Grocery Store Food – Do You Check Country Of Origin?

country-of-origin

Do you know where your food comes from? Do you care?

When you shop at your grocery store, do you ever look at the food product to see if there’s a label or sign identifying the country of origin?

Here’s what you should know…


 
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, we in the United States are importing more than 70 million tons of food annually.

Nearly all of the food imported into the U.S. is not inspected. Of the tiny slice that is inspected, literally thousands upon thousands of tons are rejected for official reasons including the following:

Filthy, Salmonella, Pesticide, Insanitary, Listeria, Unsafe additives, Poisonous, Melamine, Histamine, Allergen, Yellow #5, Aflatoxin, Cyclamate, Bacteria, Transfat, Foreign object, Substitute, Off odor, Unfit for food, EColi, Unsafe substance, Diseased, Imitation, Forbidden, HepatitisA, Color additive

Apparently most of the rejections are due to “Adulteration” which includes foods found to contain filth, insects, illegal pesticides, or contaminated by bacteria like salmonella or botulism.

Vegetables, fruits and seafood’s have the most violations.

With that said, and knowing that apparently 98% (or more) of imported food is not being inspected, one wonders how much of that food would also be rejected via any of the many listed reasons above…

 
As you have probably noticed at grocery stores, there are not many food products with ‘country of origin’ labels. It is difficult if not impossible to know where the food has come from. In fact, in June of this year (2015) Congress voted to REMOVE (repeal) ‘country of origin’ labeling requirements (H.R. 2393) for meat. Our government in fact does NOT want us to know where our food comes from. Why? Because our reps are influenced more by money – lobbyists – than we the people. The majority of we-the-people want country of origin labeling.

A handful of powerful corporations make most of the decisions that affect the food we eat. Moneyed interests often (always?) have too much influence over government officials who are supposed to serve the public good.

 
If given a choice, I would suppose that most Americans would be fairly comfortable with foods coming from certain countries which they trust more than others. For example, what would you trust more… Salmon from Norway or Tilapia from China?

Certain countries have a worse reputation and lower or non-existent standards compared to us. And therefore, knowing that 98% or more of their food exports will go un-inspected, they may ‘cut corners’ as much as they can get away with in order to maximize their own earnings. Do you want to take that chance with the foods that you eat?

Do you also realize that even though a given resource may originate in the United States, there is a likelihood that it was sent to China for ‘processing’ and then returned to the U.S. for consumption (because it’s cheaper)? It happens all the time… With all sorts of resources.

Remember several years ago when dog food (much of which is ‘made in China’) was killing dogs all across America?

 
Yesterday we talked about How Grocery Inflation Is Being Covered Up by ‘tricks’ including resized packaging, product dilution, reduced weight metrics, etc… The reason (obviously) is to try and ‘hide’ from you the fact that the effective price of your groceries are going up. They think we’re stupid.

They are accomplishing this not only by the games they play with packaging, but also by the SOURCE of the food itself. Cheaper is better, right? WRONG. Have you heard the saying that ‘you get what you pay for’? Do you want to risk your health and well being?

 
What can we do about it?

I must admit, I have little to no faith in our government or congressional representatives. Most any complaint will fall on deaf ears. Their ears are mostly (only?) tuned to the sound of ‘cha-ching’. While I still advocate expressing one’s concerns to their representatives, my own personal approach is not to look towards government, but to look towards what I can do about it myself. To put my money where my mouth is, so to speak…

Make every effort that you can to buy local. Keep the money in your own community. Seek out local sources of food. They’re out there if you look for them. This will obviously be easier if you live rural – search out farmers of all sorts, even those who raise cattle, etc..

I’ve said it a million times, but grow some of your own food. During the winter, plan a garden so you will be ready to go in the Spring.

Ask your grocer about where a particular food came from! Don’t be shy about this.

While in the grocery store, pay attention to foods that do have country-of-origin labeling.

 
What are your thoughts and ideas about this situation?

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48 Comments

  1. I am eager to hear how everyone shops and what their opinions are.

    “We are what we eat.”

    We are usually “perimeter shoppers” at a supermarket, meaning produce, dairy, meats are what goes into our carts. Everything that’s edible is closely examined!! First we check the country of origin. Second is to check for an expiration date (applies to fresh meats). Most things we buy are organic and only from the USA.

