I've always tried to make sure my family ate good food so they would be healthy. I make a lot of their favorites from scratch, and I try to limit the amount of junk food that comes through here. But the U.S. government is making it much harder for me to buy food that I believe to be safe for my family because it has not required labels of origin on all food.
One of the results of the global economy is that we are inundated with food from other countries, where safety standards for food are at a much lower level than ours, if they have any standards at all.
Take apples, for example. According to this article:
Fifteen years ago, China grew fewer apples than the United States. Today, it grows five times as many - nearly half of all apples grown in the world.
This, of course, is hurting U.S. apple orchards, because the Chinese can undercut them on price big-time; they pay their pickers only 28 cents an hour. But it's also hurting us, because even though we can buy apples at lower prices, who knows what's in them. Pollution in China is terrible, and the chemicals in their air and water can't help but affect what's growing there.
I've written about problems with Chinese-made medicine and pet food, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there are now concerns about Chinese-grown food. But the fact is that our supermarkets are being flooded with largely unchecked food from countries all over the world, and we can't always tell where our food is from because our government is not requiring producers and distributors to label the food with its country of origin.
To play it safe for our families, we need to:
- Tell our legislators to require all foods, whether raw or processed, to be labeled clearly with their country of origin.
- Inform grocery store managers that we will choose labeled food over unlabeled food.
- Buy produce from local growers whenever possible.