Does any­one know how much of our food is com­ing from Chi­na?

I was in my local store the oth­er day and as is my cus­tom I checked the ‘country of orig­in’ of most of the prod­ucts I was con­tem­plat­ing buy­ing, in this case frozen bay scal­lops – farm raised in Chi­na.

Need­less to say – or do I need to say it? – I didn’t buy the scal­lops.

Shell­fish from Bangladesh or Indone­sia didn’t cap­ti­vate me either.

I long ago deter­mined that buy­ing cloth­ing ‘Made in Chi­na’ was not on my list if in any way pos­si­ble. I’m not a ‘buyer’ by nature so it doesn’t come so hard. But if I were a reg­u­lar shop­per at one of our mega dis­count stores I’m sure most of what I bought would be ‘Made in Chi­na’.

The oth­er day, fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion that melamine is ground up and used in pet foods import­ed to the US from Chi­na, I start­ed to won­der about things which I can’t avoid buy­ing – like toi­let paper for instance! Just where is it made these days? Might it too have a melamine con­tent?

‘Melamine’ in my youth was always a prod­uct that plas­tic pic­nic plates and cups were made from.

Do we know if it’s in the plas­tic cups and plates that young chil­dren use? Are those made in Chi­na? Is there any way of find­ing out if melamine or sim­i­lar prod­ucts con­tribute to devel­op­men­tal delays or behav­iour­al issues in young chil­dren?

After­all, doesn’t it kill pets if they con­sume it?

Let’s all be more wary of where prod­ucts come from in future. If we don’t we will soon find that just about every­thing we buy is made in Chi­na, appar­ent­ly total­ly unreg­u­lat­ed there and upon entry to the US.

Should we even put our faith in prod­ucts say­ing ‘Made in …………’ (any west­ern coun­try). Might they also con­tain prod­ucts import­ed from Chi­na and yet be legit­i­mate­ly ‘Made in ………..’?

Some prod­ucts, bread, flour or canned tunafish (just at a cur­so­ry glance) don’t always seem to be required to label their prod­uct with the coun­try of ori­gin.

Are US and Euro­pean Com­mu­ni­ty over­sights no longer labelling we can trust? Can we trust any of the major ‘brands’ that we have known most of our lives? (In recent years I’ve found two major brands – one makes spices and the oth­er bread – which changed the com­po­si­tion of their prod­uct with­out noti­fy­ing the con­sumer — to my knowl­edge).

We alone are the best pro­tec­tors of our­selves and our fam­i­lies.

Let’s start going through life with our eyes wide open instead of with blink­ers on.

We real­ly need to be think­ing about the food we’re con­sum­ing.

P.S. I wrote the draft of this post two days ago. Tim­ing is every­thing! In today’s South Flori­da Sun-Sen­tinel, from the Domini­can Repub­lic: “More than 10,000 tubes of Chi­nese tooth­paste have been removed from stores because they con­tain a poten­tial­ly dead­ly chem­i­cal”. The ship­ments arrived from Pana­ma where med­i­cines con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with dieth­yl­ene gly­col were removed from stores in Pana­ma last year after 51 peo­ple died.

Start think­ing!!