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Care to join my little protest?
Old 06-30-2007, 02:54 PM   #1
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Care to join my little protest?

First it was dog food, then tooth paste, now this s**t; I've reached my limit!

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday moved to block the sale of five types of Chinese farm-raised seafood found to be contaminated by unapproved drugs and additives. The announcement came after a string of reports in recent months about Chinese exports failing to meet safety standards on pet food additives, toothpaste, toy trains and tires.

But the seafood crackdown could be particularly troublesome for China, experts say. Not only is China the largest foreign source of U.S. seafood—contributing more than a fifth of imports—but seafood is a particularly vivid new reason for U.S. consumers to take notice.
Chicago Tribune news | Registration

My protest is very simple, I will never again pay $ to obtain any product made in China that will go into my body. If the labels are accurate, it is pretty easy to determine if China is in the mix. There are too darn many potential health issues that have cropped up this year in which Chinese made products were involved. All of these products can be obtained in the marketplace w/o a China connection (no unique items). How many more hidden items are out there?

So I'm done. Are you with me?
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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Actually, Mickey, this same thought crossed my mind and then I forgot about it, only to contemplate it again with the seafood. Years ago when there were grassroot efforts to "buy American," I didn't understand real-world economics and implications as well as I do now. I thought it was kind of zenophobic and ethnocentric. But as much as I like Chinese culture
(food and film), it's impossible to deny that they don't have anyone's health and safety as a concern---only making things as quickly and cheaply as possible.

I did a search on Google for "boycott Chinese products" and it came up with 830,000 entries. Some date back over ten years ago, not because of safety concerns but due to China's politics, such as over Tibet. There seems to be a lot of people who are ready to boycott Chinese products. The first entry that came up is from the UK---seems that they have a pledgebook to sign stating your refusal to buy Chinese products.

(My tagline below is kind of ironic for this post! But it refers to Chinese-American restaurants and is a film quote. taken to the next level, if it was a Chinese restaurant in business and they used products from China, the 'anything" that could happen could well be food poisoning! I may need to find a different quote...)
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:06 PM   #3
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I made this decision some time back - I ended up throwing out the rest of my Trader Joe's frozen vegetables from China, never bought any salmon from China - I always purchase Alaskan Wild anyway - frozen, fresh & canned. I'm not knowingly eating food sourced from China. I'm not so sure about stuff from Mexico either. The thing is I'm not sure where the ingredients are coming from in our restaurants and processed foods. There's no way to tell, unless its a place that declares they use local foods. I'm shopping mostly at my Co-op and farmers market here now and trying the best I can to eat local. There's no reason to be eating frozen vegetables from China when we got good stuff here.

From what I've been reading there's a lot of corner cutting in China...
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:21 PM   #4
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This intrigues me. Why is our government putting the screws on China at this particular moment in time? The trade imbalance is horrible, they own gadzillions of our treasuries, they are holding piles of our dollars. It would appear that China should have the upper hand, monetarily. But our government is behaving as if we are their only market for trade goods, including shellfish.

I'm not against increased food import safety standards, just wondering out loud if something else is behind this latest news.
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Old 06-30-2007, 05:14 PM   #5
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After proudly informing DH about this thread, he reminded me that the shoes I wear for walking probably come from China. I checked; sure enough, they do. And while I agree with you, Mickey, that there's not too much that is only made by Chinese manufacturers, I looked for weeks for a walking shoe that would accommodate my needs (I overpronate and it has caused bunions), New Balance was the only one that I found that had something to address this. I didn't want to pay the money they cost (and now I don't want to be supporting Chinese trade), but what can I do for something this specialized?

And I just remembered---I use Sichuan peppercorns in Chinese cooking (which I do a lot) and I think these are only grown in China (for years, they were banned in the US because they carried citrus canker virus).

I guess I need to be banned from this thread...
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
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Isn't it surprising that it's economically feasible to eat food grown as far away as China? The Safeway lemon juice in our fridge comes from South Africa.
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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I checked; sure enough, they do. And while I agree with you, Mickey, that there's not too much that is only made by Chinese manufacturers
China pretty much makes what Japan did in the late 40s and 50's (remember when almost everything had a "made in Japan" label? ..or am I too old?) As an emerging country they can make all of the cheap crap that they want and someone will buy it. However, my personal little protest is all about ME not getting sick/killed by ingesting food products that will sicken/kill ME. The same goes for my 10 year old Lab who, so far, has stayed away from china food. Oh yea, DW is in that mix also...

I say, buy all of the cheap China crap that makes you happy, just remember that if you ingest it and it's bad that there may not be a "do over."
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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I say, buy all of the cheap China crap that makes you happy, just remember that if you ingest it and it's bad that there may not be a "do over."
How is that any different from eating at taco bell or eating CA grown broccoli or spinach?
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:01 PM   #9
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(remember when almost everything had a "made in Japan" label? ..or am I too old?)
Yes, and "Made in Japan" was pretty much a synonym for flimsy.
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:05 PM   #10
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How is that any different from eating CA grown broccoli or spinach?
good point....it's not just China or _____ for me, there is the issue of huge concentrated veggie farming, fish farming, or industrial meat production and having it transported large distances...of course it's elitist to expect everyone to be able to afford the alternative or have it available in the winter...I guess in the minnesota winter I could eat local if I ate Green Giant canned and frozen vegs.
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:27 PM   #11
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Is ‘Made in China' avoidable? - International Business - MSNBC.com

I'm already there, looking for products with as much domestic content as possible. I always shopped for quality and price but now I think i'll shoot for not being poisoned.

