Astronauts’ special food supply angers Chinese netizens

June 18, 2012Jing Gao8 Comments, , , , , , , , ,

From Beijing News

Just as China sends a manned spacecraft into orbit for its first docking mission, a news report about how Chinese astronauts depend on special food supply for nutrition and health has sparked widespread anger over the government’s failure to improve food safety for the general public. Some even call on the authorities to apply the same stringent standards across the nation.

The Shenzhou 9 (literally Divine Vessel 9) carrying three astronauts, including the country’s first female astronaut, was launched on the early evening of June 16, local time. It successfully docked with the Tiangong 1 (literally Celestial Palace 1) space lab Monday afternoon, marking a major breakthrough in China’s space ambitions.


Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, before she enters Shenzhou 9 spacecraft.


Shenzhou 9 spacecraft is to dock with the Tiangong 1 space lab module.

Beijing News published a story about its reporter’s visit to a special supply base that astronauts’ food come from, in which it says that everything on their plate must be cherry-picked. The production base consists of many farms where beef and dairy cattle are raised. The livestock here grazes on naturally grown grass. Eggs come from wild birds and are absolutely cage-free.


Dairy cows roam and graze freely on a farm at the special food supply production base.

According to the report, cows that produce milk for astronauts have to be screened over and over again. A couple of ‘high-spirited’ cows with ‘sleek, glossy hair’ are selected from dozens and raised separately. They will not be fed with any medication in the next month so that all drug residue in their bodies will be completely expelled during this withdrawal period. Then milk produced by these cows have to pass muster with the quality control at the production base, the Launch Site Quarantine Inspection, and the Space Center Drug Inspection Administration to ensure its protein content, pH level meet standards before it can be passed onto the future space travellers.


Dairy cows that are “high-spirited with sleek, glossy hair” are selected and raised separately from other ordinary cows.

Pigs are raised in special pigsties where they can lie on the ground blanketed with sawdust basking in the sun and eat only corn and bran and nothing else. Even the corn and bran they feed on are grown organically at the production base, and thereby pollution from pesticide residue can be tackled at its source. Most pigs simply bask in the

“This place is off-limits to any stranger, motor vehicle, or even bicycle,” a worker at the base said to Beijing News.


Fishes swim in the natural water where no motorboat is allowed. No artificial fish feed is ever needed for their growth.


A sign next to a fish pond. All fishes have to be inspected over and over again before they are headed for the kitchen.

The report has become a hot topic on the Internet. Chinese net users, while blown away by the privileges that space travellers enjoy, have been accusing the harsh realities of poisonous and toxic food that the general public is faced with.

One user commented on, a Chinese internet portal, “The authorities always say they attach great importance to food safety for the public, and that all food meet standards after being put under inspection and are not harmful to health. Then why can’t astronauts eat these food?”

Another wrote, “Astronauts are human beings. So are ordinary citizens. When will we ordinary people be able to drink milk produced by reliable cows?”

Sohu, another Chinese web portal, ran a commentary written by Luo Shuyi, in which the author wrote that the ‘domestic milk’ that astronauts drink is never the same as the ‘domestic milk’ that ordinary Chinese drink. What goes down astronauts’ throat is the real ‘safe, trustworthy milk’ that is ‘exclusively supplied’.

Other web comments:

伊伊二二:After reading in the paper the article “A Visit to Special Food Supply Base for Astronauts,” I looked up to the sky and heaved a deep sigh. How much do I long for living at that base! I can at least live 20 more years.

桂树榕树:#exposure of astronauts’ special food supply#  I hope that one day, I can also eat contamination-free food like astronauts, afford to see a doctor, afford to live in my own house, afford to raise my child, and afford to support my parents…I don’t mind waiting in the line, but I have zero tolerance for those who cut corners or jump the queue.

盗铃不必掩耳:#exposure of astronauts’ special food supply# Don’t forget that Mengniu also claims that they supply milk to astronauts. So no one is absolutely safe!

胎胎胎胎胎神:#exposure of astronauts’ special food supply# Come on, all the high-ups eat food from special suppliers, okay? We shitizens can only eat things from the periodic table.

金亦真:#exposure of astronauts’ special food supply# I hope that what ordinary people eat can also meet standards set for astronauts’ food, with no pesticide residue, no gutter oil, no (industrial) gelatin, and no… We want health!

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8 comments to “Astronauts’ special food supply angers Chinese netizens”

  1. Blacksoth | June 19, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Never fails to shock how something as simple as food is a possible powder keg in China.

    Since they’re astronauts, shouldn’t they be eating special astronaut food like Tang? Then no one would be jealous.

  2. t9346 | June 19, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    It wouldn’t look good in the news if the astronauts came back dead because of gastric poisoning. While on the other hand, many no namers dying from years of ingesting their own food they produced is no biggie. Why don’t they grow a brain first and think of ways to improve food quality, always demanding instead of doing. Always suspicious of each other, their greedy core gets in the way of finishing common goals.

  3. Charles | June 19, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    There are way too many pissed off people these days.

  4. John G. | June 21, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    China has to many people to be producing safe food for everyone.

    • Blacksoth | June 22, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      Problem is, they don’t produce safe food for hardly anyone.. except the elite.

    • Dave | June 29, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      The problem is that the government doesn’t care about “people”.

  5. Tong88 | June 25, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    It was a very impressive mission for the Chinese goverment; they have accomplish their dream for the last four decades. Other countries always have competes against each other for space journey into outer space to land on moon, mars, jupiters or other solar systems. Remembering the Russians always has a strong space program for their country which make them more invincible than their counterparts.

  6. Xu | July 21, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    It is the government responsibiliy make sure every business follow the rule. And apparently the Chinese government is not doing a good job on this. Bad people try to do all kinds of bad things to profit more and meantime, damaging the market order, which makes the good people suffer. When there is this breaking of the rule and lack of enforcement of the rule, good people become fewer and fewer. And now it is like NONE.

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