Monday, November 10, 2008

Eat At Your Own Risk

In the last few years, many toys being imported from China and sold everywhere, contained lead paint.  Scary stuff considering at the time my toddlers were gnawing on Thomas the Tank Engine's face; we didn't have the affected models, but who knows how many they even tested.

So it bothers me that about half the labels on packaged here food say "Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients." What is that?

I'm guessing it should say, "Some of the ingredients (but we're not telling you which ones) are from somewhere (probably China, but you didn't really want to know that). Eat at your own risk."

I want to know where the products are made, and where the ingredients came from, isn't that only fair? It seems in Australia we are fortunate that a lot of food is grown and manufactured here. The problem is it's been determined that it's too costly (and detrimental to trade agreements) to put the country of origin for each ingredient on the label. Well that really sucks for me, because I kind of wanted to make informed choices about what I'm buying.

After looking at some stuff I have in my pantry shipped in from America, I can safely assume the U.S. is doing a far worse job of food policing.  And to give credit where credit is due, at least one company in New Zealand lets their consumers in on where their ingredients come from.

Wouldn't it be amazing if they stopped using harmful pesticides and/or chemicals in and on the food we eat?  

Don't let my rant deceive you, my pantry currently contains many not-so-wholesome items, probably made from "local and imported" ingredients, but I am hoping, with manufacturers' help, I can be more informed, so I can make better choices. (Did I use that apostrophe properly? Were there too many commas in that sentence?  I'm open to suggestions on all of this, including my punctuation).



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14 comments:

SSG said...

yeah, me and MrC try to make all of our own food and not buy anything ready made. and the veg, meat etc we buy at local farmers market. I like cookijng but I like eating more, and don't want to eat anything dodgy..

dsduffy said...

I don't have any suggestions, but I agree with the labeling, it is very vague to say the least. Plus I can't figure out what KJ is, I guess calories? It's all new to me!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

SSG- That's impressive. You don't eat like pretzels, yogurt, etc?

dsduffy- I never noticed KJ, I always see "energy" on labels, I thought that was like calories-- I should really look it up and find out.

A Free Man said...

I was thinking about this the other day. Do you remember back in the 80's there was a big "Made In America" movement. Then it just stopped, probably when we stopped making anything in America. I'm pleased that Australia still seems to have a "Made In Australia" movement. But your post brings up a big issue - what does it actually mean. Food for thought, if you'll pardon the pun.

Christine said...

I got a phone call today from a food delivery service that I have used in the past (Schw@nn's). It was a recorded message telling me that they're voluntarily recalling the chicken kiev because there have been reports of large piece of rubber in the filling... Nice.

Marvin the Martian said...

I make a point of eating ONLY Vegemite. No mystery about what's in there. (Shudder.)

anater said...

Scary stuff. Especially when it seems every other week some food item is being recalled. My son got a chocolate coin for Halloween, he was heartbroken when I wouldn't let him keep it because of the Canada recall. It's a sad state of affairs when even kids products aren't safe. I was confused about the KJ as well on labels. My brother finally explained to me that KJ = kilojoules, and that one calorie is equal to around four KJ. Damn it, I already have to convert my driving speed and the daily weather report, now I have to convert my calories as well? I have a headache.

Mark said...

For me, I don't want to think too much about what I consume. I know there are harmful chemicals in what I eat and in what I expose myself to. At this point, I don't want to spend much time thinking about that, I simply want to enjoy life and not try to squeeze a couple of extra years out of this lifetime.

CheekyOne said...

I find the labeling rather suckful as well.I also hate how they do their nutrition labels on many items.Why can't they say serving size 2 oreo's instead of (insert #) grams.How in the hell am I supposed to know how much an oreo weighs?...

SSG said...

nope, no pretzels, no yoghurt. From time to time we do... but only like once a month. I do eat kit kats now and again though too... damn it and my cholocate addiction. But no sauces from jars, ready meals, microwave meals, ready made chips or potatoes, pastry, cakes etc. We try to awlays make our own, then we know where it;s come from, and it has some worth. Food is so cheap nowadays and you can throw so much away, where's the worth gone? shouldn't it be more valuable?

opinioneater said...

I've wondered the same thing about those ambiguous labels. Now I'm going to run to the pantry and check out some of my American products...
I just learned something really scary last night about harmful chemicals (namely pesticides) that were used in the U.S. and Australia until about 20 years ago (even though they found out they were harmful 50 years ago). These chemicals don't break down very well, and apparently they are still present in 85% of American breast milk. Scary.

nursemyra said...

I think there was one comma too many

Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

Having food allergies, I have to read everything, so it's quite annoying when not everything is listed.

Ali said...

Florida Girl, I just don't believe in anything that is Made in China (and im not being a racist here) but honestly any toy I buy for my nephew gets broken 10 minutes later. Now we have the lead problem which is Fatal. So I stopped buying their products but that is very impossible these days since everything is made in china