Tea for Emperors and Tibet – Kombucha Fermented Tea – Part 5/5

January 21, 2012

Sometimes I wonder about the sanity of most Americans. It seems they will drink or eat anything that arrives on an attractive plate or in a fancy bottle. I read a piece recently that said Lindsay Lohan and other Hollywood types like Madonna, Kirsten Dunst and Halle Berry are into this new (but old) synergy drink called Kombucha.

No one knows for sure where this fermented tea originated but recorded history says it started in Russia during the late 19th century.

However, promotional material says the drink comes from ancient China or Japan. In fact, some say that kombucha, known as Godly Tsche, dates back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and was “a beverage with magical powers enabling people to live forever”. Since the first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, didn’t live forever, we can discount that claim.

I asked my wife about this tea and she said that as a child she saw it being fermented and that the stuff floating around inside the jar reminded her of dead cockroaches.

Once someone like Pepsi or Coke gets hold of something old like this there is no telling what kind of chemicals will be added. If you want to make this tea, click Kombucha Tea for the home brew recipe.

If you believe the health claims of this tea, you may want to learn about the Chinese “Chong Cao“. Remember, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t evaluated any of these claims.

Return to Tea for Emperors and Tibet – Part 4 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This five-part series of posts on “Tea for the Emperors and Tibet” first appeared May 2010, as The Magic of “Puer” Tea, The Tea Horse Road, and Kambucha Fermented Tea.

Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 2/2

August 15, 2011

If you read Part 1 of this two part series, you may be thinking it isn’t safe to eat in China.

However, Wall Street Journal.com says, “Struggles with food safety are not a specifically Chinese problem. Many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, have gone through similar growing pains in the food industry, says Wu Ming, a professor at Beijing University’s school of public health.”

Professor Ming is correct. Down to Earth.org reports, “Every day in the US about 200,000 people become sick, 900 are hospitalized and 14 die (that’s more than 5,000 annually) due to food borne illnesses (and few if any are punished for these deaths). According to the Center for Disease Control, about one quarter of the American population suffers from food poisoning each year.”

New U.S. Laws for food safety cover all food except meat, poultry and some egg products and there are other exceptions too.

If you believe China is not doing anything about food safety, think again. I Googled total arrests in China over food safety and the result was more than 1.5 million hits.  The first one mentioned 191 officials (in 2010 — meaning government employees) that were punished for failing to do their duty in food safety,” and some were sent to prison.

The second hit mentioned 774 (in 2007) arrested in China over food safety.

In addition, Sustainable Business Forum.com says, “Unlike the U.S., China arrests Food Safety Violators.”

Helena Bottemiller of Food Safety News.com recently reported, “Current statutes (in the U.S.) do not provide sufficient criminal sanctions for those who knowingly violate our food safety laws,” said Leahy, who has become an outspoken advocate of food safety reform. “Knowingly distributing adulterated food is merely a misdemeanor right now, and the Sentencing Commission has found that it generally does not result in jail time.”

In conclusion, if you are in the food industry in China and want to take short cuts regarding food safety to boost profits while possibly killing people along the way, the U.S. is a safer place to commit murder. In China, you might go to jail or even be executed.

What does that say about America?

Return to or start with Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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