Sunday, March 5, 2017

“Organic” Foods From China? Buyer Beware!

I’m not a ramen noodle fan. Empty calories and little taste beyond the MSG. Just my biased gastronomic opinion. But as I pushed my cart down the aisle at Costco, the aroma wafting from the sample table did indeed tempt my olfactories and my growling stomach. To my surprise, the steaming contents of the paper cup offered by the cheerful, grandmotherly matron turned out to be… delicious. And the brown rice noodles were “organic” to boot, certified as such by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Says so prominently, right there on the label.

Not that ramen would be likely to become a staple in our household diet, but it might be handy to have as easy-to-make quick meal during busy times, or a half-meal serving during Lent. So I picked up a six-serving package for $8.99. However, while unpacking the groceries at home, I did what I should have done (but was too hurried to do) at the store: I read the label. In rather small print came the fatal words: “Product of China.” Big oops! Communist China’s takeovers of our tool, electronics, clothing, and other consumer markets are alarming enough, but Beijing’s huge inroads into our food sector over the past two decades is beyond scary.

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