Hong Kong is known for its wide selection of cuisines. People enjoy the delicacies but at the same time, they always have an overshadowing fear of not knowing what is in their food.
This dilemma arises from the numerous news report in China with regards to how unethical food manufacturers use all sorts of methods to cut costs and make more profit by neglecting food safety and creating fake foods to trick consumers to pay more.
Most recent news report I’ve heard was using dyes to darken pork in attempt to disguise it as beef. Why would someone do this, you ask? It is because beef sells for a higher price, so by doing so, the seller has a greater profit margin.
I always hear people say they are somewhat afraid of what is in
their food but I never quite took it seriously. But, tonight I experienced it first hand.
I was having a nice Korean-style Barbecue dinner with the Boyfriend. We handpicked our protein from
a large selection of different red meats (it is a buffet style restaurant where you pick out the raw protein, take it back to your seat and grill it at the table).
We made sure we chose beef but somehow there was one tray that kind of stood out like a sore thumb. We double-checked the label on the tray and made sure it was beef; it was labelled “tenderloin beef”.
The weird thing was when we grilled the individual pieces, that special “tenderloin beef” did not cook like the rest. It did not turn into a deep brown colour and instead was a paler whitish colour….very much like pork. We took a bite, chewed it carefully and sure enough, “tenderloin beef” was no beef, it was heavily seasoned to disguise its flavour but the texture was certainly pork.
We felt cheated! What we thought was beef turned out to be pork. Perhaps it was the restaurant putting the raw protein in the wrong tray, or…it could have been fake beef. I will never know.
Regardless of whether or not it was fake beef that I ate tonight, the fear of not knowing what I put in my mouth when I eat out had become much more vivid after tonight. That means 2 things:
First, I will be more picky about what to eat when I am outside — which means less eating out and/or being more meticulous about food quality.
Second, will cook more at home since that’s the easiest way to know for sure what I put into my body and i have better control to eat the right amount of food (mostly veggies, some protein & grains) for optimal health.
Although we found fake beef midway through dinner, it didn’t bother us for long. We made it up by having more beef short ribs since there is no way to fake those (unless people has figured out a way to fake the bone part too?.).
Tonight’s dinner was definitely memorable – the fake beef incident was initially shocking but it also made this dinner blog-worthy and has once again reminded me of the benefits of cooking more and eating out less. Still an overall a positive experience, I’d say.
Have you ever encountered similar unhappy incident when you eat out?
Warning: raw “beef” images – not very pleasant looking.