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That Corn Sold On The Street In China? It Is Drenched In Harmful Additives

Posted: 07/10/2014 4:53 pm

street corn fake food safetyWhenever you’ve waited for the bus, you’ve likely caught a whiff of the sweet aroma of corn wafting towards you from a pot over at the the newspaper stand. The mystery lingers: how can something only prepared with boiling water look and smell so good?

After a Henan man got sick after eating three ears of corn in a row, a reporter from the Henan Economic Report went in search of the answer, and it’s not pleasant: streetside boiled corn is prepared with artificial sweeteners and additives.

The reporter said vendors readily confessed to using food additives to prepare boiled corn. Their enthusiasm to disclose the information was based on the fact they consider this an “open secret” that everyone already knows about. One vendor offered this immensely quotable sentence:

There are most definitely additives used in boiled corn.

street corn fake food safetyAnother vendor even gave the name of the food additive market that is popular among vendors. It turns out artificial sweeteners are available for purchase at 30 to 45 yuan each at the Wankelai Foodstuff market. One store owner says artificial sweeteners are big business, and that she sells four to five bottles a month:

What it mainly does is make it more fresh, and helps preserve it longer in which the longer it cooks, the more sweet it smells.

Another store manager said:

This is an additive that can increase sweetness. It is 50 times sweeter than white sugar. Many peddlers will buy this in cases of 25 or 50kg.

street corn fake food safetyLi Chunqi, a botany professor at the Henan Agricultural University, says that using excessive amounts of this food additives or using them for a long period of time will harm human health. Furthermore, Li says it is against the law add sweeteners or additives to raw foods.

If you still have the urge to eat sweet corn in China, you can try and identify which corn has been coated in additives. Apparently “fake corn” will wrinkle when cool, and has a decidedly “gummy” texture. Of course, you could always buy corn at the supermarket and make it at home.

street corn fake food safety

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