Archive for March 2012

Blog Talk Radio Program

I found this Blog Talk Radio program to be quite informative: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theorganicview/2012/03/05/pat-foreman-discusses-occupy-backyards-one-flock-united

So…From Where IS Our Food Coming?

After church this morning, I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee and a snack for the ride home.  One of the new menu items was a chicken sausage wrap with cage free egg whites.  I thought, hummm, that sounds good and wholesome.  I’ll try one.  Well, as I was munching through this delicious treat, I was surprised to see some paper stuck to the side of the wrap.  I pulled the car over to inspect closer.  My surprise turned to shock, for the paper was baked into the bread and on it were Chinese charterers:

 

I have no idea what the paper is for.  My guess is that it had nothing to do with the wrap itself, or even of Starbucks.  However, the Chinese characters on the paper could only mean one thing.  At least part of this wrap (the bread part) or the entire thing originated in China.  It was part of the bread.  It was not stuck there after the fact.  Now, perhaps somewhere in America, there is a factory that is turning out Chicken Sausage Wraps for consumption in America and for possible export to the Chinese market.  However, I find this scenario unlikely.

Since the recession began, I have been much more vigilant in looking for the “Made In…” tag on the items I buy.  You go to Wal-Mart and you can hardly find a product that wasn’t made in China.  But, I must say, I never even considered the possibility that American companies would outsource the production of our food to China.  Seriously, our food?  China has cheap products for several reasons, one of which is minimal government control and oversight.  How many things have been recalled in the US because of poor quality control in China.  Does anyone remember lead paint on toys?

I realize that we live in a truly global economy.  Our food comes from all over the world.  A lot of our fresh fruit and vegetables are grown out of country, particularly during the winter. But at least most of the imported food is whole foods.  Grains, whole fruits, whole vegetables, etc.  But there are certain things I expect to be grown in America.  Most of my meat. My milk. My eggs.

Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I should expect my chicken wrap to be assembled in China and shipped across the Pacific, fresh to my table.  If I thought locally sourced food was a good idea before, I am more committed to it now.  I have already expanded my garden this year.  I have already expanded my flock.  I even grew a flock of broilers last year to put fresh chicken in the freezer. I now plan to double that flock this year.  Food from my garden, I know what went into the soil. Chickens and eggs from my backyard, I know what went into their mouths.  And therefor, I am much more certain of what is going into mine.

A century ago, a backyard flock made perfect sense.  And back then, almost all of our food was locally produced.  Today, who knows where food is coming from, or where it is going.  I can’t think of a better reason or time to get closer to the source of our own food by starting our own flock in every yard.  Let me know what you think…

Poultry Professor