    Out of season fruits or veggies won’t be purchased if they come from Mexico, Central America, or China. It’s gotten to the point where we pretty much eat fresh foods “in season” and do without for the remainder of the year unless we have canned it ourselves.

    For meats, we buy our beef from 2 farmers — one is the main cattle farmer who contracts with our local butcher, the other raises and sells his beef in “shares” so he and the private butcher can avoid the whole USDA nonsense. One farmer raises his beef on corn finishing (and that pretty much means GMO corn nowadays). The other farmer raises his beef from his own fields and since I know him and his viewpoints, his grass-fed beef is the best choice for us.

    We raise our own pigs so all pork comes from our place. For chickens, we raise meat birds a few times a year (usually 8 weeks to butcher size). We also have layers for eggs, so all of our eggs are home-grown. We have dairy goats so almost all dairy comes from our place. I usually buy butter (don’t have enough top cream) and sour cream ( that’s a pain to make) and don’t make all of our cheeses. I do make a number of the semi-hard cheeses, the brine-cured cheeses (think of Feta), and the softer cheeses. We don’t use corn in the grains we feed our critters because we know most feed corn is GMO. The high quality grain we use for goats is more than $50/50 pounds — it is corn free but not a true “organic” grain.

    Canned foods — even if it were free, I would not eat any canned foods from China. We semi-trust Australia and Canada (are we too trusting??).

    Ocean fish we occasionally buy — for us, it’s a real treat. We only buy wild caught and only from the northern Scandinavian/Icelandic zones. The fishing methods used there are more humaine than other netting practices, for one, but another big reason is that it’s far away from Fukishima! We buy no seafoods at all from the Pacific…thanks, Japan.

    So of course, we no longer eat tuna except from the storage stash we still have that was pre-Fukishima. Once those cans are gone, that will be it. I will miss tuna…

    Sweeteners are an interesting product that most people know little about. We only buy local honey, direct from the beekeeper. For refined sugar, we stick with cane sugar because beet sugar is now affected by GMO beets. The corporation, Domino, only produces white cane sugar so if people want to avoid GMO-sugar, buy the name brand of Domino or stick with store brands that label the sugar as ‘cane sugar.’ I only use white Domino sugar with certain foods and desserts, most other sugar used in our household is organic brown cane sugar. (I’ve made many batches of jams using the unbleached cane sugars and the only difference is that the finished product is a bit darker.)

    And since we make our own dog food and have learned about the rip-off with the cheaper ground beef in supermarkets, we have used poultry more and pretty much stick with Perdue thighs and legs when they are on sale. When we see the sale, we buy the store out and freeze it. LOL We are now learning more about protein that can be obtained through other foods (grains and dairy) so that we can slack off of the dog food meats a bit while still providing them with a good percentage of protein needed.

    1. Speaking of corn and the GMO Issue, last year I bought a bag of Doritos. Called the toll free number on the back of the bag and asked why didn’t they acknowledge if they were using GMO corn or not. The person answered by saying that they had no way of capturing that info. So I asked didn’t they ship their products to other countries? The response, no we have facilities that package their own in other countries. My response was that if you can capture the GMO info in other countries, then why isn’t it done in the USA? I was hung up on!!! I called back to the same number and always got a busy signal. I’ll let you be the judge of whether my number was blocked!! I have never bought any bag of corn chips since. Nor any product from Frito Lay!!

      1. Ya know I had the same reaction when I called out Frito lay. They did hang up on me and every time (over a three week period) I got a busy signal. Since Omama signed the bill giving producers the right to not lable foods with GMO we can pretty much expect most of our food will have GMO in some aspect. We will need to know where and who produces our organics since the bill allows non-labeling across the board.

    2. Ok not to cause an argument but you say you buy beef from a farmer that avoids the USDA inspections but you don’t buy beef at the store that has been inspected? The way I am reading that is you don’t want the food you eat inspected.

      1. Poorman, I read that as the farmer has enough hoops to jump through.and since his meat is raised with non GMO, its the wisest choice for that family…

  2. I agree with all of your points Lynn. I was reading this morning about the high cancer rates in Martinique. It is the suspected to be caused by the toxic pesticide cocktails that are used one of which is DDT which has been banned in this country for many years now. It is getting harder and harder to find foods grown and canned in this country. It is getting to the point where I am considering buying large quantities of fruits and vegetables from local farmers that I don’t grow and can them myself. It is getting impossible to find canned pears that are from the US.

