We have told you how to read the bar codes to spot organic food, and we’re all wary of food from China. But you don’t just want to avoid eating Chinese food IN China–you also may be eating it here, since the Chinese export lots of food to the US. Given the horror stories about adulterated food coming out of that country, it would probably be wise to check this if you are buying anything packaged, including frozen foods.

It turns out that the country of origin is in the first three digits of the bar code. If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691 or 692, the product is made in China. 471 is made in Taiwan and is probably safe, since this country has an uneasy relationship with China and does not do much trade with that country. 00-09 are from the US and Canada, 30-37 are from France, and 50 is from the UK. 49 is from Japan (which would have once been safe but now may be a problem)

In fact, we may have to say goodbye to Kobe beef (for now, anyway). We know that Japanese milk may not be safe, due to radiation that spewed out of the Fukushima power plant after it melted down. Now it’s been announced that Japan has banned shipments of cattle from that area, since they may have eaten radiation-tainted hay. Some of this beef has already been shipped to other parts of the country. This is a major loss to international gourmets, since Japanese beef is some of the best in the world. Contaminated beef has been discovered in cows living on farms as far as 70 miles away from the stricken power plant.

You may not be eating Japanese beef, but if you’re eating too much of everything else, you need to download Anne Strieber’s famous diet book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she devised a diet that helped her to lose 100 pounds and YOU CAN TOO, at less than $5, it costs MUCH LESS than the ineffective diet books you’ll find in stores. And when you set your table, be sure to use one of our wonderful Dreamland Festival mugs!

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