Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foods to get COOL Labeling

COuntry of Origin Labeling:

http://http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/09/29/food.origin.labels.ap/index.html

Until now, shoppers have had little clue where many everyday
foods --
meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, certain nuts -- originate.
That's what the
so-called COOL law, for country-of-origin labeling,
changes.
Those who want
to buy local -- or who prefer, say, Chilean
grapes and New Zealand lamb -- can
more easily exercise their purchasing
power. Those worried about lax safety
regulations in certain countries can
avoid those imports. And the next time
tomatoes are suspected of food
poisoning, consumers may be able to tell investigators they bought only ones
grown in a certain region, speeding the probe.

Great news, yeah? Sort of. There are a lot of exemptions, so please still ask. Supermarkets will do this, but the butcher and the fishmonger will not. Foods mixed together are not factored in; still it's a big step towards helping people eat more locally and to avoid contaminated foods.


9 comments:

xysea said...
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xysea said...
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Lorraine said...

"I have been a US Customs' broker all of my working days. Country of Origin and labeling have always been part of the IMPORT PROCESS.There are specific requirements for every product that enters the country. Clothing from Italy, China, France, Germany, etc. have always had to have "Made In ....., sewn flat in the nape of the neck of blouses, coats, jackets, tees, etc. Skirts, pants, etc, have to be maked in the waistbands. Fresh Cut Flowers, Greens, produce and fish had to have 'PRODUCT OF ......" on the outside of the box. All agricultural products and edibles have to pass through FDA, USDA and US Customs before being released and rendered safe for consumption and safe for the environment. Wood packing, pallets or skids are no longer allowed to be used in transportation because of the risk of pests and chemical contamination. So COOL has always been around, but the general public has not been aware of it. It took a scare a few years ago to make green grocers and supermarkets add signs of origin when selling produce.The FDA starting this program today is, long overdue since the other government agencies have been enforcing it for years. An educated consumer is really needed in the world of globization. And we must remember that cheaper is not always better, nor is expensive the best!Hope this somehow fits into the scheme of your blog!"

xysea said...

Hi Lorraine -

Now that I've gotten things properly formatted, I can respond! lol

Thank you for your comment, from the Customs' Broker side. I had noticed in the past all my produce and most purchased items are indeed marked with country of origin. I'm not sure if this current rule expands on that or not, or if this campaign is to just make the people more aware of the process.

I'm finding the whole thing education. I appreciate you coming by and letting us know how things stand from your (professional) point of view. I'll copy this response to Facebook as well.

PS Thanks for reading! :)

danielle said...

I agree, that is definitely a step in the right direction to helping people eat more locally. This may not relate directly to your post, but this concept of labeling reminded me of something I read about a few months ago. Apparently, a major grocery chain in the UK (I forget the name...) labels certain products with a "carbon footprint", explaining where the product came from and explicitly listing the mileage the food item traveled.
This trend is definitely good to see, as I'm finding eating locally to be MUCH easier said than done. Any advice?

xysea said...

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for stopping by! I didn't know that about the UK store - that information would be very helpful in the grocery store.

Right now, I buy the bulk of my produce at the farmer's market and their rule is within 50 miles of the market... :)

purpledogstar said...

The more info we get, the easier it is to make an informed choice, methinks.

xysea said...

Hi honey -

Yep, I totally agree. Information is the key. Hey, that rhymed! I must be a poet and didn't know it. lol

(Okay, I'll stop now!)

Felicia said...

If we could get INGREDIENTS labelled with COO, that might help with this whole melamine issue