    We also buy our beef from a local farmer that grass feeds. For those who cannot find a farmer, and you want ground beef you can also buy your beef as steaks or roast and grind your own. That way you can also control the amount of fat you include. We did that for a while after we bought some questionable ground beef that just did not taste right.

  3. I don’t look at country of origin but I am concerned with food safety. The biggest problem is with fresh foods that are as is. That is they aren’t peeled and they aren’t cooked. If you peel and cook your carrots they could have been sitting in Bull crap and it won’t hurt you. The real problem is with fresh foods, greens mostly, that are consumed raw. I will not eat salads at restaurants and I don’t buy salad greens or consume them raw. I also consciously avoid “organic” food as most likely to be unclean. Here the popular opinion about food is upside down. The factory farms with their greater regulation and higher use of chemical fertilizers produce a safer product than a small organic farm with “natural” fertilizers.

    Most of the 70 million tons of food the U.S. imports is out of season vegetables and fruits from either the Southern hemisphere or the equator area. I do enjoy getting fresh fruit and vegggies in the winter. So I’m happy that we import them.

  4. Wanted to add just a “thought” to what Ken has been talking about for the past couple of days about food and where it comes from. And I’ll put it like this.

    Do you eat out at any Restaurants?

    And I have to admit, Ken just ruined my lunch for today :-( Thanks Buddy ;-/

    NRP

      1. Except that the peanuts are probably grown in South America, the jelly was made in China and both are “distributed” by a country here in the US to hide the fact. Just to help make your day sweeter. :)

  5. Yes, I look to see where the food comes from. I miss tuna sooooo much. But can’t find any from the east coast. I clean all fresh vegs. before eating. We buy local when possible and grow some foods. FYI- a co-worker told me that Mexico beef has black hoof, so cook your beef well. (he raises beef) Some meats are labeled grow harvested and processed in the US. We stay away from meats not labeled. Sadly the beef from local farmers is so high that it’s out of our price range.

  6. Not sure what happened to my post, it just disappeared. I will try again. I agree with you Lynn. It is getting impossible to find canned anything that are not imported. I am considering purchasing large quantities of fruits and vegetables from local farms that I don’t grow and canning my own.

    This morning I read an article where prostrate cancer rates are up in Martinique. A toxic blend of pesticides is suspected where DDT is still used. I question everything I buy now. We also buy our grass fed beef from a local farmer. For people who do not have that option, who wish to purchase ground beef, you can always buy the steaks or roast and grind your own ground beef. That way you know that you are getting beef and you can also control the amount of fat.

    1. @ Peanut Gallery

      I agree with you (this time, hehehe) I buy a full beef (1100-1300# steer), grass feed and grain “finished” (no corn) once every 3 years from a local rancher I know personally. I also have it processed locally form a very reputable family owned company. I like the idea of actually being able to “talk” to the butcher (handing him a bottle of Shine helps) and filling out the exact “cut sheet” as to how I want it processed.

      As far as Vegs, I grow as much as I can, but will admit I have a huge storage of canned “stuff” from stores.

      Here is a question, maybe Ken knows, where does Augason Farms, Mountain House, and others get their foods?

      NRP

  7. About Canadian foods. While things are in constant change & I may have missed regulation changes it was that Canadians were not allowed to put as much nitrates in processed meats as Americans. Also we are not allowed to use the hormones that make American cows produce more milk. We are worried that with the TPP that the Americans will force us to accept their “tainted” milk.

    We are upset that the big companies are forcing the local meat shops out of business because they get the government to force these meat shops to install equipment & processes that are prohibitively expensive in the name of “safety”. While this may equal from a partial cent to a few cents per pound for the mass producer it can mean many times over this for the small producer & therefore making him unproductive. Even the new regulations on auction mart have put many of the local marts out of business which means lost jobs locally. While these were only 1 day a week it meant a little extra cash for a few farmers to help them stay in business.

  8. What did I do for prepping this week? Bought some nitroglycerin, Wow, guess that got the homeland security folks attention. But seriously the stuff I bought was the kind you put under your tongue for chest pain. I had a visit to the local ER for same. Now that probably seems unrelated to this post so let me relate it. As a medic in Vietnam I was exposed to agent orange which was sprayed all over the place. This has been linked to numerous health problems with heart disease being one of them. Basically us vets our dying off at a disproportionate rate as compared to those who were not exposed. Now a lot of our shrimp is imported from Thailand. Some of this has been caught at sea but I can’t help but think a lot of it is farm raised. It’s not hard to raise shrimp and you can do it in ponds easily made from former rice paddies. I can’t help but wonder how many rice paddies in Vietnam are being used to raise shrimp and how much of that product is being sent to Thailand for reshipping under the Thailand label. There is agent orange in those paddies. Suffice it to say we are not eating shrimp from Thailand anymore. Please note that I only suspect the above and have no proof. As a somewhat related note the wife brought shrimp for the Gulf of Texas. No such thing! It’s from the Gulf of Mexico where they had that huge BP oil spill!

