I once went to China...

I have been wanting for sometime now to share with you the trip I took to China back in 2005.  I was lucky to be part of the Dietetic Goodwill Tour of China in 2005.  This was arranged by a man teaching English in China and a dietitian from Hawaii.  The trip allowed for cultural experiences, food experiences, and nutrition information too.  I actually received continuing education credits for this.  So a bunch of dietitians and some food service professionals got together for 3 weeks between June 2005 and July 2005.  Over the next few weeks I will provide information and pictures in installments since you can imagine I have tons to share.  Sadly, most of my pictures and notes are in storage right now, but I was able to locate an itinerary and some photos taken by another person on the trip.
Here is the whole group at the start of our trip.  most of us were exhausted and trying to adjust from the time change.  I am in the front row in the magenta tank with the blue folder.  I must have been very eager to get the first hospital we would tour.

Not only did we tour hospitals, but we also toured restaurant kitchens and food markets.  Oh, and herbal markets as well.  This was outside of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital.  Their dietitians from what I recall require a what sounded like a doctoral degree and they didn't really do too much education, although I think they did some.  They have enteral (tube feeding) formulas, but nothing that would be recognizable in the states.

This was inside the hospital.  I thought it was too funny that they had an outpatient clinic for acupuncture and moxibustion. 
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means "acupuncture-moxibustion." The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health.

This was at the Chinese Nutrition Society (or at least that is what I remember it being called).  This was one of the presenters.  Some of the speakers spoke English while other's relied on a translator.  It was at this facility that I learned about the average daily sodium intake in China (around probably 2004) was 12-13 grams a day.  That's right, I said 12-13 grams per day.

This was at another hospital facility.  They presented us with great fruit platters.  Here's the problem, the water is bad so you can't eat anything with a skin since you can't wash it.  Peeled fruit only if at all.  Yeah, that lasted only so long.  We did in fact eat this fruit, well some of us did.

So, that is a brief intro.  We also did a lot of tourist things.  I was able to walk on the Great Wall of China and I saw the Terra Cota Warriors.  More pictures and stories to come.  Many many food pictures too.

QUESTION:  Please feel free to ask me any questions about my trip, what I thought about China, what I learned...anything.  I will then address these during my posts about China over the next week or so.  Let's make this VERY interactive!


Beth said...

What a fantastic trip! My dad went to China in 1999 and he said it was one of his favorite trips ever. But he also said it was so hard not to eat fruits and foods off the street.

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Coco over at Balance, Joy, and Delicias was doing a few posts on TCM, and they were really interesting. Did you learn anything about TCM that you thought was interesting, or with which you didn't agree? I'm curious to hear your thoughts, from an RD point of view!

I'd love to go to China, what a great experience.

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

That sounds amazing! My friend visited China and she said it was a really cool experience. I've actually tried accupuncture and moxibustion before! Interesting experience to say the least.

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Sounds like an amazing experience. My parents went to China a few years ago and said they always felt so bad when they were served fruit or lettuce and didn't eat it (since they had been told not to).

I guess I'm most interested in what stood out most during the trip. What was your most memorable experience/moment/encounter in China? Can be big or small... Thanks for sharing this trip with us!

Astra Libris said...

Melinda, I so enjoyed reading this post! Thank you for sharing your incredible experiences with us! I'm eagerly looking forward to your continued posts about your trip!

The amount of sodium consumed is astounding! Whoa! Do any studies show if the Chinese population experiences negative health effects from such a high sodium intake?

sophia said...

I'm planning to study abroad in China! Is it true that the pollution is really, really bad? And how's the public transportation?

Shannon said...

This is great! I love reading about different countries. Did you prefer city life or the countryside?

Melissa said...

Such a great trip. I'm looking forward to reading more and hopefully I'll think of questions as you share more info.

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