Fake plastic rice—totally convincing by sight, but potentially lethal to eat—has gone from urban legend to horrifying controversy in Nigeria, where a shipment of the stuff was intercepted and is undergoing tests. Is it plastic, or just really weird rice? Somehow everything's gotten murky and confusing.
Nigeria's food safety agency has denied claims by the health minister that it has cleared the reported "plastic" rice.
A senior official at the National Agency For Food and Drugs (Nafdac) said the minister's Twitter statement "is not their position".
Health Minister Isaac Adewole had tweeted that tests by the agency found "no evidence" of plastic material ... [but Latgos Customs Chief] Mr Mamudu had said the rice was very sticky after it was boiled and "only God knows what would have happened" if people ate it.
The BBC's Martin Patience in Lagos, who felt the rice, said it looked real but had a faint chemical odour.
Two and a half tons of "Best Tomato Rice" were seized and it's not clear if any has reached markets and stores. Tests should be complete in a few days.
"Whoever made it did a remarkable job," says the BBC's Martin Patience. "It feels like rice, the texture is amazing, but when you smell it, there's something not quite right."
I wonder if this is a symptom of the way commodities trading works. No-one doing the buying and selling ever gets near the goods, making the supply chain vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attackers adjacent to the source.
Seamus Blackley, "father of the Xbox," worked with Egyptologist Serena Love and microbiologist Richard Bowman to extract yeast from 4,500-year-old Egyptian bread-making and beer-making potter held in the collection of Harvard's Peabody Museum; though nearly all of the samples are being cultured for analysis and addition to a microorganism library, Blackley cultured one sample to […]
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Great Big Story went to Tokyo to visit five small restaurants that make different kinds of popular street foods: takoyaki (pieces of octopus in griddle-cooked balls of dough, yakisoba (fried noodles, meat, and vegetables), gyoza (Chinese dumplings), okonomiyaki (crepes with noodles, cabbage, pork, and egg), and taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes with sweet fillings). My mouth was […]
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Big companies take on big projects. When they do that, they need a project manager to lay out a roadmap for the entire team – and they’re typically willing to pay a big paycheck to the person who can fill those shoes. So what does it take to become a project manager? If you don’t […]