Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dried black mushrooms from China 有防腐劑

[Information obtained from a forwarded email.]
It has been found that Mushrooms from China contain carbon disulfide
in them. Not sure what this chemical does if consumed and the amount
of concern.

So I googled to do a quick check out and found that carbon disulfide
is a pesticide/fungicide with acceptable/legal residue levels defined
for fresh/dried foods.

Anyway, safest is to dump the soak liquid and not use it in the cooking
process. China's regulations are questionable. This message is to
warn you against using the water you soak your mushrooms in.

Most of the mushrooms on the market are from China, and
are contaminated with chemicals (I think it is carbon disulfide,
or disulfide, (correct me if I am wrong) which are soluble in water.

You must discard the water that you soak the dried mushrooms in to
soften it.

According to Mr. L.W. Chan of the Health Department, most mushrooms
were smuggled into the country from China. The recent opening of
traffic between China and Taiwan made it difficult for the government
to control these illegal activities.

We can only suggest that we should best use Taiwanese mushrooms or
Japanese Shiitake Mushrooms.

It is advisable to soak them in water before cooking and the
water used to soak the mushrooms must be thrown away.

Mr. Chan continued to say that it is customary and a common practice
for people to cook the mushrooms with the water saved from soaking.

This habit should stop, because most fertilizers used in farming were
water soluble.

We still do not know the outcome of how the Japanese are looking at
our research but according to their tests in the past, it was known
that the mushrooms were contaminated by the fertilizer.

Mushrooms originally contained sulfur and when mixed in with
fertilizer, the carbonate test showed a 20% higher reading on carbon disulfide
which made it difficult to obtain a reliable reading on results.
Better be safe than sorry! :o)

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