  9. Purchase our beef from local farmer who had explained to me how he raises his beef. Eat a fair amount of wild game. Buy from “Farmers Market” and those gardeners who we know personally. Grow as much as we can ourselves and raise our own poultry. It is tough, but don’t be afraid to ask where foods are from or how their grown.

  10. I definitely check country of origin. Refuse to buy anything from China no matter how great the prices are. Just not happening.

    I have stopped buying pork from the U.S. because I read that a Chinese company bought out a major supplier. Who knows how they process it and if its coming in from China. Labels don’t tell the whole story.

    Canadian dairy industry doesn’t use growth hormones/antibiotics in their animals so my milk products are strictly Canadian except for kefir. The only supplier that I’ve found for this is American so I only buy it in the organic form.

    Chicken and pork also come from a Canadian source for the same reasons as the dairy. Rarely eat beef and I’m picky about where my fish comes from.

    I avoid produce grown in California due to the fallout from Fukushima. Its tough getting a good variety of fresh produce that I’m comfortable buying. From what I’ve read, Mexican agricultural practices allow for human feces to be used as fertilizer.

    And speaking of fertilizer, the F.D.A. some time back allowed the use of certain chemical fertilizers on organic farms. So now you can’t even trust the organic labels. I sometimes buy from the old order Mennonites in our area but its a hit or miss kind of thing.

    I have no problem buying Australian products as they have strict laws regarding organics.

    We don’t eat out since hubby has celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis so he can’t risk getting “glutened”. Too many trips to the emergency department for treatment. Cross contamination is difficult to avoid. Prior to his diagnosis, I used only local organic spelt flour for all of my baking. Now I use a certified gluten free oat flour from Canada.

    Sure do miss the good old days when food was wholesome. Oops, my age is showing!

    1. @ kawartha kween
      “Sure do miss the good old days when food was wholesome. Oops, my age is showing!” I’m wondering how you managed to live beyond 215 years old, when “food was wholesome”? hehehehe
      NRP

      1. @ NRP

        Good one. I meant back in the 50’s, the 1950’s. My family had a garden and didn’t use pesticides on it so the food was wholesome. We didn’t eat at restaurants either, every meal was home made without any convenience ingredients.

        Anyway, speak nicely to your elders!

        1. @ kawartha kween
          I also remember my father had a huge garden, I sure wish I could grow tomatoes like he did, Beefsteak tomatoes the size of a softball at least. I still can vision the pantry just fulllll of Mason Jars and dried goods. GREAT memories for sure. He always used DE for controlling pest never chemicals or “store bought fertilizers”, and pulling tomato worms (Hornworms) the size of a hotdog and mumbling to himself “how could I have missed that one?” of course he had 50 tomato plants.. HAHAHAHA
          Why did it seem like simpler days and truly better days? Better food and better health I believe. And a family pride, truly something I believe is missing these days.
          AND I will guarantee you there was not a single thing in our home that was not made in the good old U.S.of A.
          So not to worry my friend, I always speak nicely to my elders. And have the greatest respect for those that truly know how to live life.
          NRP

  11. I am jealous! I live in south Florida and can’t take advantage of locally available beef and other meats. Back in the eighties, my Mom hit a guys cow with her Buick one foggy night in Tennessee. A deal was made, the former owner took the cow to a local butcher he knew , and she wound up with a freezer full of beef in brown paper wrapping (and bones for soup broth!). She made deals afterward with other local cattlemen who raised your cow or cows for you and the price included butchering and delivery of the meat. The Buick was a loss, though.

  12. I do not think it maters that our food comes from other countries. Here’s why.

    As a rancher and farmer, I have both a herbicide and pesticide license. I know a lot of other license holders. When I watch others calculate and then spray their fields I can tell you first hand that the application rate of those poisons greatly exceeds the max. rate listed on the label on the bottle. Glyphosate (a cancer causing agent) is widely used and has been shown to accumulate in tissue. Hay and grain feed to cattle is highly contaminated with Amine 2-4-D, guess what this causes. I could go on and on particularly with cattle sprays.

