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Watch what you eat from street vendors in Indonesia

Food is very important to Indonesians. Its not just the consuming of food, but the preparation. Ika is as happy as Larry sitting on the kitchen floor with her sister pulling the chunks of corn off the cob to make soup. Balinese people, although they do not generally have a culture that makes eating together a rule, often get excited when I mention babi guling (suckling pig).

Imagine the horror then, when Jakarta TV reports that tofu and fish sellers are using formadihyde to preserve their goods. Many people have already boycotted tofu, making the honest tofu sellers virtually bankrupt. I have eaten things from street vendors, but steer clear of the ‘salmanella cart’ (bakso), which serves a spicy soup with meat balls. Just what is in those meatballs I haven’t a clue.
IndCoup reports that Trans TV, the same company as before interviewed one bakso vendor who admitted using rat meat!!! That’s pretty disgusting, but like IndCoup says, rat meat is probably less damaging than formadihyde.
Ika told me a pretty disgusting thing one time about fish. Apparently there is a fish they all love and people grow them inside septic tanks. I wouldn’t eat a fish if I knew it had been swimming anywhere near a sewage outlet. In this case they are inside the tank!
For most visitors to Bali all this stuff won’t affect you. Ocean fish like snapper, tuna etc live in clean water. We are on the ocean so no need to do silly things. In my 3 years in Bali I have gotten sick twice only and enjoy Indonesian food a great deal.