If youre living in Shanghai, youve undoubtably heard about the pigs that were found in the Huangpu River, which is the source of Shanghai tap water.

This very scary Foreign Policy article which tries to connect the recent pollution of water supply with 2 deaths of a new form of influenza (H7N9) that came out today has prompted me to write this post.

So, what can we do?

1) DO NOT drink the tap water.

All foreigners in China know this, but its important to not drink the tap water, especially now. For the past couple of months now, Ive been using bottled water for all types of cooking, including making pasta, rice, noodles, etc. I want to minimize any of the tap water getting inside my body.

Its worth noting here that any Chinese restaurant you go to will undoubtably be using tap water to make their rice. So just keep that in mind.

Im still using the tap water to brush my teeth, but if youre really worried, using bottled water for that is such a minimal cost that it might be a good idea.

2) Dont eat Chinese fish.

Ive stuck to this for most of my time in China. When you consider the purity of the rivers, its probably best not to eat animals that live in them.

3) Dont eat Chinese produced pork (or chicken?).

Until this blows over, its probably best to stay away from pork. There has also recently been a scare about live chickens, so Id stay away from chicken as well.

4) Wash your fruit and vegetables, and peel them too.

Finally, on a personal note, Ive been (mostly) a vegan since December, and when this news came out, it definitely made me glad of my decision. I know theres probably plenty of nasty stuff on the vegetables, but I just feel like they are probably safer than the meat. Also, you can get canned and imported veggies and fruit here in Shanghai.

Oink! Oink! :), i mean :(

Tagged with → health • water