    I have been on many farms/ranches in Mexico and usually I do not see this degree of poison use because of the cost of these pesticides and herbicides. Is anyone still hungry? This is why I grow all of my beef and most of my own grain.

    1. @No joke, This is really important info! A lot to “digest”. Sorry, couldn’t help it.

    2. That’s like a few “organic farms” over here that are on old pineapple lands,
      Some of the chemicals they used on pine are persistent to 30 years or more in soil, they have been found in the aquifers and in surface water samples, yet somehow these farms are organic certified by the USDA,
      No soil samples
      No plant tissue samples,
      No water or runoff samples,
      Total BS,
      But people have no clue, one big organic farm on Molokai is on pine land that was also used briefly by Monsanto, yet the arrogant ass of an owner of the farm says he is going to show Maui farmers how its done,,,,,

  13. To the deer hunters out there, unless the deer corn is labeled Non GMO, its GMO count on IT!!! Also its usally not suitable for human consumtion because of contamination. I suspect the shipment of GMO corn that was rejected by China last year was returned to the US and reclassified as animal feed grade. I refuse to purchase Monsanto or Syngenta products of any kind!! If we bump that effort up to the next level and refuse to patronize any retailer that sells the products, they start paying attention to the consumers!!!

  14. We raise our own beef, and trade for local eggs/chicken though my husband and I are talking about trying again with chickens here in bear country…We may keep them in the house and litter train…easy enough, have done before. I too have my pesticide/herbicide license, and like No Joke see an awful lot of abuse of same in neighboring operations….Fortunately we called a meeting here in my valley/mountain and all agreed to cease and desist and to work together on eradication of thistles etc without chemicals. Several of us test the streams twice per year to keep each other honest!

    If you buy fruit or vegetables whether organic or not, you should bring them home and wash them in baking soda water. That will eliminate a lot of issues. We wash everything! Even any pork or chicken that is store bought.

    As to fish…you probably should not trust anything out of the Pacific or the gulf at this point…Fukishima and Corexit/petroleum have pretty well damaged those food chains. Check with your local agricultural extension agent about the condition of your local lakes and streams…they will tell you if your local fish suffer mercury overload or not. (ours do…too much coal burned for energy which releases the mercury into the atmosphere and drops into the waters.)

    We butcher our own beef, that has been strictly grass fed on fields we do not use pesticides on. The meat is not as fat as grain fed, but it also is much tastier and not “over puffed” with GMO corn, sugar, antibiotics or water. It is strictly grass fed beef. Takes a bit more to tenderize, beer or wine work great in the stews and roasts! By the way, when you butcher your own beef, you get to treat it with dignity and you know exactly what you are getting. And ALL parts get used, we even grind bones for garden beds, use the hooves and ears for dog chews, use all main organs to enhance vitamin quality of our dog foods etc.

    Not all folks have the ability to live this freely…so WASH everything you buy carefully and with an aluminum free baking soda. Not a perfect solution, but a pretty good one.

  15. Lots of good information here, thanks everyone!

    On a similar note, bought some stuff on Amazon recently. I was looking through the item listing and it said nothing about the item coming from overseas. So I went ahead and ordered the item, got the invoice in my account and clicked on the “about seller and taxes” link. It shows the seller as Amazon and shipping from a fulfillment center. Then goes on to list all the fulfillment centers.

    So I was thinking yes this item is coming from the U.S.! Sadly no, after a few weeks and no item I look at the tracking update and contact Amazon. Customer service tells me the item is coming in from overseas and the shipping may take over a month! Which is all odd as the seller’s policy on shipping which I found later says they ship same day and ONLY use airmail and UPS. Last time I checked airmail and UPS ship from Europe to the USA much faster than 1.5 months!

    Just hard to tell sometimes where things are coming from and what the quality really is. Matter of fact it almost seems like a full time job.

  16. Here’s something everyone should know.
    The bulk of the produce consumed within the US now comes from south of the border,
    The majority of the food borne illness related incidence are from produce imported from south of the border,
    The FSMA does not apply to farms south of the border,
    It is up to the wholesaler or importer to certify that the farms they buy from use best practices,
    The wholesalers generally wont pay the US farmers their asking price but rather hold them hostage by saying they will only buy at rates equal to that of south of the border growers, farmers often have no choice but to cut as many corners as possible to compete, have seen this first hand dealing with a local wholesaler who buys off the west coast from another wholesaler who only buys from south of the border.
    Time to start growing your own if you don’t already….

