Friday, May 23, 2008

You Are What You Eat?

Have you looked at the amount of food items imported from China lately? I've become an avid label reader and it is near impossible to find fish that isn't a "Product of China."

I have nothing against the Chinese but you have to admit the standards that other countries have for what is grown or manufactured in their countries are not as strict as they are in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are working to put inspectors in those countries but how many countries will it and will it help?

There are currently 13 inspectors waiting for approval of visas so they can perform inspections in processing plants in China. Only 13 inspectors for all of the facilities in China? So I am wondering...just how many processing plants are there in China that process foods bound for the states?

Think about this; I have checked the shelves at several of our local Walmart stores and even at my favorite store, Aldi's. Every package of fish I found was a "product of China." Now consider the thousands of Walmart stores in the U.S. That is a lot of fish for 13 inspectors to keep a check.

When these inspectors get there...will it help make our food safer? We hear about food recalls every year...food manufactured in the states. Foods recalled for E-Coli or Salmonella.

All this has made an impact on the food I buy for my family. I want to keep them healthy by feeding them nutritious food that is also safe. Here are steps I have taken to protect our family and I hope they will benefit yours as well.

First, buy foods that are products of the USA. Even though our system is not fool-proof, it is better than what's available in many countries.

Second, try to buy your food items from local farmers. Explore farmers markets and buy what is in season...you'll save money and eat healthier. Also, check local butcher shops because many can tell you where the beef comes from. We are lucky as we have a local abattoir who only sells beef they have raised or raised for them.

Third, cook meats thoroughly...especially ground beef. Cook meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to kill both E-Coli and Salmonella.

Lastly, if it is possible, grow your own. This will not only insure that you know how it was raised but what has happened to it between the garden and the table. Of course, this also saves you money.

I hope you've found this article helpful.

Have a great day!
Mavis D.

2 comments:

Joe McCoy said...

Food from China is a bit scary - especially considering the lead problem with toys.

I didn't even know we had in Aldi's (Fort Smith). Why is it your favorite? I might want to try it out instead of Wal Mart.

Joe

Mavis D. said...

I agree...the lead on the toys is just another example that we have very different standards in our country.

Do try Aldi's....you'll be glad you did!