Cuba’s Adulterated Products
October 15, 2014
HAVANA TIMES — A friend told me about something that happened to her at
a private cafeteria in Alamar, the peripheral neighborhood where she
lives in Havana. She was served what was supposedly a glass of
watermelon juice. When she had finished drinking it, they told her that
what she had drunk was actually 90 percent cucumber juice. The way she’d
been had angered her and made her want to throw up on the counter.
She had enjoyed the juice and saying how tasty she thought it was
apparently encouraged the clerk to reveal the truth: “Girl, I used one
tiny slice of melon and about ten cucumbers to make this. See how much
melon juice I got out if it?” My friend looked at the lady as though she
wanted to kill her.
She left without saying anything to the adulterator. It would have been
good to tell her that it was unacceptable to cheat people that way,
selling cucumber juice as watermelon juice. My friend likes cucumber
only in salads. Vendors also adulterate pineapple juice, adding rice
water to it. At cafeterias, my friend always asks whether the juice has
any rice in it, so as not to buy it. She likes rice only with chicken,
or with an avocado and omelets.
There’s a danger inherent to providing people with false information
about food contents. We know there are people who are allergic to
certain food products and reactions to these can be deadly. One must
have an adequate amount of information to do anything, really, for, as
someone once said, “ignorance kills.”
A few days ago, I met someone who’s allergic to peanuts. As chance would
have it, I was holding a paper cone with peanuts when he told me of his
allergy. We were standing dangerously close to one another when I lost
my balance (I was barefoot) and I almost rubbed his arm with my hand,
which was covered with the allergen. He jumped backwards and landed far
away from me, looking at me as one does a murderer. I thought he had to
eat it for it to do him harm, but no, he told me that rubbing a peanut
on his skin was enough to put him in danger.
Many products have been adulterated in Cuba as a result of shortages:
minced meat, coffee, milk and other things. This is a dangerous habit,
as consumers can never be sure whether they’re ultimately purchasing
food or poison.
Source: Cuba’s Adulterated Products – Havana Times.org –