It’s What’s for Dinner


In an announcement intended to show that the government is serious about improving food safety, the Ministry of Public Security said over the Internet on Thursday that the police had caught traders in eastern China who bought rat, fox and mink flesh and sold it as mutton. But that and other cases of meat smuggling, faking and adulteration that were also featured in Chinese newspapers and Web sites on Friday were unlikely to instill confidence in consumers already queasy over many reports about meat, fruit and vegetables laden with disease, toxins, and banned dyes and preservatives.

I’m not going to get all high and mighty about how much more civilized we are in America versus those rat-eating Chinese, because Bieber knows we’re just a couple more beast-starving votes from having a dozen USDA inspectors covering the entire country.

26 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Pray over your food.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    Cannibalism! Its what’s for dinner.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    the Conster says:

    Then there’s this lovely image. Really, we all need to be buying CSAs from our local farms.

    Antibiotic resistant bacteria from our own factory farmed animals will kill us all here too, if the GMO plants don’t get us first.

    ETA: If there are even any plants left after the bee colonies all collapse. Have a nice day!

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    I can’t believe the types of scams that have always happened haven’t stopped happening.

  6. 6
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Unemployment rate down to 7.5%.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    @Patricia Kayden: And the U6, while up .1 from March, is down .4 from Feb.

  8. 8
    Randy P says:

    Only 100% USA beef-more-or-less USDA-approved pink slime for me, thanks.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:

    @the Conster:

    It really isn’t more expensive. I’m feeding large human teenagers and I spend the same amount of money for slightly less in terms of quantity–but we eat it all. We don’t throw anything away and it tastes wonderful. Usually with store bought stuff there is a lot of waste.

    Maybe it is just that we appreciate it more or that we will see the farmers at the end of the week and they will want to know how it tasted–I don’t know but it works really well.

  10. 10
    Randy P says:

    @the Conster: There is no bee problem according to my wingnut brother in law. He just looks around and sees plenty of bees. He raises them, and his are fine. No problem!

    Is this a general wingnut belief or is my BIL alone in this?

    The frustrating and puzzling thing about this guy is he’s a pretty smart guy outside of politics, and also a really nice guy.

  11. 11
    the Conster says:


    I live alone so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me but I go to the farmer’s market every week it’s open – like you in Maine, here in Massachusetts with a short growing season it’s the long winters that are the challenge. Whole Foods gets a lot of my money, which is why I bought some of their stock.

  12. 12
    the Conster says:

    @Randy P:

    Typical conservative – if it’s not my problem, it’s not a problem. The second it’s his problem, he’ll blame Obama.

  13. 13
    Warren Terra says:

    You mention USDA inspectors. There was a spectacular article by a writer who got a job as an USDA inspector in a midwestern slaughterhouse in the most recent Harpers> I won’t bother to look for a link, because I’m pretty sure it’s subscriber-only, but it was a credit to the magazine, and to the notion of a serious magazine.

  14. 14
    John PM says:

    A dozen inspectors? You are dreaming large, my friend. Another Republican president and it will be against the law to inspect food.

  15. 15
    Fred says:

    A dozen USDA inspectors?!? Fire ’em all ’cause…JOB CREATORS!

  16. 16
    Mudge says:

    If they get rid of food inspections, Congress will likely include in the bill that the food industry is immune to lawsuits.

  17. 17
    Gex says:

    The reason we do so much business there is BECAUSE these things can happen. What do Americans think deregulation is? We’ve been doing it by moving industry there and deciding it isn’t harmful if other people pay those costs.

    I blew a gasket at every American who bitched about the Beijing air quality around those Olympics. We push so much of our pollution there and then bitch about it, and demand they do things we no longer will do here.

    I’m afraid stupid self-interest is naturally more powerful than enlightened self-interest.

  18. 18
    cvstoner says:

    BTW, a lot of our frozen food comes from China. Good luck figuring out what is in those frozen pot pies.

  19. 19
    dmbeaster says:

    I thought libertarian free world paradise means that consumer choice will weed out those who sell rats as mutton?

  20. 20
    lojasmo says:

    I don’t eat frozen food, and I don’t eat meat that comes from out of state.

    Of course, I am privileged to be able to make those choices.

  21. 21
    Hurling Dervish says:

    Actually, one of the best meals I ever had was rat, served out in the countryside in China. They were caught in the rice paddies and so free-ranged on rice. Completely delicious.

  22. 22
    weaselone says:

    @Hurling Dervish:

    I strongly suspect that those are not the rats being sold as mutton.

  23. 23
    Valdivia says:

    sorry after having been in China I can tell you we have a really looooooooooong way to go to get to that level. One advantage of having that relationship seemingly be over is that I won’t be moving there. Man I really didn’t like that place one bit.

  24. 24
    giantslor says:

    The deception is bad of course, but I don’t find this inherently disgusting, having never tried rat, fox or mink. Maybe it’s good! Of course it would also need to be sustainable and safe. Rats have the former covered, not sure about the latter.

  25. 25
    Visceral says:

    How is mink more profitable to sell than mutton?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m assuming you get a much higher price for a mink pelt than you do for a sheepskin.

    Three of our managers are going to China next week — I let them know that they may want to try and stick to tofu next week, though gawd only knows what food counterfeiters have come up with to make fake “tofu.” They’ve already managed fake eggs.

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