Stories of ‘plastic’ rice being sold worldwide spread like wildfire on social media recently, followed soon by another item; ‘plastic’ eggs!
It wasn’t long before news started circulating that these ‘plastic’ lookalikes were also being sold in the Maldives.
The surest way to make someone believe anything nowadays seems to be by showing them a photo or video of it. Hence, it is no surprise when this technique was used to spread the news of the ‘fake’ staple foods, though not everyone believed it as readily as others.
How true are these claims?
Many factors surrounding these mystery foods dip the scale in the negative. The first one is how adamantly people link anything plastic to China. It could be said that this is an attempt to sabotage China’s developing economy.
The second begs the question whether ‘plastic’ rice is given freely by nature, through the vast deserts or the abundant rain. It will obviously take a lot of work and money to make these plastic pieces look like, feel like and taste like rice. Not to mention the burden of packing them in sacks and selling them at market prices.
Considering the cost and risk involved in manufacturing these lookalikes, a sack of plastic rice would be more expensive than a sack of normal rice. These all point to how unlikely a venture this would be from a business point.
Plastics eggs would present the same hurdles, where the expense of manufacture be significantly higher than producing real eggs. The shell, the thin membrane, the colored gelatin-based york and whites of an egg, all points to extreme work. Work is money. Hence to go through all these procedures only to sell them at market prices doesn’t seem like a logical business strategy.
Both these items could be manufactured. It could even be sold. The tricky part lies in not getting caught, as such an offence would result in death in China, where it is allegedly coming from. It is improbable that a company would go to all this trouble, only to get caught and given the death sentence.
All these factors point to one thing; the news circulating in social media is fake. Which is not surprising as varying motives have led people to spread lies on social media. It is not difficult to destroy a business these days, just show a video on social media! Most people don’t invest much time in thinking about the authenticity of such news and would jump the wagon on the latest trend, however strange it maybe.
So it really is no surprise that the news of these mysterious plastic staples reaching the Maldivian markets, spread like wildfire on social media.