With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

31 January 2011

Food Labeling - Ingredients, Facility, Country?

I was shopping at a nearby Hannaford Supermarket over the weekend and was checking out the natural/organic foods section to see if there are any new allergy friendly foods. I came across fruit snacks by Florida's Natural and the package said "This product is manufactured in a nut free facility." Those words are music to my ears. Perfect, I thought--a different fruit snack similar to what the other kids eat, made in a nut free facility. A few aisles later, I found other fruit snacks by Florida's Natural, also bearing those lovely words about nut-free facility, and then I saw it: "Made responsibly in China." Well...say what you will, I felt I had no choice but to return the fruit snack back to where I'd found it.

With all the horror stories in the news about food and children's toys and jewelry made in China, "Made responsibly in China" does not sound believable to me. Does anyone else feel similarly? I have wavering faith in U.S. food standards. I'm not about to make the jump to buying food from China for my food allergic child. I actually do consider the country where a food is manufactured when making food purchasing decisions. Up until now, the brand Florida's Natural conjured up good thoughts of a co-op of Florida citrus farmers working together. It sounded good--grass roots, straight from the farmers, not some big scary corporation. As much as I'd like to, I just don't get that same good feeling from the Florida's Natural Au'some Fruit Snacks.

It may sound politically incorrect to admit that geography is a factor in my food selection, but I suspect it is for others as well. What do you think? Does the country where a food is  manufactured influence your purchasing decisions?
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