A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋节快乐!
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Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 (or Moon Festival) has been marked in East Asia for millennia. It's tied to the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month and arrives this year on September 21. It is a traditional time for families to gather. All Chinese know the story of Chang'e 嫦娥 stealing the medicine of immortality and fleeing to the moon. Houston flight control discussed the legend with the Apollo 11 astronauts just before their 1969 moon landing (095:17:28). Chang'e is the name used since 2007 for China's lunar missions.
Mooncakes are the stars of the mid-autumn festival. The round pastries are filled with a variety of items. They symbolize reuniting, sharing with family and friends. Mooncakes are popular gifts and, as the chart below shows, sales are rising in China. And beyond. Here in the U.S., grocery stores catering to those of East Asian ancestry prominently feature a variety of mooncakes. Pallets of them can be found at Costco. Walmart and Amazon sell moon cake molds.
We at the USC U.S.-China Institute wish your family plenty of mooncakes and a happy, safe reunion (whether in person or digitally)!