So, here's the latest on tainted/dangerous products coming from China: chocolate! Apparently, Cadbury pulled 11 of its Chinese-made chocolates (reportedly none were sold in the U.S.) because they were made with melamine-laced milk. For the full story, click here.
I've always been leery of candy that's not either boutique/homemade or a major brand (such as Hershey's), but Cadbury is a major brand. And those little Halloween treats that are "Not packaged for individual resale" also don't have the "Made in _______" label on them. And the larger candy bars don't necessarily have that either. Often they just have the name of the distributor. So, they could be made in China, Switzerland, or just about anywhere.
I admit that chocolate constitutes a large part of our diet, but we do eat other food items. This article got me thinking about where our other food comes from. I try to make as much food from "scratch" as possible. Very few of us can grow all our own food. Just about everyone has to purchase staples like sugar, flour, butter, milk. Most of us also purchase pasta, breakfast cereal, nuts, beans, etc. I just looked in my pantry and most of the items I looked at had no information about where the ingredients came from. Some were "certified organic" and were "grown in the USA" or "made from products grown in the USA," but most items simply had the distributor's information on the package. And, man, that's kinda scary. I can't believe I never noticed that before.
So, what to do? I think buy local is still the best bet. But sometimes it's a lot more expensive or impossible. For example, I've never seen any "locally grown" sugar in the market. Around here, there is only one farm share available and I don't think it would be very economical for us at the moment. So, organic is probably the second best choice.