We'd been shopping at the sams club in our old neighborhood for years, and of course most of their food and other stuff are made in china. When we moved, we started shopping at costco and the quality of goods is quite a bit better.

The first time we got shrimp it was amazing. They were so good. Turns out sams gets theirs from china while costco gets their shrimp from better managed sources and insists they arent sprayed with the chemical that causes them to absorb water.

At this point as the article describes...its really hard to buy anything and have it not made in china.

On the other hand, we've been doing a pretty good job of trying to kill ourselves with e.coli from domestic sources...
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:57 PM   #12
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The difference between the Japan and China anology is that Japan wanted to be become better and there was a culture of honor. China is the capitalism that Karl Marks described - anyway they can put money in the capitalists (producer's) pocket they will do.

Here is my deal - I only ask that government protect its citizens and our federal government has been failing lately - see illegal immigration and China.
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:59 PM   #13
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Maybe we can work out a deal that for every shipment of tainted food that china sends, they have to take back a truckload of illegal aliens.
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:00 AM   #14
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Our household has been avoiding ingestables from China ever since the big broccoli scare a few years back. Not worth the risk when there are alternatives available. For the same reason, we also avoid beef from the US, dairy products from Yukijirushi, and operating systems from Microsoft. (Oops, wrong thread.)
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:14 AM   #15
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For several years, I have also been avoiding purchases from countries that don't have effective labor or environmental standards (China being the biggest, at the moment). In addition, I've tried to avoid foods that are trans-continentally shipped.

This does result in slightly higher initial expenditures. But the rewards are reaped in quality and reduced long-term costs.

Locally grown food is far less likely to have deleterious additives and also tastes better. In addition, it can help support local economies.

Higher quality hardgoods last significantally longer and work better in the meantime. What is the point of buying a cheap, disposable item if you 1) have to throw it away after using it twice and 2) it doesn't work the way it was intended. You can spend $100 on a high quality item and use it for 5 years or you can buy 5 cheap items at $30 that last 1 year each and never work quite right. It brings to mind the old saw, "penny-wise, pound-foolish".

Since most cheap consumer items are produced in low-cost (and poorly or unregulated) countries, this attitude can provide some impetus not to acquire so much stuff and, therefore, to live beneath one's means.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:13 AM   #16
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I'm in. Well, technically, most of what we eat is from the local co-op and "local" farms (I think the furthest is 3 hours drive). The olive oil is from Italy or California, though... it's hard to get a good Minnesota-grown expeller pressed oil.

I do wonder about eating out, though. Between the moving Waiting and the issues with China's food supply, I'm thinking I'm better off if I just cook at home more.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:11 AM   #17
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I'm in. Well, technically, most of what we eat is from the local co-op and "local" farms (I think the furthest is 3 hours drive). The olive oil is from Italy or California, though... it's hard to get a good Minnesota-grown expeller pressed oil.

I do wonder about eating out, though. Between the moving Waiting and the issues with China's food supply, I'm thinking I'm better off if I just cook at home more.
and good Minnesota wine, coffee, tea & chocolate are hard to come by, well we do need long distance sourcing for somethings I am now reminded of the obvious...just need to be selective and get certain things from places that are noted/famous for that product I think.
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:24 PM   #18
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of course it's elitist to expect everyone to be able to afford the alternative
Surprisingly, organic and local produce around here (Columbus OH) is priced well! Romaine lettuce is 89 cents a pound at my local health food shop, versus $2.99 at Giant Eagle(!!!) Although - I gotta tell ya - I also grow my own, along with about 8 other veggies, and it is 100% organic, local, and f-r-e-e.

Having competitive prices is a chicken/egg thing (no pun intended). The more you buy local, the cheaper it becomes (compared to non-local) over time. Sort of an off topic comment, but valid.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:23 PM   #19
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Surprisingly, organic and local produce around here (Columbus OH) is priced well! Romaine lettuce is 89 cents a pound at my local health food shop, versus $2.99 at Giant Eagle(!!!) Although - I gotta tell ya - I also grow my own, along with about 8 other veggies, and it is 100% organic, local, and f-r-e-e.

Having competitive prices is a chicken/egg thing (no pun intended). The more you buy local, the cheaper it becomes (compared to non-local) over time. Sort of an off topic comment, but valid.
yep, the lettuce at my co-op is local, organic and $1.99 a big bunch - that's affordable in my book...growing your own is the best...I guess what organic used to be, as long as you didn't spray .remember my mother's relatives used to "put up" stuff...growing and putting up takes more effort but has its rewards...
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:25 PM   #20
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and good Minnesota wine, coffee, tea & chocolate are hard to come by, well we do need long distance sourcing for somethings I am now reminded of the obvious...just need to be selective and get certain things from places that are noted/famous for that product I think.
What do you mean? St. Croix wine for the win! (I kid, I kid).

Way off topic for this post, but I'd highly encourage everyone to read The Little Food Book and also Politically Incorrect Foods. Read them both with a grain or two of salt, but they give an interesting slant on things
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