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_Whitetigress's avatar

Does buying foods from other countries bother you?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4354 points ) July 27th, 2012

I mean foods that for the most part can be found in large quantities domestically.

For instance I’m in California. I’m used to buying juices with apples from the U.S.A. My mother in law bought some apple juice, low and behold a label read, “Apples imported from China and Brazil” I was astonished! and it was the Wal-Mart brand. I must admit I had a weird feeling in my stomach. I feel bad for the American farm owners getting outsourced. But if it is cheaper, why should I not save? What are your thoughts?

*Note! Growing up in a Filipino family it wasn’t unusual for us to buy from the Filipino Sea Food City stores, so it’s not that I’m against international foods per say.

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13 Answers

Shippy's avatar

No not really as I know most foods are imported and exported, it is how the global economy turns. But each country does have strict regulations on food stuffs so it’s OK you are safe! How would you feel if I sent you some mangoes from Africa then? !!

bookish1's avatar

This is how global capitalism works. Wal Mart is able to allow people to expect very low prices because they source from wherever the cheapest apples come from at the time!

Yes, it does bother me. I feel bad for American farmers getting outsourced, and the IMMENSE WASTE of petrol it costs to transport that stuff. Holy crap. If I go to the store looking for peppers, for instance, and the only friggin ones they have are from Holland or Mexico (WTF?) I just won’t buy any there. My neighbor growing up was a bell pepper farmer!

And I hate seeing pineapples or mangoes that come from South America or sometimes even further away because… Those beauties can be grown in at least two states of our union. I know because I grew those myself!

I can’t be so choosy with everything I buy, however, because I live in this world and I have to eat. And I am well aware that the packaged food I buy (crackers, cereal, etc.) is made with internationally-sourced ingredients. But I really try to avoid buying produce that comes from other countries.

@Shippy: As far as I know, there are vastly different regulations on food exports from different countries. Pretty sure this explains why I’ve seen dead lizards and insects in packages of food from India and Thailand… I’ve seen a high number of such incidents relative to the quantity of such food exports I’ve purchased. Also… I don’t trust food exports from China. Children have died within the country from milk that had industrial chemicals added to it; why should I trust their exports?

phaedryx's avatar

Not really, I’m all for leveraging comparative advantage and trade (as long as transportation and other costs are factored in).

Trillian's avatar

Lo. Per se.

DesireeD's avatar

No not really. Most farmers receive agricultural subsidy so their not really influenced either way.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Not really, only when quality/preference is an issue. I found with some foods I have a preference for certain sources over others, whether that be on the whole or just specific to a particular dish I’m making. Most of the time though, A tastes much like B and in those cases I’m looking for consistency, value, and/or responsibility more than country of origin. Bottom line, if you make the best X at a price I’m willing to pay you just got my business.

As an aside, that’s probably a good bit of why I grow a lot of my own veggies, nothing beats sun warmed & fresh picked.

bolwerk's avatar

Is there a major qualitative difference (from a Kalifornia perspective) between buying your apples from New York and buying them from Argentina? If anything, the New York apples may be a little less fresh if they come by truck or train instead of air.

I mean, I’m generally a fan of locally grown food,* but if you’re going to take food from a wide geographic area I don’t really see why you should care if you get it from Columbia or Connecticut.

* though, to be fair, I like some things that can’t be conveniently grown locally until global warming sets in more. Oranges and bananas have to come from south of where I live.

zenvelo's avatar

I am not opposed to most foreign foods, especially Latin America or Australia/New Zealand sourced fruit.

But I will not buy food from China. There have been too many cases of adulterated foods from China, especially milk products.

bolwerk's avatar

@zenvelo: yeah, personally, I don’t ingest anything from China.

dabbler's avatar

Food that isn’t/can’t be grown in the U.S. like bananas I don’t mind buying imported.
But apples ?!? Gee whiz no excuse for importing apples.
It’s clearly time for some tariffs.

bookish1's avatar

@dabbler: Bananas can be grown in the U.S. They just aren’t, commercially :-/

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t like buying fruit from overseas unless you can’t get fresh fruit here. What I really hate is buying from afar when local are available. Local tastes better.

Buttonstc's avatar

I definitely don’t want to risk buying pet food with ingredients from China.

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