The US FDA prevents such things as artisinal cheese and butter being imported from Europe, products that have been in use for hundreds of years and don’t make people sick, but–speaking of sick–this breathtakingly corrupt agency is allowing big food processors to grow food in the US but then process it in China in facilities with far less stringent regulation, and send it back here for us to eat! Worse, the producers only have to say where it was grown, not where it was processed!

There would appear to be no good explanation for this except corruption at the highest levels–not necessarily illegal corruption, but friendly handshaking between the executives of big food processors and FDA administrators. One thing is very clear: of least importance to the FDA is its obligation to protect us and our children. Far more important is to enable big food processors to increase their profits.
For example, Smithfield Farms, the largest pork producer in this country was sold in September to a Chinese company. Their hogs will still be raised here, but then packaged in China before being shipped back for us to eat. Besides Smithfield, their labels include Morrell, Eckrich, Krakus, Cudahy, Premium Hams, Cook’s and Gwaltney.

To be fair, the FDA isn’t entirely asleep at the switch. Starkist Tuna is now owned by a Korean company and there is a fight going on over quality and safety records, which the company won’t produce for the FDA.

Also, be careful about fish. Look on the label of what you are buying. Remember, they MUST tell you where it is produced, and if that label says China,
be aware that aquafarming regulation there is less stringent than it is here. Be warned.

Imported food we eat and the junk we buy: Green Giant frozen vegetables are from China, and so are most of Europe’s Best.
Arctic Gardens are US or Canadian grown, and so is Birdseye. Most grocery store garlic is from China. Stick with organic garlic or better, buy fresh and chop it yourself, it only takes a few minutes. A great deal of honey is from China. Only buy honey that is specifically identified as a product of the US, Canada or an EU country.

If you don’t see a country of origin on any food label, pass it by. If the label says "prepared for," or "packed by" but doesn’t say where it was grown, pass it by, especially produce.

Until Asian countries clean up their regulatory act, make it your business to pass their products by. At present, the only Asian country with what I regard as a thorough regulatory system for food growing and processing is Japan. Any food from anywhere else in Asia, I suggest strongly that you pass it by.
Bear in mind, also, that companies are well aware of this and will do whatever they can to keep you in the dark. If the label’s not clear, don’t buy.

6 Comments

  1. This is sound advice Whitley.
    This is sound advice Whitley.

    I have spent the last 5 years as a buyer for a local co-op (nearly 7,000 owners) and it is part of our mission to not include the very products you are taking time to warn us about. We will not include any product in our store that says ‘from china’ for the very reasons you express. Many food co-ops around the nation have the same policy.

    I’ve found that the best way to purchase food, if at all available, is to know the farm that it comes from and to be aware of what local processors are available to these farms. It doesn’t necessarily have to be certified organic to be grown with integrity when buying from small scale growers.

    Very often, the small scale grower wants to remain free of government involvement as much as possible, but will grow food in accordance with organic guidelines anyway. They usually don’t grow food only to sell to markets. They usually are growing the same food for their own families as well. Also, many of our small providers are usually quite willing to show off what they do and grow. They will likely welcome a tour.

    And here is a further benifit. When you spend your money on locally produced product, a much, much larger percentage of your dollar stays closer to your home, and not to fill some vague, overly stuffed, corporate pocket.

    in Light…

    1. Great article. And I heartily
      Great article. And I heartily second what More Light and the others say. As a CSA (consumer supported agriculture) member for many years (now, I live where it’s easier to buy local foods) I knew that some of the farmers simply couldn’t afford to go through the hoops required for organic certification but as you say, More Light, this is the food they feed their families and they have a commitment to organic principles. They also treated their animals well. As soon as I got into the CSA loop, eating food grown locally and picked that day, I started feeling better. There is a spiritual connection with food and where it comes from and I’m sure that much of the malaise that characterizes American culture now is an effect of the breaking of this connection.

      Also, when buying foods let’s not forget possible radiation in products from areas where there have been meltdowns and releases (the government is not testing for this) – and also the issue of GMO labeling, to identify foods containing genetic modification (plenty of reasons to avoid GMO foods); there must be a reason why agriculture corporations are spending tons of money to defeat local voter initiatives requiring labeling.

  2. Great entry, Whitley! I
    Great entry, Whitley! I think Americans (US) shld be extremely concerned about what they are eating. I have witnessed the effect of poor food sources on our poorest, most vulnerable, and least able to make choices populations — anger, confusion, inability to focus and learn — we shld all be concerned for our collective future if we dont start becoming part of the solution and stop contributing to being part of the problem.

    Also, just a word about our pets — first, I am not a raw food fan. I understand the concept, but pets are different from wild animals. They are already part of a different evolution. Why continue to feed them as tho they exist in their primitive state? On the other hand, canned pet food — there isnt much organic available and it seems near impossible to find out where most of it comes from or how its processed. When I express concerns — it seems the standard answer is — buy raw food for your pet. Sorry, but they dont seem to like it and I dont buy into the concept. In fact, imo, eating raw meat (more so than cooked meat) promotes devolution of the body — not evolution.

  3. I don’t have to worry about
    I don’t have to worry about how pork is being processed because I stopped eating all animal products back in 07. Even if it’s processed here, the level of suffering, filth, growth hormones, and pesticides fed to the animals is horrendous! I try to eat as organic as possible and support locally grown produce. I lost 35 pounds and I don’t take any statins for my high cholesterol anymore. My levels are perfect! My doctor was so blown away by the transformation that she wanted to know exactly how I eat so she could pass it on to other patients with the same issue. My levels were off the charts and I was sick and tired all the time. Since I changed to a vegan life style I barely get a cold anymore (no Dairy) and if I do, it never stays in me long. When I consumed meat & dairy I would get severe bronchitis and sore throats all the time. I would always have lower abdominal pain too (dairy). No more. Thing of the past. Can’t remember the last time I had a stomach ache! My primary reason for changing was 90% motivated by the incredibly cruel treatment of other living beings all in the name of profit! The suffering being inflicted is staggering and it’s mostly because of greed. Some people work in slaughter houses because they like being in that negative, violent, environment. It’s AWFUL! Those places are HELL! All farm animals are way more sensitive, intelligent, and social than they’re given credit for! Something to think about!

  4. Frozen foods can come to
    Frozen foods can come to Australia from China via New Zealand because of the different food laws there. So the label can say New Zealand but really be from China.

  5. Thanks Whitley, this is
    Thanks Whitley, this is really vital info. And – right on Blue and Mpower.

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