Food Safety - Where Does My Food Come From?
Written by Diet Bites
Starkist Tuna from Thailand, Minute Maid Orange Juice with ingredients from Costa Rica and Brazil. Many well-known national brands of honey come from foreign lands, such as New Zealand. Some may refer to the situation as the demise of the American farmer while others become concerned about the terrorization of the food chain.
Any way that you look at it, if you are concerned these days regarding the origin of the foods you set on your family table, it's just another good reason to check out labels before purchase.
But even that may not be sufficient to ensure that the food product meets your personal requirements because label exemptions exist. A couple of examples include: a) a small business, b) ingredients contained in the product that are below 2% are not required to be listed on the ingredient/nutrition label.
It's important to point out that food products made outside the country (whatever country that might be) may be products that can only be produced in certain areas of the world. Although many worldwide food processing plants have - and hold to high standards of production, many do not.
It's certainly enough to make many consumers think twice before purchasing a product - particularly in light of the recent pet and human food contamination incident.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from this terrible incident is that it's important not to put all our eggs in one basket - no matter where we reside in the world. It's down-right dangerous to have one or two companies producing a single product.
Although the recipe might differ as well as the label, hundreds of products for major, well-known brands may be produced under one roof. It's a true example of the common saying, "A recipe for disaster."
The Local Food Village - Don't let it go away.
If you are concerned about the potential demise of your local farmers - wherever you might live, then:
- shop at the local farmer's market
- be on the lookout for signs & ads advertising locally grown foods
- ask your market manager, 'which foods in your store are grown locally?'
- shop as close as possible to where you live
As a note, there are many benefits associated with consuming locally-grown foods. A few examples: a) locally produced honey may assist in keeping allergies at bay, b) shopping locally ensures a stronger economy on the home front, c) locally grown foods tend to be cheaper as transportation costs are slashed - and unfortunately we know all about the cost of transportation these days, don't we?
- To ensure the safety of foods, as well as to reduce the potential hazards & risks associated with such, it's vital that the number of production plants be increased so that a single product/food in the food chain isn't coming from a single source/producer.
- There are times when consumers assume that a product is made within the country - and after examining the label, they discover that it's not.
- There are times when consumers desire foods that derive from different regions and areas of the world - such as delicious imported Danish ham. Nothing like arriving home with a can of Texas Turkey - just one more good reason to check those labels....