    1. Would FSMA even apply to you? I think that there are rules saying that small businesses are exempt. Less than $500,000? Just curious.

  17. I do check and won’t knowingly buy food from China since they intentionally put lead in children’s toys shipped here many years ago. I still can find labels on food that require labeling in their own country, and stay away from US “distributors” without origins made. Most of what I get is local or trusted country not to poison people like Norway.

    With that being said, we have our own outbreaks from bad food made and grown here (like lettuce, peanut butter with off brands) I wash my vegs and fruits if I eat raw and check recall lists, but I have never bought a food on recall, not even dog food.

    1. I sometimes shop at Fred Meyer- they are a Kroger company. I like many here check labels as I don’t want food from China. On the Kroger brand veggies I never could find where the product came from. All the label said is that is distributed by Kroger. Bah!

      Kathy

  18. I’ll be the ‘strawman’ here. I eat what I can, when I can, whatever I can.

    Do I wish I had the time to shop for locally grown, healthy food? Sure. Do I have a garden or an animal husbandry side-line business? No. I grow some hot peppers every year because I love them and want mass quantities. That’s about it. I live in a suburban community. Deed-restricted no less. Nice neighbors – no farming or animal production for food allowed.

    And if that isn’t enough to get a ton of lectures, I will add this. I’m pragmatic. Like I said – I eat what I can, when I can. I work my tail off – 7 days a week most weeks. Just only so many hours in a day. All to often come evening I’ll wonder why I feel a bit ‘light’; and then ask, “did I eat today?”. So often, I realize the answer is ‘no’ besides some gummy worms or some other rot. And when food is present – regardless of source, I gladly eat it.

    I’m the crappiest of cooks. Actually despise the actions of cooking. Just never has appealed to me. I weigh precisely the same now @ 61 that I did when I was 15. So, God’s blessing of a good metabolism and lots of hard physical work along with the mental side of my employment/career-life works fine there as to weight. But – I’m darned sure I miss out on my minimum daily whatevers every day. Yet I live. As I said- 61 and still keep on keeping on.

    My joke is simple – you promise me another 10 years @ 20-30 years old where I can work all day and chase the ladies all night – I’ll get on the wagon. Promise me now that I’ll live another 30 years……… and I’ll ask – So? For what? To grow old, useless bit by bit, forgotten? No thank you. I reckon I’ve got another some 15 years of hitting it hard the way I like no matter what I imbibe.

    In short – it’ll be as God wills it and if I don’t catch ‘lead-poisoning’ in the form of a high-speed ‘inoculation’. And hey!!! I’m sure glad you all are out there growing and cooking. I’ll barter gladly to do as I said — eat when I can, what I can. Just let me know what you need designed, built – structurally, electronically….. and a myriad of other hard sciences in action.

    1. A lot more of us eat the same way than will admit it. I do have a small garden but don’t grow enough to eat it year round. I have no meat animals. Luckily (though some of you will argue the point) I live in norther california so a lot of the fruits and veggies I eat are grown right here within 50 miles of my house and do to the tree huggers most is organic but do I check the labels of what I get in the store,No I don’t. I am also about your age and work 50-60 hours a week so it doesn’t look like it is killing me either.

  19. This discussion is just another reminder to get the greenhouse built next spring as soon as able. My wife grows the best produce and we know what goes into it.

  20. I wonder if your labelling laws in the States are the same as in Canada?

    in Canada (and I have seen many documentaries / read stuff on this),
    a product can be labelled as “from Canada”/ “made in Canada” if a certain percent of the “work” of
    growing
    manufacturing
    packaging

    said product is done in Canada.

    for example
    you can take fish from Vietnam, ship them to Canada, process/can them here , and call them “made in Canada”..

    etc..

    I suspect that it may be similar rules/regs in the states, as,
    I read some time back (a year maybe?)
    that the United States was shipping raw slaughtered chicken to China to “process”, and it would be sent back to North America (Canada and the U.S.) as “chicken nuggets”/”chicken strips” etc , sold by various brands.

    unless you grow it, grandma grows it, or someone you know grows it, tough to tell, me thinks.

