and of course Malachite Green is a carcinogen. W5 has always been a great news program, and tonight they examine the quantity of food being exported from China… plus they got limited but supervisedvideo footage of Chinese food processing and farming facilities.

I snacked on a can of Tasteful brand of smoked mussels earlier this afternoon. They are made in China, imported by Dollarama, and sold at CAD $1.00 for an 85g tin.

Can’t make my mini-cold any worse… or can it ? :/

OK, it’s on now on W5.. lead story. Liveblogging it:


China has gone from being the number 8 producer of food imported to Canada to number 2 – right behind the US….

Video shows a fish / shrimp farming operation where the fish farmer (on a plywood “raft”) throws food to his fish just a few dozen meters where someone else is spreading pesticides on a field…

Bill Chu got incredibly sick after eating mixed frozen seafood that he cooked…. 10 minutes after, his head became bloated and had to go to ER.

He has been lobbying Ottawa to take action – Malachite Green is a food processing additive that is a carcinogen apparently, and is used to treat fish and seafood in China…. but not allowed in Canada.

They interviewed a rep (missed her name) from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency … and she said that they now test a sample of EVERY shipment coming in (since 2005) for Malachite Green.

A year and a half later … W5 did it themselves for a Dacefish picked up in Toronto… at the T&T Supermarket…

Leucomalachite Green showed up in that fish…… and according to the CFIA it should not have made it in.

Now Bob Kingston of the union representing CFIA food inspectors (and a former food inspector himself) says that they’re understaffed… well of course. He says they are being reactive in terms of food inspection – someone has to get sick before they react.

Now about Veggie Booty a snack by Robert’s American Gourmet.. infected with a rare strain of salmonella… a family bought it for their family.. they always bought organic…. but their daughter ate it – had a fever of 105F for several days and then passing blood! 60 other people got sick from here. It said product of New York….

The loophole ? Product of Canada vs. Made in Canada. For example… apple juice with ingredients from else.. import it and bring it here and add water… voila. Apple Juice product of Canada.

CTV W5 staffer posed as a consumer, phoning major cereal manufacturers asking if their cereals had ingredients from China .. over the phone – the answer? They don’t know. “It’s not information they track”

The exception was Kellogs who sent a full list of ingredients and their sources…

Jamieson Vitamins – largest makers of vitamins in Canada… went to China to monitor… and they visited China and said the manufacturing facilities in China did not look fit for any sort of human consumption type products – food…. pills, etc. So now they (Jamieson) sticks to large multinational companies in China – and tests regularly everything they bring in.

Now the irony is that my plan for dinner tonight is …. shrimp and scallops – but they’re from Thailand! with basmati….

Health Canada has launched with information about food and consumer / child product recalls – it was launched October 24th.

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A little recap on the weekend; yesterday was the final swimming lessons session at the Centre aquatique de Chambly (sidenote : this excellent multimillion dollar aquatic facility has their site hosted on Tripod – yikes but anyhow!)

Well, anyhow, it was a great session – Zachary had his exam the weekend prior, and passed and will move on to the Salamandre group next January. This group is done without a parent accompanying him in the water. So for him, this session was a “fun” session and he sure had fun. The session started off with a bit of poolside dancing and then it was off in the water. There was a water rally with 4 stages – sliding down a mat off the poolside, then climbing onto a floating tunnel and jumping off… sliding down a small and large poolside waterslide. He did them all with gusto, even though I find the water temperature in their main pool (25m) really cold. The fact that he has purple lips after about 10 minutes in the water says a lot.

But the clincher was… when we went to the deep end of the pool and he decided to try out the 3 foot (1 meter) diving board… well, he approached the end kind of tentatively… but alone while I was treading in the water just below. I tried getting the attention of mom and grandma in the stands, but they were watching Tristan.

Well Zachary jumped in all alone – he only turned 3 a couple of months ago barely! He went a foot or so under water and I caught him… he came up and said… ENCORE! So again he went, and this time, just before the edge of the board, mom and Oma were watching, and he sprang down again, much to all of our amazement. I think I was petrified of even the lowest diving board until the age of 6-7…

Tristan did well also, and it was his exam day in the Salamandre group. We knew that he had done lots of improvements of the courses, including going in without his flotation belt, and improving his skills. He jumped off the 3 foot diving board without a belt, but with a bit of help and encouragement from the instructors. So he is going to continue in the Salamandre group in January to fork on his swimming (forward movement), face in the water, and also jumping into water skills. Bravooo!!

After the swim session, we again went back to Pushap Sweets on Paré Street in Montreal. It’s an excellent Indian vegetarian place, expanded about 2 years ago. We all enjoyed paratha, dal, raita, and a variety of other delicious thali plate offerings.

For dessert, we shared Gulab Jamun, rossagolla, Dilbahar. Grabbed 2 dozen of their awesome samosas to go and headed back home. On the way back, I decided to stop on the plateau and pick up some St Viateur fresh sesame bagels. Got a bit lost heading down St. Denis and then back up St. Laurent, but it was worth the detour.

Today, we went downtown to the Ogilvy store on Saint Catherine, and paid tribute to their classic Christmas window display, with all the mechanical Steiff dolls and bears and animals in the village. Those Steiff dolls are really well made – hey, it’s German design, what can I say 😉 They loved the display, but I had some tech problems with my Smartmedia card in my old Toshiba PDR-M70 digicam, so the pics didn’t work 🙁

We came home, they didn’t nap much, but rested.

Had a Parisian style baguette, paté, cheese dinner, with milk, water, and a bit of natural apple juice.

We watched an interesting PBS special on the rescue of animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. After 3 weeks, they found one severely dehydrated bull dog… they gave it water and it drank 3 gallons of water non stop.

Then a couple of special bedtime stories – I’ve started recounting my recollections of my youth to them which they find interesting. Yes, daddy was once a little boy too 😉

Oh, and clementines and apples as always are snacks that they both love. 🙂

OK, sleep time as this wonderful weekend with the boys draws to a close and I get ready for another… challenging and rewarding week at work!

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