Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

rezaf

dangerous eating habits in China

Recommended Posts

rezaf

The more I learn about microorganism and immunology, the more I'm getting worried about following Chinese custumes while I am here. As you might have noticed Chinese people share food and if we consider the deseases that can be transmitted by saliva we will have many dangerous diseases. My wife is Chinese and I have to go to dinner with her family and colleagues all the time. Is there a way to explain this to them without offending them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

anonymoose

No. You will offend them. Just disinfect yourself with copious quantities of baijiu.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

Think of it this way, by exposing yourself to small amounts of germs through their saliva, you'll be building up a gradual resistance for your own immune system ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu

Don't think about that stuff too much. Your body can conquer most dangerous bacteria and such without a problem. Besides, you kiss your wife, I assume, without thinking about the dangers lurking in her saliva, and who knows who she has been having dinner with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

If you're the worrying sort, why not ask to look at the kitchen first, not the menu. Or visit a slaughterhouse.

As above, there really are some things in China -- and elsewhere -- that you shouldn't dwell on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rezaf

Sharing food is too important for business and family in China. Even if I don't share food with strangers how would I know if someone from the family didn't get anything in a business dinner from a stranger. Some of these germs are very hard to remove from the body. Some will stay(even without any visible symptoms) for many years and cause problems like cancer and herpes. Alcohol(unless it's 70%~80%) and even boiling water of a shared hot pot can't really kill all the germs. For example Hepatitis B virus can live for 10 minutes in boiling water. Strange forms are viruses are emerging everyday that can't be killed by known medicine and thanks to antibiotics now we have bacteria that are resistant to everything. Vaccination is the best way I know but it's very limited.

BTW I'm not the worrying sort. My wife's little causin has been very sick for the last two months with a bacterial disease and there is simply no antibiotic that can kill the bacteria. These things don't happen a lot but when they happen they are very serious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kdavid

As I tell all newcomers, there are hundreds of millions of people living like this, and I don't see any massive epidemics sweeping them all to the netherworld.

If it ain't killing them, it ain't gonna kill me. That goes for food, water, air, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adrianlondon

If you go on the basis that the Chinese aren't all dropping dead in the street from sharing food, then it's likely not such a big problem. No doubt more hygenic to not share, but even in other countries you don't really know how clean the cutlery is that you're using.

Typically, in posh places, you use communal chopsticks (as mentioned above) for serving, or you swivel the ones you're using around so that one end is used to serve and the other is for eating. You could do that and see if yor wife's family comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy-meiguoren
Think of it this way, by exposing yourself to small amounts of germs through their saliva, you'll be building up a gradual resistance for your own immune system

I have not heard of anyone gaining resistance to foodborne illnesses. You'll just get sick again.

Would anyone want to take a bite off the same food item that was bitten on by someone with canker sores? Or hepatitis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rezaf

It is true that being too concerned about hygene(for example overusing soaps and ...) is not good and reduces your body's natural amount of bacteria and in some ways decreases your bodies immune system's ability but sharing people's saliva is not really the right way of exposing yourself to germs when your have dangerous diseases like hepatitis. Viruses like HAV are very common in China and one of the most important reasons is sharing food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy-meiguoren
Viruses like HAV are very common in China and one of the most important reasons is sharing food.

Diligently washing hands before eating will greatly reduce even that risk - especially when you understand the biggest source of Hep-A.

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/index.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rezaf

It reduces the risk in countries that don't have a habit of sharing saliva everyday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy-meiguoren
I don't see any massive epidemics sweeping them all to the netherworld.

It's not that people die soon after sharing food, unless they are sharing Kool-Aid, Jonestown style. My question is, what ailments can be traced to this tradition? What doesn't kill you doesn't necessarily make you stronger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zozzen

Actually I think Chinese is tolerate of all "normal" requests of foreigners, because they take it for granted that Chinese is exceptional and different. So without thinking too much, rezaf shouldn't feel hesitated to ask for "public chopsticks".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rezaf

It's not like SARS kind of epidemic cuz no one eats dinner with a patient with that kind of disease but it doesn't mean there are no risks. The high numbers of HAV patients in comparison to other countries surely is a warning. As I said there are many diseases that can be transmitted through saliva and cause chronic conditions that might cause cancer or other problems many years later. Even if it's herpes(HSV is one of the most contagious viruses) on your lips or in your mouth it can be a pain in the ass for the rest of your life.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...