    1. YES! exactly…The very best thing we can do is demand to know where it was grown and processed…if not on it, DON’T buy. Many products I have seen on clearance because of , NO SALE… I have some things to work on for winter and early spring production, if they go well. I ‘ won’t worry….so I got work to do..

  21. I have a garden and most of the vegetables and fruit comes from there. I just don’t have enough land to raise my own animals, or enough money to buy what I would like.

    Yes, I check country of origin, but I’m skeptical–it can say “distributed by” without country of origin actually being stated. If it’s shipped in from China and processed or packaged in the US it will likely not have country of origin marked. I trust what I grow, and that’s about it. But I still have to eat, and labels can’t be trusted any more than politicians.

  22. I hope my post doesn’t sound too contradictory but just shows examples of how absurd all of this is. The only way around this (partially) is to stop buying commercially canned or boxed foods and start growing your own. Buy in bulk (like buckets of grain, or cases of fresh grown sweet potatoes, or bushels of fresh picked Georgia peaches, or whole flats of strawberries from the strawberry farm…). Even if you “buy local”, or “buy in bulk”, you have no guarantee that the grower didn’t spray some kind of evil shit on the product. I bought a couple pallets of buckets of grain back in 1999 and 2000 and learned several years later that many grain farmers desiccate their fields with roundup or 24D just prior to harvest (go figure), and all this time I thought I was eating healthy! I don’t know whether or not the grain I bought was adulterated but… I’ll still eat it since that was too big an investment to just throw it away and I haven’t exhibited any signs of poisoning yet as I’m almost 70 and don’t take any medicines other than an occasional aspirin or motrin. I bought a couple cases of sweet potatoes from a local grower last year like I have been doing for awhile and finally pulled my head out of my ass and actually read the writing on the box (in bold face) that the potatoes had been sprayed with the fungicide 2,6 dichloro-4-nitroaniline (Botran). There is no way we can eliminate this stuff from our diet unless we grow it ourselves and that is even questionable since there are absolutely too many damn bugs out there that like to eat everything you grow and the only way to get rid of them is to spray with chemicals. Hell, even organic growers spray their stuff with chemicals, make no mistake about it. Does it really matter whether you buy your Boston Butt from China or a local producer if the Chinaman’s hog farm is filthy and the local producers hog farm is just as filthy and they both feed their hogs GMO grains saturated in roundup? Does it really matter whether or not you buy seafood from China, California or Louisiana when one is contaminated with heavy metals, one is contaminated with radiation from Fukushima and the other is contaminated with corexit from the BP oil spill. How about getting locally caught Bass or Yellow cat from a famous waterway and the fish is contaminated with mercury or diesel fuel. No shit Sherlock, I bought fifty pounds of yellow cat a couple years ago from an acquaintance who claimed it was the best cat fish he had ever eaten but the first batch I cooked up smelled and tasted like diesel fuel from the pollution in the waterway and I had to throw all of it away. There’s no fool proof way around this but you can lower your chances by growing many of your own vegetables and canning it yourself and don’t grocery shop at Dollar General or Family Dollar (we actually know people who do that). Humans have been adulterating food stuffs to enhance their profits since the beginning of time and will never change their ways no matter what kind of laws are passed. Simply put… if you don’t grow it or can it yourself, don’t eat it or accept the fact that some of what you eat will be covered in some kind of toxin. Having said that, there is no way you can be guaranteed that the food you buy hasn’t been adulterated with some hidden poison or microbe, whether intentionally or by accident. I recently read a book written in 1855 by Dr. Arthur Hill Hassall, titled “Food and its Adulteration” comprising the reports of the Analytical Sanitary Commission “The Lancet” for the years 1851 to 1854 inclusive, revised and extended. Just goes to show you, people in the olden days didn’t eat any different then they are eating today. Same old shit, different time and place. You can’t even completely trust Whole Foods. I was in Whole Foods yesterday and noticed that they have started labeling many of their products as “Responsibly Grown”, WTF does that mean? So, I guess between “FDA Certified Organic” and “Responsibly Grown” we are supposed to believe it doesn’t have some kind of dangerous poison or evil microbe crawling all over it? I mean…(sarcasm on) the FDA is such a fine upstanding and truthful organization and Whole foods has never sold anything bad… LOLOLOL!!! (Sarcasm off)

    1. Agree about the Whole foods bit. Was there years ago since we travelled to a place that had one and needed some organic meat for supper. They had none. Really? Ended up going to Trader Joe’s to find some organic meat and this was in a huge metropolitan city.

