All the shops have been cleaned out of salt, especially in Beijing. This is absurd because the Chinese want iodine salt. Salt which is sold here mainly comes from the Himalayas and Tibet, therefore it does not contain iodine. Some panicked friends have also stormed the pharmacies searching for iodine pills.
I think that this irrational rush on salt is a symptom of a deep mistrust in the government. The Chinese media [controlled by the government] state that no radioactive cloud will cross the Chinese border and that the wind will send the radioactive plume towards the Pacific. But even if the government is probably right, the people do not trust them.
In my restaurant, I only have two more boxes of sea salt, which is rich in iodine! I am going to use it to prepare some nice beef steaks. But I mustn't exaggerate what is going on here. There is no widespread panic amongst the Chinese."
"Salt panic" in Ningbo on the east coast of China. Photo published and later deleted. A run on salt also took place in the capital Beijing. Click here to see the photos on Kanzhongguo.