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Desc:BYOB to China
Category:Educational, Accidents & Explosions
Tags:beer, Poison, China, white people, Snake Penis
Submitted:Maggot Brain
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Comment count is 18
SolRo - 2018-12-13
So basically China is libertarian paradise?
Hazelnut - 2018-12-13
Sorta the way the Old West or the Gilded Age were, sure.

I don't think anyone -- including the Chinese themselves -- would deny that product safety, occupational safety, environmental standards in China are appalling. As are corruption and the legal system, not coincidentally.

The most generous explanation is that some of that is inevitable from such a fast pace of growth, recapitulating the whole Industrial Revolution, Atomic Age, early Information Age in two or three generations. The more cynical is that somehow this always happens in every "Communist" (State Capitalist) command economy.

badideasinaction - 2018-12-13
If you have money and tow the party line you can get away with anything, and the boss is king.

I was there for about 12 days and drank tea once - the rest of the time it was used to wash down all your utensils (which arrived shrink-wrapped to prove their cleanliness) yourself before eating.

gmol - 2018-12-13
The food in China is incredible. People take it real seriously and the variety of dishes at restaurants is incredible. Some of the best food I've had.

As I watch the video:

"Chemicals" in it? Everything is made of chemicals.
It isn't "fake" beer. It's probably beer with a fake label.
"Not sure' what they make this beer with.


Their evidence is *drinking six beers* and then claiming that they are getting poisoned. They haven't done any sort of measurements of the beer (ethanol/methanol level).

"Something is not right with the beer".

Then something about snake penis alcohol.

These guys are idiots. There is nothing credible about this testimony. Don't drink alcohol, it's bad for you.
SolRo - 2018-12-13
Clearly they mention being offered the first portion of a distillation batch which is mostly methanol.

I can guess the issue here is a ton of fake alcohol being mostly dye,chemical flavoring and the cheapest methanol laced distilled alcohol you can buy by the barrel

gmol - 2018-12-13
You can go blind on an awfully small amount of methanol. How is that they are drinking "mostly methanol"?

Meerkat - 2018-12-13
It depends on the distillation method. Methanol has a bp of 65 C, ethanol has a bp of 78 C. So the methanol comes off first.

gmol - 2018-12-13
I know what distillation is. SolRo's assertion was that what they were drinking was "mostly methanol", it doesn't seem to be the case because just 10 mL can make you blind.

blase - 2018-12-13
I usually only drink what the hosts are having (including baiju); as they have their favorites and are usually able to afford the quality brands. (You know it's quality stuff when it doesn't raise your blood pressure, wears off smoothly and doesn't give you a hangover.)

Once I may have had some 'fake' red wine that the restaurant supplied. Woke up the next day with vertigo and a generally unwell feeling. Later, a Chinese friend related the rumors about making "fake" alcoholic beverages by recycling empty bottles -- particularly popular labels.

Mostly agree about the food - China makes a better chicken stew than I've ever had in the USA. But I'll pass on their attempts at spaghetti

Anaxagoras - 2018-12-13
@gmol: 10 mL of methanol will only cause blindness under "optimum" conditions, and by "optimal" I mean "the worst possible".

Somebody recently posted a video (http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=169354) that goes in depth into this very question. The case study he discusses involves a dude drinking *way* more than 10 mL of methanol, and he survived the ordeal with no permanent damage. (thanks to immediate & excellent medical care)

BTW, these guys aren't normally idiots. I've watched a bunch of their videos, and they're usually pretty interesting & informative. But you're right, gmol, they really have no idea what they're talking about this time.

gmol - 2018-12-13
It's just that I'm left with no sense of what they mean. Are they selling water, food coloring and flavor extract in branded bottles? Large variance in ethanol concentrations? Methanol or some sort if other contamination?