      Years ago I used to go to the local farmers market. I always looked for the organic growers which are hard to find sometimes. Anyway, I asked an apple farmer if his apples were organic and he said yes with a smile. So I asked a little more since his apples looked a little too nice. After a few minutes he declared that all apples have to be sprayed or the bugs would eat them all. Well, not true. I know of many methods to keep off the critters and have friends that have wonderful apple trees without using chemicals.

      So after the flat faced my-apples-are-organic lie, I am just not into trusting people when profit is in their best interest and they don’t have to certify that they are organic.

      The latest thing that just about made me blow my top is a health food store worker telling someone that there was no difference between organic and non-organic. Really? I have a friend that when she eats non organic carrots her mouth itches but she has no itching if it is organic carrots. I myself get headaches from non organic wine but the organic stuff never gives me a headache. Mercury anyone? I have many more examples but I think those examples get the point across. It just makes me mad that some people think it is all the same (or just made up in our heads) when others of us have real health problems from the non-organics.

  23. Some interesting comments here, some rather negative, some good, some “just don’t care I’m going to die anyways”. I do see a huge amount on Growing and Raising your own. I guess like anything else in life, it’s taking responsibility in our own lives and not “expecting” anyone else or the sluverment, to do it for us. I guess it’s all in the amount of time we want to invest in ourselves? I’m sure glad I took the time to live as well as I could and grow a little older and a LOT smarter, and NOT to “To grow old, useless bit by bit, forgotten”.
    NRP

  24. A word about pesticides and home gardening…
    My Grand Ma taught me how to deal with insects. Tomato worms, and everything on down the scale. Catch a large amount of the offending critters, and muddle them down to a fine paste, (I have a Ninja blender, and reserve a single serving, bladed cup for this), add water, put in a squirt bottle and spray plants, underside and top. The smaller the insect, the more time consuming the task is. I have found with “crunchier” insects, that you take off their legs, (Grasshoppers and such). It is a very gross task, but works wonders…. This is what they did in the teens twenties, and thirties… Minus the Ninja, of course..

  25. We do our best to grow as much of our food as we possibly can, raise chickens, harvest eggs and so on. But when some items are not possible to do, we try and buy local, buy fresh or buy regionally.

  26. @Anonyomous, I totally agree with you. I think all these pesticides, msgs and perservatives, have caused alot of the health problems we see today. I don’t know of any one family that isn’t touched by cancer somewhere. Migraines, asthma, etc. The list goes on. We are poisoning our bodies.

    But on the flip side. It is so expensive to be “healthy”. If you want to go all organic and grow your own food it is costly. People say it’s cheaper to grow your own food, not neccesarily. Here in Texas its dry. It takes alot of water. The bugs are bad. Trying to do it organic is a nightmare. The bugs seem even resistant to natural stuff.

    1. The difference in cost can seem a lot higher for organics but there is something to think about that is not well known.

      I would have to find it again but there have been studies showing the the uptake of nutrients into the plant as it is growing is reduced when chemicals are sprayed on it. It was a substantial difference. So the organic produce obtained more nutrients from the soil which I think gives organic strawberries such a depth of flavor.

      Why does that matter? One would have to eat a lot more food to get the same amount of nutrients that an organic serving would have given you. I wish I had the numbers and percentages to list off but they are out there…somewhere…

      So a person would take in more calories from their food with less micronutrients. I think this is another reason for weight issues in this country.

      Oh, and the bogus claim that cream and butter are bad for you… Look up butyrate or butyric acid and it turns out that it is a very small fatty acid that we burn up quickly. Also, our intestinal wall cells use butyrate for food which prevents colon cancer. In studies, butyrate was found to return animals to their healthy weight and kept them there. I think when people are overweight and craving rich yummy cream, they are craving what will cure them. Unfortunately, what you get at most stores nowadays has no real cream in it. It is all fake. Grassfed organic cream is the best. And as close as you can get to this the better. Image if everyone had real whipped cream and not the nasty cool whip. Our bodies are machines that need the right ingredients to function properly. It is just so hard to get that nowadays…

      Sorry for the bit of a rant. There is so much misinformation out there… Oh and check out the article from the journal science ‘The soft science of dietary fat”. There is documented data in there that the higher a woman’s cholesterol is, the longer they live… Pretty amazing stuff. Please check it out.

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