Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monkey Meatballs – What’s In Your Food?

Yesterday, Indonesian police arrested two cooks for serving up meatballs made from the flesh of endangered monkeys.

About a dozen Silver-Leaf monkeys were poached from Baluran National Park, in Java Island by these “chefs” and the meat was used to make meatball soup (known locally as “bakso”) which is a local delicacy.

The rare monkeys were used because the pair couldn’t afford the more expensive beef or chicken usually used in the meatballs.

Here in North America, we’re more fortunate to have better controls on what goes on in our local eateries.

Or are we?

Just last week, a cop in Vancouver, Washington, USA found a big gob of spit on his burger, from the local Burger King. DNA testing was used on the burger, and matched up with the burger giant’s employee who made the burger. The burger flipper pleaded guilty to assault and the matter is before the courts.

A few years back, an Alberta, Canada food inspector found four skinned and gutted canines in a Chinese restaurant’s freezer. The inspector wasn’t able to determine from the carcasses if they were dogs or coyotes.

When we go out for a night on the town, or stop off at a fast food joint for a quick bite, we never really think about what we are putting into our bodies.

We don’t stop to think about whether the chef that tossed your salad washed his or her hands, if the kid that asked if you wanted fries with that spat in your burger, or if that burger itself is made from monkey, dog, or some other stuff, which might not be what we intended to consume.

Often we can’t see the food in a restaurant being prepared, usually we’re engaged in a social situation, and involved with the discussions with those at our table, instead of keeping a close eye on the cook.

The best advice is if something just doesn’t seem right, don’t eat it. If your beef burger doesn’t taste like what other beef burgers taste like, don’t eat it. If something which is supposed to be served cold isn’t refrigerator cold, don’t eat it. If something which is supposed to be served hot isn’t hot-from-the-oven hot, don’t eat it.

We can’t always control what goes into our food, but we can always control what goes into our mouths.

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