With the radiation leak being the focal of news reporting, people in Hong Kong are stocking up on Japanese seafood, as it is not possible to enjoy them for a long time to come. People in HK are obsessed with Japanese products, since they are so nicely packaged and presented to consumers. Japan as a place of origin gives off a very positive image. In the last few days, the prices of Japanese seafood have increased at least 20 to 25% as wholesalers sell their remaining lots and consumers purchase as much as their fridge allow.
I love Japanese scallops and oysters, they are so big, fresh, and delicious tasting, I am really going to miss these seafood. I love eating seafood, I don’t even think there is an adequate substitute for Japanese seafood for their size, quality, and taste. I even stocked up on dried scallops, which are getting more and more expensive by the day.
In addition to this phenomenon, there has been a ridiculous rumour going on in China that has spread all the way to HK. If you eat lots of salt, you will not be touched by radiation, go buy salt now! OMG!!! How ridiculous is that! Apparently, the rumour was started by various salt merchants in China that want to make a few bucks, and it has gotten so ridiculous, people are seriously stocking up on salt. In many provinces across China and the clearly uneducated city of HK, salt has disappeared from the racks of supermarkets. In wet markets, stalls that usually sell seafood has changed to selling salt they normally used to preserve fish and seafood products because the demand for salt is far greater than seafood!
It has gotten so ridiculous, the government has to step in and speak on TV addressing the ridiculousness of the rumour. People in HK are overly reacting, you would think the radiation explosion is happening in HK rather than Japan. Japanese people are not even buying salt, why is salt even sold out in China and HK? The wind is blowing the radiation in the opposite direction of HK!!!
Prices of salt that were selling at $2HKD turned into $25HKD and you would see all these housewives stocking up their trolley carts! As a food distributor, it was a rough day for me; I was going nuts because it was so hectic! Hectic not because my products are zooming off the shelves, because in people’s mad dash for salt, many other products get knocked over!
So after a day of mad dash for salt, people realize how stupid they are and that they have been taken for a ride by selfish salt merchants. So the excuse of the day is, people are overly sensitive because of what happened during SARS. They are not stupid, just precaution…
PS. The salt merchants that started the stupid rumour to make money during this difficult time should be ashamed of their behaviour. Show a little compassion for the people who have lost their homes or are displaced by the earthquake. It is not the time to act selfishly, and no matter how business oriented you are, I still cannot justify such selfish and heartless acts. If you have no compassion, then at least don’t instill fear on the public.