Warning: Don’t Eat the Food in China

See if you can guess what’s depicted in the photo below.

Some kind of iridescent mineral? A sea creature from the depths of the ocean? A moon rock perhaps?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s something you can buy at your local supermarket for a few dollars. And probably eat on a fairly regular basis.

Picture of glowing pork

Source: ChinaSmack

[Click to open in a new window]

Remarkably, those neon lumps are pork.

Back in 2011, a series of reports surfaced in China regarding pork that glowed an iridescent blue when the kitchen lights were turned off.

The pork pictured above was purchased at a Chinese market in Shanghai and posted online, sparking responses from other consumers who had also experienced the strange phenomena of glow in the dark meat.

After mass confusion and panic, the Shanghai Health Supervision Department organised a food safety commission into the pork, which eventually concluded that it had been contaminated by a radiating, phosphorescent bacteria.

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Despite the department’s claim that the pork was still safe to eat if cooked thoroughly, the Chinese public was understandably dubious. Aside from a few daring individuals, I’m sure most people wouldn’t be keen to find out what radiating pork tastes like.

But unfortunately, in China this story is far from extraordinary.

Most of us know of the melamine-tainted baby formula scandal that wrought havoc in 2008, leaving six babies dead and 300,000 children ill. But for those who live in mainland China, this was just one incident in a string of food contamination scandals that still occur today.

In 2011, it was found that 10% of rice produced in China was contaminated by heavy metals. In the same year, evidence surfaced that one third of dumplings and steamed buns contained dangerous levels of aluminium, and that a large portion of milk sold had been exposed to leather-hydrolyzed protein in a bid to enhance its value.

Other scandals included a University commission in 2010 which found that one in 10 meals in China were cooked with recycled ‘sewer oil’, which was scavenged from the drains behind restaurants. And that a large portion of take-away boxes contained a toxic chemical that had the potential to cause liver and kidney disease.

Fast forward to 2018, and there has been little improvement. Just this month it was uncovered that over 900,000 vaccines intended for children were found to be defective — causing mass outrage and even further distrust in China’s regulatory bodies. 

And it was only last year that underground businesses were found to be producing fake seasonings and sauces using industrial grade salt — a chemical which is extremely harmful to human health.

Understandably, the Chinese don’t trust their food producers. Or their restaurant owners. Or even their medical professionals.

When it comes to quality produce, they look elsewhere. Often to outside nations which are perceived to have superior health and food safety standards. And which have dependable, steady supply chains.

One such nation is Australia.

The lucrative ‘daigou’ market:

After hearing the stories of China’s poisonous, glowing, metal-contaminated food, our nation seems like culinary paradise.

Here in Australia, we’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh, clean produce and reliable industries.

We’re world-renowned for our ‘clean and green’ environment and our world-class safety standards, not only in food production, but in healthcare, cosmetics and supplements.

Which is why, aside from our own consumers, there is a huge market for Chinese nationals buying our products from overseas.

The dominant and age-old way this exchange is practiced is through Chinese shoppers referred to as ‘daigou’.

Daigou roughly translates to ‘buying on behalf of’, and essentially involves a network of shoppers who buy things for Chinese nationals to send it back overseas.

These shoppers, who are usually international students or Chinese migrants, are on the lookout for anything of quality that China lacks. Whether that be baby formula, skincare, vitamins, clothing, dairy products or fresh produce.

Daigou are paid a decent commission for their service, as well as the purchasing cost of the items, making it a very lucrative line of work to be in.

It’s also great business for Australia. In 2015, one Melbourne freight company revealed it was shipping 20 tonnes of shopping to China every week. A figure that has no doubt continued to go up as the daigou network in Australia has expanded.

With the Chinese middle-class booming, and the global demand for quality, organic goods skyrocketing, Australian businesses are in for a treat. Companies who sell goods that are in high demand are in a prime position to benefit from the growing daigou market — and could shoot to fame much like a2 Milk and Bellamy’s have.

When putting together his new report, Ryan Dinse was keenly aware of this opportunity. In it, he outlines three explosive ‘Pink Gold’ stocks which daigou consumers are likely to go mad for.

These Aussie stocks harness the Chinese market, and the trends that are growing ever popular within it. And thanks to daigou shoppers, these companies could soon become household names both in Australia and China.

Ryan’s report is due to be released early next week, so keep an eye on your inbox. Because, if you get in early, you could be one of the lucky few investors who potentially make exponential gains off this opportunity.

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This week in Markets & Money:

The RBA left interest rates at the record low of 1.5% again last week. Rates have now remained unchanged for two years. And as Selva wrote on Monday, with the way global economies are going at the moment, Australians should expect to see them decrease even further…

To learn more, click here.

While you may have heard a lot about cryptocurrencies in the media, very few people actually invest in them. Currently, only 8% of Americans own a crypto. But as Selva wrote on Tuesday, that doesn’t imply that cryptos are dead. In fact, the technology behind them, blockchain, is booming now more than ever…

To read the full story, click here.

People are living longer, working longer, and saving less. With low wage growth, high cost of living and two recessions behind us, it’s not hard to see why. And as Selva wrote on Wednesday, for seniors, the coming years are a cause for worry rather than hope.

To learn more, click here.

Property prices in Melbourne and Sydney are falling. And as Selva wrote on Thursday, the price falls are dragging other sectors down with it too.

To find out which industries are in danger, click here.

Are robots the solution to Japan’s ageing population? If Selva’s Friday article is anything to go by, Japan’s preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be a glimpse into our automated future.

To read the full story, click here.


Until next week,

Katie Johnson,

Editor, Markets & Money

Katherine Johnson, usually going by just ‘Katie’, is a member of Port Phillip Publishing’s editorial team, as well as the Editor of the Saturday edition of Markets & Money. Katie works with all of your editors to maintain the quality of their research and analysis. In her Saturday Markets & Money articles she specialises in cryptocurrency and technology stories, and brings you a recap of the week from your other Markets and Money editors.

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