Over the past weekend I travelled with a friend to an estate sale and auction. As is my custom, I stopped at a store that is located in a very small town. Though located in a small town, the store had beautiful cuts of meat, chicken, turkey, and a variety of fish, fresh baked goods, a nice deli and much more.
One of the things I like about Vermont is that their citizens really support local businesses at a much high rate than most other states making that really cool store in a very small town a possibility. I love peas coated in wasabi and frequently get them at the coop but on that day, I purchased them at that Vermont store. As I opened the bag and ate a few peas I flipped the package over and at the bottom, in small letters was printed, three dreaded words, “Made in China.”
I have read so many bad news articles about food coming out of China I paused to consider what might be secretly embedded in my peas, some secret chemical designed to make me eat only Chinese food. Actually, I could easily eat only Chinese food with no secret chemical casting its spell on me, that is, of course, another story. Not too long ago a story was disclosed that accused the Chinese of putting melamine into pet food and baby formula and cadmium in rice. Just recently a shocking disclosure was made that Chinese food manufacturers had combined fox, rat and mink meat and treated it with gelatin, pigment and nitrates and were selling it as mutton.
Now China is acquiring the world’s largest producer and processor of pork, an American company called Smithfield Foods for a reported $7.1 billion. Americans consumed 4.1 billion pounds of food produced in china last year. Surprisingly, just over 50 percent of our apple juice comes from China, 80 percent of our Tilapia and about 10 percent of our frozen spinach to name just a few of the foods we are importing from China.