Despite a burgeoning economy, food safety problems continue to plague Chinese markets. Dairy products, wine, bean curd, rice noodles, mushrooms and cooking oil have all recently presented problems, leading more and more Chinese consumers to join and start collective organic farms. These farms operate under the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model we are familiar with in the states, regularly delivering members fresh, seasonal produce.
Although the Chinese government has promised more transparency, better inspections and harsher penalties for violations, 70 percent of citizens still feel insecure about food safety. Even some government agencies have turned to growing their own food to avoid problems.
Twenty-eight-year-old Shi Yan is a development exert who opened Little Donkey Farm in 2009. She was inspired to bring organic farming to Beijing’s semi-rural suburbs after spending six months working at the Earthrise CSA in Madison, Minnesota. However, Shi says her parents were socked that she chooses to lead a “peasant” lifestyle after earning so an advanced degree. “The purpose is not making money, but sustaining farmers on the land, and teaching city people the importance of protecting our planet and the soil.”
Via USA Today.
January 24th, 2011