Share this story...
Fresh food, China
Latest News

Ross: When fresh food ends up too fresh for comfort

An outdoor food market in Hong Kong. (Getty Images)

China has now declared an immediate and “comprehensive” ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals as food, because of the possibility that coronavirus made the leap from animals to humans at a live meat market in Wuhan.

I’ve been to markets that sell live food. I saw them as more honest than the way most of us buy our meat. You’re forced to see exactly where your food comes from.

When my daughter was in the Peace Corps, we visited her village in Niger, and the dinner special that first night was goat. It was tied up in the yard. The chief brought us the dried carcass for inspection the way a sommelier invites you inhale the bouquet. I told myself I would never have a fresher meal than this.

It was delicious, and here I am, perfectly healthy.

But now we know the downside of fresh, especially when it comes to fresh wild animals.

The lesson I take from this is that as much as we criticize our own food industry over the ethics of raising domesticated animals for food, and for over-processing everything, we have a situation here where food can be a little too fresh.

I think we are at a point in human history where you want your food to be super dead.

You want it domesticated, dried, sterilized, pressure-cooked, over-processed, bombarded by protons, whatever it takes.

So that by the time it ends up in the store, you know it has been a long time since it was in any condition to host a virus of any kind.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Most Popular