Monday, September 22, 2008 ;
9:12 PM
Tainted milk and dairy products

The whole world is talking about this now, so I need not elaborate on the details of this piece of news. I shall just talk about how MUCH it has affected me!

Initially, I was horrified when I heard about the Sanlu formula milk and how many babies have been poisoned by it. But I was personally affected because ds2 was totally breastfed, never did drink a drop of formula milk.

But then now, more and more products have been found tainted, and it is just too much. The numbers who are affected will come up to millions!

This excerpt is from a news article:
"China's three biggest dairy producers by market value -- Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., China Mengniu Dairy Co. and Bright Dairy & Food Co. -- are among companies whose products contain melamine, according to the government. At least 19 other Chinese producers have been found to have used melamine. "

1. Fresh milk and UHT milk
When I first got here, and needed to buy fresh milk as well as packet UHT milk for the kids as a breakfast drink and school packed drink respectively, I checked all the brands very carefully. I read all the fine print on the packages. And you know how slowly I read the Chinese characters and how little of the scientific names and ingredients I understand, since they are in the Chinese form. Yet I spent the time to read everything.

I had narrowed down my choices (there were countless local brands) to 3: Yili, Mengniu and SanYuan. Why? They are large reputable companies, with farms in Inner Mongolia where the air is supposed to be very fresh, non-polluted and the grass greener, literally. Yili is also the official Olympics sponsor.

Then I compared the prices, and I decided to play safe and go for the expensive ones. I figured, over here, to cut costs, they will substitute ingredients with those of lesser quality. So I buy fresh milk of the SanYuan brand and packet milk of the Mengniu brand.

To tell the truth, both brands of milk taste good too. Especially the UHT milk from Mengniu. (Starbucks chains here use Mengniu milk, and now they're pulling all the Mengniu milk off their shelves too).

I bought the premium full cream milk version, which is the most expensive of its range, and it tastes very rich and creamy. Both my kids and I love the taste. And I'll drink cold packets of it when I feel like it too!

After having gone through maybe at least 36 packets of the milk, now you tell me that Mengniu is one of the companies having melamine in the milk??!?!?! All at once, I feel a pain in my kidneys! Maybe I have a few stones growing in there now!! What to do, am I dying soon??

I still have maybe 20 packets in my pantry and each costs S$1. Throw them all away? Man, this is causing me physical pain and financial loss! Mental stress! Emotional strain!

2. White rabbit milk sweets
And then Singapore also found traces of melamine in White Rabbit Milk Sweet. Argh! I have an opened packet of the milk sweets in my pantry right now, and my kids have already gone through almost the whole packet!

Please, let me know how much melamine is in there, and how it is affecting my kids!!

3. M&Ms, Magnum, Cornetto, Dutch Lady
Now they say a whole host of other products are found tainted too. Of those many, I have consumed the above.

Our family, including the kids, have eaten M&Ms in rather large amounts, at birthday parties, and gatherings and in my pantry, there are 4 packets right now, for special occasions. Have to throw again.

Magnum ice cream. Our family, especially Dh and I, have a soft spot for the Magnum ice cream. Since we came here, we have been indulging in the Magnum almond ice cream, Magnum cappucino and Magnum chocolate ice cream. We have eaten so many, I don't know how many to count even. Right now in my freezer, there are 3x6 Magnum ice cream sticks too. Throw!

Cornetto. We have all eaten that too. Not as much as the Magnum but also several times. The kids love the choc cones, and we have bought them regularly because the summer weather had been very hot.

Dutch Lady was more in Singapore. I usually buy Dutch Lady or Magnolia UHT milk. For fresh milk, I always buy Meiji.

Sigh. I have lost faith and trust in almost every thing produced here now. I doubt even the water I drink each day, fearing my kids are having some bioaccumulation of toxins and heavy metals with each sip.

What are we going to do from now on, since we are here and will have no choice but to still eat and survive?

1. Only buy from e-mart and Isetan. No choice, have to spend a bit more and get from reputable supermarkets.
2. Only buy imported goods. No choice, have to spend more and at least have faith when we eat the stuff. Peace of mind is very important.
3. Do not eat too much of the same thing. At least, if there is poison, we don't consume too much of it.
4. Pray really fervently before eating anything.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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