You know food safety’s hit rockbottom when people feel safer “moonshining” their own cooking oil. That’s right, myriad gutter oil scandals have prompted Chinese to not only buy foreign imports, but to press their own oil in their backyards as well, SMCP reports:
Three years ago after a series of scandals revealed that millions of tonnes of cooking oil was being recycled and sold back to consumers, Cui Ronghua, a peanut exporter from the eastern port of Qingdao, decided to do something about it. His children were already drinking baby formula bought from overseas and the family cooked with imported olive oil.
“I know all about peanuts and sell some of the best to Japan and Europe. I thought, ‘why can’t I make the best oil for the kindergarten of my children,’” he said.
Cui spent 1.2 million yuan (HK$1.5 million) on an oil press, opened a workshop, hired an elderly oil-grinding expert and visited about 30 similar manufacturers to learn about the process.
His first batch of oil was finally produced in December last year.
Cui publishes full details of the production process online so customers know the quality of his product is assured. He also has the oil tested by quality controllers to safeguard standards. Some bottles of his oil, branded under the name Virtue Happiness, fetch as much as 75 yuan online.
Cui, and others like him have also made selling oil presses extremely lucrative, with some companies selling up to 1,000 per month.
It’s impressive but also sad to think that oil being processed in some guy’s backyard is probably more trustworthy than the store-bought stuff.
Now, we just need people to set up backyard lamb slaughterhouses, ice machines, rice paddies, bottling plants, and about a bajillion other things.