With the recent scandal regarding China and the melamine in pet food, we Americans are finally justified in our concern about food safety. But I just learned that food safety is not a concern shared by all cultures.
According to Clotaire Rapaille in his new book “The Culture Code – An ingenious way to understand why people around the world live and buy as they do”, the French are far more interested in taste than safety.
“In France, there is a method of preparation known as faisandee. It involves hanging a pheasant (the source of the name) or some other gamebird on a hook until it ages — literally, until it begins to rot.”
He goes on to say that “while most Americans would consider the thought of this alarming, French chefs utilize this method because it dramatically improves the flavor of the bird. Safety is not nearly as much of a concern for them or the people for whom they cook.”
I wonder about the mindset in the Chinese culture. I read recently that the Chinese put their tofu in formaldehyde which acts as a food preservative. Without it, the tofu lasts only a couple of days. Their customers, other Chinese, don’t notice the difference.
Does Maslow’s basic hierarchy of needs explain their lack of concern for safety because they must meet their basic physiological needs first?