I found a post on Facebook tonight about using the first 3 digits of a barcode to determine country of origin….and no, according to Snopes.com it’s NOT true. The country code idea is good, but if a food is harvested in one country, packaged in another, sold in yet another, then the codes just don’t work. Still, it got me to thinking about where we get our foods. The best protection is still reading the labels.
The only truth to the facebook posting is this little blurb -
“ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY–NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK—CAREFULLY! With all the food …and pet products now coming from China and other foreign countries , it is best to make sure you read labels at the grocery store when buying food products. Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located. ”
While in Walmart this weekend, I was astounded at how many of our regularly purchased product brands are gone from the shelves replaced with “Great Value” and other off brands. Guess where all those off brands are from – overseas. Yes, I know it saves money on the grocery bill, and that’s important when you have limited dollars to spend, but….shouldn’t we be spending those dollars at home???
The next shopping trip will be to Albertson’s, Kroger or HEB to check their shelves. It wouldn’t bother me to change my shopping habits if I can buy US grown, processed, packed foods. Even with a limited amount of cash to spend, one can shop smarter to support local farmers and the US food industry.
I mean…we grow corn, peas and beans in Wisconsin…why do we need to buy from overseas? You see miles of soy, dates, oranges, citrus fruits in Arizona, California and Florida…why would we want to buy from overseas? We grow our own beef, pork, chickens, turkeys…and yet, we buy these products packed overseas??? We fish Salmon, tuna and other fishys on the west coast…why do we need fish from China??? We grow peanuts, wheat, rice and oats….yet buy them and products made from them …from overseas. That’s just a few items. It amazes me how easily we’ve been led astray.
If it’s important to you where your food comes from, take the time to familiarize yourself with the brands and read those labels. I’ve learned that just because a product is a big name label, it’s not necessarily a US grown, packaged food product. Also, what today might be a US product, the next shipment may be from somewhere else. Those food contracts go to the lowest bidder…no matter what. As proven with pet foods several years back, the foreign standards are not always the same as ours. Foods may not be handled and stored under the most hygenic conditions. Remember, many family pets died from those pet foods. Next time, it could be our food, baby formula or any number of other products we consume. I find that sad and scarey. It doesn’t take but a few more minutes to read labels, educate ourselves and buy USA.
Awhile back, I related the story about shopping for salmon fillets…Walmart had beautiful ones in their freezer case..rather pricey…and from China. Not happening on my watch…I refuse to support someone else’s economy if I can help it. I bought Honey Boy canned salmon (from Washington state) instead. And for half the price, I bought 4 cans! 2 cans would easily have fed a family of 6 for about $4.50. No, we didn’t have grilled salmon that night, but we did have some killer salmon patties and I saved food dollars!
I’m hoping this is the year we have a great garden and that we will be able to fill the shelves and the freezer thereby lessening any dependence on canned stuff for awhile.
I’ll get off my soap box now :-)
Susan ~ Patchkat