The quality of the food we eat is important, and a part of that quality is knowing as much about the source of our food as possible. I’ll be the first to say that just because food is produced in the United States does not guarantee that it is the best food to eat. For example, foods grown here from GMOs are not the best choices. I’m not going to say that food from other countries is not good. Obviously, foods that are good for us and that we enjoy come from other parts of the world and can not be produced here in the U. S. The HH and I love to travel, and enjoying the food in other countries is part of the fun and pleasure of travel. Yet, food produced as locally as possible and with reasonable and regulated safety guidelines is better than many foods grown overseas and processed under unknown or questionable safety guidelines.
Ultimately, what really matters is that products are labeled well and honestly, so consumers can make their own decisions. It is our responsibility to read the labels. Here are some pictures of labels out of my pantry.
The flour indicates that it is distributed by a company located in America. This is not definitive enough for me; I want more.
Thankfully, on the front of the package it indicates that the flour is made from U.S.A. wheat; that helps.
This label is better because it specifically states that the product was manufactured (MFD.) in the U. S. A. I can read each ingredient, but I am still a bit concerned because of the high fructose corn syrup and the lack of knowing if the corn used is a GMO. I may have to write and ask Heinz.
Labels on store brand products like those sold by Kroger and Wal-mart drive me insane because usually the labels state that the product is distributed by whatever store name with an address in the United States. That is not enough for me; I want to know where the food is from and where it was processed. I’m trying to figure out how to get more information about these store brands.
It is the pasta label below that I like most because it not only gives information about the American company that distributes the product but it also clearly states that it is a product of (made in) the U. S. A.
Despite trying to be careful about choosing food that is sourced in the United States, there are no guarantees. As I said earlier, I’m okay with food brought in from other countries as long as it is labeled correctly. I have and will buy food from other countries if I believe the nutritional value of the food and the safety of the food is reasonable.
Unfortunately, not everyone – not every company – wants to be honest about the source of food. Case in point is the break up of a honey laundering ring. Yes, I said honey laundering. According to Susan Berfield in her article The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U. S. History, published at BusinessWeek.com, the German company AWL was found to be laundering honey from China, shipping the honey to other countries and having it re-labeled and shipped to the U. S. The purpose was to avoid tariffs on Chinese honey and to avoid having the honey turned away due to the use of antibiotics used in the production that are not allowed in the U. S. (You can read the whole story HERE.)
Buying local and/or growing your own food is the only way to know for sure what is in your food and when, where, and how it was processed. If this is not feasible, then read labels and pay attention to what you are buying to feed yourself and your family. After all, as we have all been taught, we are what we eat.
Have a blessed and happy day,