By Paul Chung
St. Patrick’s Day reared its ugly green head when a Shanghai resident discovered that her seemingly normal shrimp unexpectedly turned green once heated.
Weibo user @Christy蜜酱 was shocked to discover that the shrimp heads had turned green when she opened the microwave. She immediately posted an image online. “The green head shrimp Weibo was shared over 1000 times. It seems as if everyone is very concerned about food safety,” she said this past Sunday.
One Weibo user joked, “This is a new type of product called ‘jade shrimp.’ Coupled with its high price, you can now attain a high position of authority with this product.”
The shrimp were purchased from a seafood market in Shanghai and cost 58 yuan per pound.
Netizens speculated that the green matter was directly linked to malachite green, an anti-fungus, cancer-inducing toxic additive commonly used in aquatic farming.
On the other hand, experts firmly maintain that the green matter is due to algae build-up that became visible once the water collected in the shrimp head dried.
The green head shrimp scandal is a fresh addition to the never-ending health and food-safety scare narrative in China. This particular incident in Shanghai piggybacks on the ongoing and much-publicized 2013 Huangpu River hog wash scandal.