Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Made in America?

Amongst environmentalists, the topic of "buying local" food has been around for some time. Yet, it took the global food crisis to really make a dent in popular culture to think about buying American or shopping locally. That's why I was so intrigued when, the homepage for my web browser, had a headline asking me to take a quiz, "American or Foreign Brands?" . Needless to say, I was intrigued. Who doesn't like a good competitive quiz?! I mean, I'm no newbie to buying locally; I look to see where my fruits and vegetables were grown from when shopping in the grocery store. I've even found errors between what the sticker on the vegetable says and the sign posted by the grocery store. Not that the workers cared when I noted the discrepency. However, sad to say, I only got about 30% of the questions right. I highly encourage you to take the quiz, see how you fare. But here's a hint...products called America's Choice, not so much made in America.

Maybe we should be asking ourselves, the FDA, and congress why foods aren't labeled to tell us where they're made. Afterall, shouldn't the good ol' US of A care whether or not we "buy American"? The sad truth may just be that like car manufacturing, an "American" brand is only just that, a brand. It's quite likely that the parts came from China and were assembled in Mexico. Ah...globalization.

The quiz was part of a larger series called, "Extreme Consumerism". This is an interesting and informative look at how Americans are spending their money, especially in a global economy. If the topic of slowing down and making more informed and throughtul consumer choices from a faith perspective is appealing to you, you might want to consider reading Earth Ministry's book, Simpler Living, Compassionate Life. This book is also ideal for study groups. Simpler Living, Compassionate Life is available for purchase on Earth Ministry's secure website.

If we each do a little bit, together we can do a lot!

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