the fake eggs are fake. Just my thought.

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  8. Stories about fake eggs have been doing the rounds for a long time

    http://www.hoax-slayer.com/fake-eggs-china.shtml

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  9. I actually covered the melamine scandal when it first hit the news, so perhaps I can shed some light.

    In 2005, New Zealand company Fonterra purchased a 40% stake in Chinese company Sanlu. Sanlu was, at the time, one of the largest manufacturers of infant milk formula in the country.

    In 2008, Fonterra discovered quality-control irregularities. Poisonous melamine had been added in an attempt to falsely boost the protein content of milk formula.

    Being honest folk, the Kiwis brought the issue to the attention of the Sanlu management, asking them to halt production and institute a mass recall. Their pleas, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears. They then went outside the company, reporting the matter to the local police and government officials. Again, they were stonewalled and nothing was done.

    Flustered, Fonterra had no choice but to bring the issue back to New Zealand. Prime Minister Helen Clark took up the case and publicly confronted the Chinese government with what appeared to be a systematic criminal cover-up. Only then was an investigation executed.

    The thing to keep in mind is that independent enterprise does not exist in China. Everything is either state-sponsored or state-controlled, so evidence of criminal malfeasance is next to impossible to obtain. There is a great deal of propaganda and misinformation at every level, so unless you are on the inside, you can't possibly know what is or what isn't happening.

    So, remember, it's always best to err on the side of caution.

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  10. nurse: thanks for the link...

    John: Oh wow... thank you so much for shedding some light on the issue of melamine on the milk and also how China works...

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  11. That's not to say that the fake-egg hysteria is necessarily 100% true. What's more likely is the eggs came from hens fed with illegal antibiotics and hormones, hence the irregular smell, taste and appearance. Which, in itself, is as disturbing as the fake-egg claim!

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  12. Don't be surprise if you hear about fake-chicken and in-room planted vegetables ( no exposure to the sun ) .......yup - you heard me rite !

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  13. I hope there are no fake Easter eggs....

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  14. Do what I do, only eat chocolate ones!

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  15. i don't feel like eating any egg at the moment.

    yuck!

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