Urban Farming Takes Root in China

Many turn to urban farming in wake of food safety concerns in China

Residents of Chinese cities are taking to urban farming in wake of food safety scares. (Photo: Flickr/rick&brenda beerhosrt/CC4.0)

As food safety concerns grip China, many residents are taking strides to ensure more secure alternatives for their families. Urban farming is becoming increasingly popular among city dwellers, as food safety scares have led many to pursue safer and cleaner food alternatives, according to China Daily.

China has seen major recalls of baby formula at stores across the country, and sesame oil, squid, and pork products from two different Walmart China stores, one in Beijing and the other in Chongqing, in recent months. Other recalls in recent years, including cucumbers laced with contraceptives, leeks contaminated with toxic pesticides, and exploding watermelons injected with a growth accelerator, have contributed to food safety concerns.

"It’s the only way to keep my food, at least the vegetables, clean and safe," said Xue Ling in an interview with China Daily. Ling grows her own produce on her balcony in Beijing and sees many of her friends doing the same. She recently opened her own shop, which sells equipment for urban farming and business is booming.

Online searches for vegetable seeds on Taobao, an online shopping service provider in China, have increased 280 percent from last year, according to China Daily, which suggests that more people are tending their own vegetables compared to buying them.

In response to the growing number of food safety concerns over the past few years, the Chinese government has unveiled plans for a five-year initiative to upgrade food safety regulations in the country. But until regulations address the present issues, more and more residents are choosing to take matters into their own hands.

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Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @BuffaloFlynn