I've traveled and lived in countries, with similar conditions to Vietnam, thought I've never been to Vietnam but (still) planning to retire there. I make a point of eating where the plain folk eat.
Food safety has been a subject that keeps popping up while researching.
I'm not even talking about the sanitary conditions of street food but where does the raw products come from.
Not to my surprise they come from China!
YES a lot of them cheap veggies come from China laced with tons of herbicides and pesticides.
I can already hear the not so's screaming to their hearts content.
Take the case of Da Lat potatoes, 25,000 a kilo, from China 10,000 and to 12,000 vnd a kilo, @Binh Dien wholesale, where they prominently show the country of origin.
Now a street seller, produce or food, faced with that choice, which do you think they will chose?
Chopsticks, made in China and disposable, 30,000 to 50,000 vnd for 5 to 10 kilos. That will buy about 6 VN made chopsticks.
Supposedly Chinese potatoes disappeared from HCMC.
While Da Lat is destroying tons of potatoes contaminated with pesticides 16 times above limit, HCMC's other agro market Thu Duc sells 30 tons of potatoes daily but 20 of those tons come from China.
When a newspaper asked a produce vendor about Chinese potatoes her response was that she only sold Da Lat potatoes because her potatoes were covered in red soil. Just dust the Chinese potatoes with red Da Lat soil and voilà you can charge not just 10,000 a kilo but as much as 25,000 per kilo. Never mind that that seller possibly bought from one of the wholesale markets where the origin of the potatoes was clearly posted.
Its already not a very healthy situation as far as Vietnamese produce, mass die off of fish, bay turning color and killing 100% of farmed fish,etc., that who needs to compound the problem by eating toxic imported food?
One solution is to buy directly from the wholesale markets like Binh Dien where you can buy cheaper, fresher and local.