Just sounds like crappy brewing, there are certainly a lot of ways it can be messed up. That makes a lot more sense than "chemicals" and going to a whole lot of trouble to make people feel sick with something that doesn't provide the feel good benefits of alcohol.

blase - 2018-12-13
One caveat about the food *is* the questionable safety standards, however. For example, fish farms can be located near polluted industrial areas and it's very common for farmers to dry their grain harvest on the roads (with traffic)...and those are the things I've seen. Have not seen what goes on in the produce and livestock industry but I'm sure that can be easily researched and it's probably not pretty. There are many other, more informative videos on this subject, so minus one star

gmol - 2018-12-13
Do you have good evidence for systematic bad safety standards for food production in China? Normalized to GDP per capita I bet they look pretty good.

There is the famous incident of melamine in formula in 2008 but China executed people who did that. Hard to ask enforcement that could be more serious.

Go to a country like India and the reason why you would get sick is bacterial infections in your stomach because people are handing food without washing their food damn hands. Food production is easier to keep safe vs handling.

gmol - 2018-12-13
well, I'll bet the majority is norovirus.

blase - 2018-12-14
@gmol: ‘GPD per capita’ be damned; China is a huge country with a lot of fragmentation on the local level in terms of food production, which probably makes it more difficult to systematize and more easy for people to get away with violations.

Google is your friend. You can enter a search using the terms “China” or “Chinese” plus “food safety violations”; “food scandal”; “slaughterhouse”; “toxic food”; “ food contamination”; “gutter oil”; “rat meat lamb”; “fake food”; “tilapia”; etc. etc. etc.

If I compiled a comprehensive list of citations, then this post would become annoyingly long and obtrusive.

I didn't specify at what economic tier or which kind of venue, but every city in China typically has numerous small, local markets and restaurants of varying degrees of quality and cleanliness.

While food safety in China is certainly better than the situation in India, it's still not up to the standards of western countries, although the government has been more recently cracking down on violators.

gmol - 2018-12-14
Or you can try being judicious and cite good summaries. You bring up tilapia, the reality of matter is that China supplies 40% of world production, the matter of safety is considerably nuanced and tied up in the world trade where safety is often a proxy for underlying economic intentions:

Food safety in China seems to be quite credible, and you need to factor in GDP per capita because a poor country obviously can't invest in safety to the same degree a rich country can. A good list of incidents is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_safety_incidents_in_China#A dulterated_pickled_vegetables

They are, no doubt, serious (but who would eat . stinky tofu anyway?) and worse than the US, but is isn't like it doesn't happen here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foodborne_illness_outbre aks_in_the_United_States

Food is messy business. There is a lot of manure involved.

blase - 2018-12-15
A video comments section isn't really the best format to be giving detailed reports with citations. My comment was meant to relate personal observations. I could make a video of those observations, but you'd have to wait until next year.

For the past decade, I've spend 1/3 of the year in China for work; have traveled outside of the popular touristed areas and have been out in the countryside, including those little hole-in-the-wall places, where the food is delicious but you don't know its origins.

The majority of those trips included at least one bout of some kind of digestive "issue" of some sort, to the point of knowing what to avoid or not. (Tip: oyster sushi of China origin is not recommended, and it's probably better to choose the "hot and spicy" dishes if possible).

"A poor country obviously can't invest in safety to the degree that a rich country can". This statement is pretty much an admission that one should be more cautionary, because by the same token, they also wouldn't be able to invest in the testing and monitoring of every last source and supplier. How many fish from all those fish farm ponds - in the wake of the dust of demolished buildings - are being tested for pesticides and other contaminants?

Therefore, reports such as the ones you cite can be flawed in that they may not give a full and accurate picture, just known incidences.

Moreover, while Americans may have a better understanding of places to avoid in their home country, they may not be familiar with the good and bad in a foreign country.

FWIW within the last few years, the Chinese government has been enforcing a "ratings" system for food vendors (using emoji symbols that must be prominently displayed). So for travelers who aren't being hosted by locals who are familiar with the area, my best advice would be to be judicious and look for the emojis in restaurants; consult TripAdvisor; etc.

Accidie - 2018-12-13
the newer breed of bros is really wicked annoying.
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