Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Herbal Soup in China: Truth or Fallacy?

BABY HERBAL SOUP in China?! I don’t know how to react on this kind of horrifying news. I asked my cousin who, for the last month, tried to send me the forwarded message attached with pictures from her Yahoo email account. I tried researching for the authenticity of the information and I’d found supporting facts about this so-called exotic food in China. You'll have to find out if this true or not...a HOAX, in other words.

My exact sentiment about this information is horrible. How on Earth should the government of China allowed this kind of treatment to human fetuses? I can’t even eat my vegetable soup whenever I remember the vivid photos of the procedure of cooking such kind of soup dish documented by local reporter-photographer in one of the town of Canton (pronounced Guangdong), a Chinese place famous for its noodles.

The shocking news circulated in China as early as year 2008.

Baby Herbal Soup

The reasons behind the making of the so-called baby herbal soup is health and sexual stamina. It is an unusual delicacy that is steamed/boiled with chicken meat and mixed with expensive herbs for at least eight hours. It costs about 4,000.00 dollars (or more than a hundred thousand yuan, currency in China. So, only the wealthy or the rich could afford this kind of delicacy.

The Revelation of a Factory Manager

When asked by a reporter, a local factory manager who was already 62 years back then testified that he is a regular customer of the baby herbal soup. He remarried again to a 19-year old woman (now 20) and the soup made his libido or sex prowess alive.

He took the reporter to the restaurant when he was informed by the manager that the “spare rib soup”, code name for baby soup was already available.

The Horrible Reality in China

The one child policy of China brought danger and fears to families who wanted more babies.

One case was stated that there was a couple who had already two daughters and the woman became pregnant again. She had no choice but to abort the third baby which according to the ultrasound was also a girl.`

There are costs or prices for babies according to certain situations. If the baby dies a natural death, the buyer will pay for 6000 yuan. Those aborted ones cost a few hundred yuan. If a couple don’t want to sell their dead baby, the placenta will be a good alternative and be bought for two hundred yuan. (I thought, placenta is also an ingredient for a special soap used by women.)

Reporter's Comment

The reporter who covered this shocking event commented that the concern of Chinese government on health and one child policy backfired on them. The policy emphasizes on having male babies that forced families with female babies to sell them or leave them in an orphanage.

Lost in translation

I cannot read Chinese, much more write it. I understand a few words like Ni hao ma (How are you?) or thank you (shezhen). I don’t know; I’m really bothered by the article made by the local newspaper in Canton.

What happened or existing in that town is really sickening. At least, you already have an idea about what is happening in China nowadays. Exotic or fancy food? I’ll better stick to vegetables and familiar dishes that I know.

Valuable links

I was not the only one who featured this kind of hoax, a revelation that can put a nation to shame because an email scam continues to circulate in many parts of the world everyday.

  • Ethical Martini, the name of the blog site featured the title 'Baby Herbal Soup' last June 3, 2008 and updated it last February 4, 2009. Urban legend meets email scam to the fullest!!!
  • Ba Kut Teh: The China Way of Cooking Hoax also denounces the email scam.
  • The site features pictures of gruesome origins, like killings or execution, humiliating the dead ones, suicide, et cetera, including the pictures of the so-called Baby Herbal Soup.
There are about 22, 700 searches regarding the topic: Baby Herbal Soup in China. It was even featured in many television shows and forums, as well, like in Singapore, the rest of Asia, US, Europe and other parts of world. The news was really sensational, that until now, it created too much stirs and fright to those who have seen the pictures.

When a documentary about Zhu Yu and other "transgressive"Chinese artists in the UK way back 2003 was aired on television, people complained in a terribly upset tones.

A channel 4 spokesman still aired the interview with Zhu Yu and his colleagues, although the public reacted negatively about it.

Zhu Yu was heard quoting: "No religion forbids cannibalism."

"Nor can't I find any laws that prevent us from eating people. I took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it."

Mr. Yu claims to be a Christian and further said that religion plays a major role in his work.

So there. Are there any proof that this hub is true?

Maguindanao link

I kept on asking myself about the atrocities that are happening in many parts of the world, especially human rights violations. Babies have the right to live. Journalists killed in Maguindanao, Mindanao, Philippines have the right for freedom of expression. Oppressing our basic needs is inhumane.

This is not a hoax anymore.