Thursday, May 28, 2009

Opting out

There is an e-mail going around now trying to encourage people to not buy anything made in China for one month running from June 4th to July 4th. The buying freeze includes all products but the author of said e-mail chose to focus on food products. I will say that I have been surprised by what seems to be an increasing number of food items that come from China (or maybe I've just be paying closer attention.) Anyway I am here to encourage the one month experiment if for no other reason than reading labels will raise your own awareness. I went for just over a year with out buying anything made in china... in the end I had bought 6 items that were made in China. All of them were low price widgets. Still, you've gotta trust me that going a whole year buying only six items that were made in china is both difficult and surprisingly easy at the same time. First of all "Everything" is made in china. Secondly, 95% (guesstamation) of the stuff you actually need can be found, often of higher quality, at a reasonable price, made somewhere else. One of the real advantages of my own one year experiment is that even though the things I did buy were often more expensive, I ended up saving money from all of those cheaper impulse buys that were off limits.
Once I started reading labels I discovered all kinds of interesting things... and found some happy surprises... Many Gap jeans last year were made of fabric from the USA that was assembled in Mexico.... At the same time I realized how many of the Full Circle Organic products are made in china . USA stills seems to hold a strong market in greeting cards, paper products and those plastic Adirondack chairs. Whatever you think about the whole China debate, when it comes to your food I think this month long experiment has value, and at a time of year when fresh local foods are so abundant why not?


  1. Interested in learning more about the US production of fruits and veggies and where China fits into our import trade? Try this report from the USDA. Page 20 has info about China.

  2. I wish you the best of luck, since we even buy the cans for our canned goods from China. Of course, fruits and veggies are much easier to come by this time of year.

  3. I have read that many frozen fruits and vegetables are from China, including raspberries (my particular soft spot). Are labeling laws in place that would require manufacturers to put this on the label?