Garbage for Sale!

Nothing bothers me more than being charged money for what is essentially industrial waste. 

Some good examples of garbage in a fancy box that I have seen:

1. Bamboo leaf tea (sold in a place, Damyang, where bamboo leaves litter the town, shown here in a fancy velvetone-lined box):

2. Buckwheat husk pillows:

3. Chitosan, which is made out of crab and shrimp shells:

4. Cornsilk Tea: This one galls me more than any other.  It’s corn silk, for God’s sake!  it’s corn silk, dried out and then placed in boiled water, which is then sold for profit.  And people buy it, drink it, and sleep soundly in their beds at night, without losing a wink of sleep over the fact that they have paid someone’s hard earned money to drink boiled cornsilk water.

I think Korean businessmen are so good at selling off their garbage because a lot of Korean food is based on the concept of enjoying one’s waste byproducts.  The rice burnt onto the pot?  Peel it off and call it a snack.  What, it won’t come off?  Pour some water on it and drink the water.  Soy sauce is fermented waste water from tofu production, and kongbiji or soy pulp is another tofu byproduct.  Gomtang and seolleongtang are both soups made from animal bones.  It’s a short leap from selling bones and other offal to selling husks and shells and dead fallen leaves as expensive health products.  Then again a bowl of kongbiji soup with cow intestines is still a hearty and delicious bowl of soup, while cornsilk tea is just fragrant water.  Now us Americans, just put anything in a pill and we’ll buy the hell out of it.


~ by Joshing on February 25, 2008.

2 Responses to “Garbage for Sale!”

  1. All the world’s best cuisines have come from doing the best people can with the scraps their masters left them.

  2. I have no problem with doing so out of necessity. I do have a problem with selling waste products as luxury items for crass commercial gains.

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