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?


Lindsay said...

I know that I've bought some foods that are processed elsewhere (including orange juice, tomatoes, and other produce). Tonight, I was buying olive oil, and checked the label to make sure that the brand didn't also produce peanut oil. They didn't; however, the olives used to make the oil were from 5 different countries! Overall, I think it's important to know where our food comes from. Have you heard about the people who only eat locally (locavores), for environmental and health reasons? Personally, that's too strict and expensive for me! Eating safely is more important to me than eating organic, local, or sustainable...although when I can do both at the same time, I certainly do. :)

The Scherbel Family said...

Don't be so apologetic! Some would say that by purchasing food manufactured in the US you are supporting US jobs. And I agree, I'm not convinced the standards for oversight are as high in China.

dannyscotland said...

I agree with you totally. I don't trust anything made in China right now. There have just been way too many incidents lately.

Dorothy-Life With Boys said...

I absolutely purchase NO FOOD ITEMS made in China. No way, and I make no apologies for it. We have plenty of good things to eat that are grown and processed right here in the good ol' USA! I will readily purchase things produced/grown in Canada, which is just a few miles away across the Detroit River. =0

Jennifer is Always Sick said...

It never once occurred to me to check and see what country the food was packaged in. Yikes! Thanks for the warning on that one. I will be on the look out from now on.