A full view of the plate
We are what we eat, and the converse is true.
We import most of what we eat and drink in Singapore, subject to the many regulations set to control the quality and quantity that we bring in. In societies such as these, the responsibility generally lies with the government to control and inspect the goods. Though the people should (and do) have a say.
Although governing bodies mostly have good intentions for its people, they do decision-making on the general scale. For example, though banned in Singapore, pig's blood is safe to eat if harvested hygienically from abattoir systems with traceability. And not everyone is repulsed by the idea of consuming horse meat. What isn't allowed are therefore sometimes snuck through; We have, at one time or another, hand-carried unpasteurized cheese into Singapore successfully, haven't we?
Should there be a lack of transparency in the systems of the governing bodies, the best of the intentions might be hidden, and the lack of dialogue with the public might lead thoughts (and more) astray.
These are considerations before one gets to, well, cooking.
The pot then gets stirred, by more than one cook: decisions are also influenced by happenings around the region, and the world:
Free trade agreements, political climate and environmental factors play a part. Now that Shanmugam has reaffirmed Singapore-US relations, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for more varieties of live oysters and American hen eggs, though I'm really not that keen on seeing the prices of goods like vegetable oil rise because of El Nino.
The methods through which we obtain our foods are also environmental and ethical issues, sometimes medical. It most definitely is a cultural issue, and Singapore being this developed crossroad of ideas, customs and social behaviour, has her own hybrid way of dealing with things. So how does she do it, exactly?
I'd like to find out.