General Question

flo's avatar

Do Americans want to know whether their meat is from US, Canada, or Mexico?

Asked by flo (12974points) December 22nd, 2015

Do they want to know, do they need to know or do they prefer not to know at all?
Canada and Mexico won at the World Trade Organization

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40 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Meat is still marked born, raised, and slaughtered. On a label for retail sale. It will change only when it becomes a law. That has not happened yet.


si3tech's avatar

I want to know country of origin of all foods I buy.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can’t speak for all Americans, but personally, I could care less. Canadian cows, American cows,who cares?

All meat sold still has to meet USDA standards of cleanliness and being disease free. It’s just as safe to eat Canadian steak as any other.

The whole “label your origin” thing had nothing to do with safety and everything to with politics and protectionism. US Farmers wanted to corner the meat market so they could make more money.

Flo, are you saying that the WTO is wrong? Are you against us playing less for meat?

ibstubro's avatar

Where is the meat marked? It’s not on the label.

You can see how obsessed I am about origin of the meat I buy!

jaytkay's avatar

Everything else lists a country of origin. Why is meat different from other products? Even fruit and vegetables list the country.

JLeslie's avatar

My mom won’t eat Chinese fish.

keobooks's avatar

Thanks to Ikea and Aldi, I care less about where it comes from and more about being sure that if it says beef on the label, it’s really beef inside the package.

Seek's avatar

I have bigger fish to fry, so to speak.

keobooks's avatar

If you shop at Aldi, that fish might be a seahorse!

zenvelo's avatar

I won’t buy food items from China, no guarantee it is not adulterated. And I don’t buy seafood unless it is on the okay list of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

And I don’t generally buy meat unless it is local, I don’t care if it is from Canada, Mexico, Texas or Oklahoma. I don’t want factory meat no matter what country it comes from.

jaytkay's avatar

I won’t buy food items from China

I wouldn’t either, but funny thing, very few countries will allow US beef imports because of the hormones.

rojo's avatar

I think an extremely large percentage of Americans don’t really care.

flo's avatar

@everyone I added to the OP by the way:
“Do they want to know, do they need to know or do they prefer not to know at all?”

@elbanditoroso “Flo, are you saying that the WTO is wrong? Are you against us playing less for meat?”
What does it matter if the motives of the farmer is so they can charge more? So, they want to make more money by depriving people knowledge By hiding it?
Most people want of know as much as possible about x,y,z, and then
make their decision based on the knowledge, even if they decide on the wrong choice.

I think @jaytkay hit the nail on the head.
I would think it makes it easier to find out sooner the origin of the mad cow disease etc.?

si3tech's avatar

Some have motives that include inhumane slaughter. That’s mine.

ibstubro's avatar

Actually, now that I think about it, I think there is a sign in the butcher department that says all the meat is locally sourced.

All the local groceries are modest regional chains and at least 2 are regionally sourced. I think all 3. And there are still local grocers in small towns nearby where you can practically hear the moo and oink echos. Good prices, too.

I bought meat at Walmart once this year and like the snow in the lane, it glistened. Like snail slime. Like I’d picked up the permanent store display and not the actual meat.
Eh. I don’t eat meat. lol

si3tech's avatar

I don’t eat a lot of meat. It’s expensive. I only buy eggs from cage free chickens too.

ibstubro's avatar

I get my eggs from 4-H kids.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t really care. And if it’s from Mexico or Canada then it’s probably been raised, slaughtered, stored and transported under better conditions than from here in the US.

skfinkel's avatar

Yes, I like to know where the food I eat comes from—although I rarely eat red meat anymore, I would prefer local. And that means knowing where it is from .

hearkat's avatar

I do. We try to buy as much of our food as possible from local, organic farmers. I am very strongly in favor of comprehensive labeling of foods and their ingredients, including their source of origin and whether they contain GMOs. I believe we have the right to this information.

Give the consumer full disclosure and let us make informed decisions and vote with our dollars – that’s what the free market is supposed to be about. For those who don’t care what they eat, it makes no difference… no one will force you to read the label.

Seek's avatar

Should they also label the exact components of the feed the animals consume? How about which fertilizer the feed is grown in? what pesticides are used in the growing of the feed? The source of the seed corn? Where that was grown?

Honestly, there is such a thing as too much information. A difference that makes no difference is no difference. If there’s no material difference between an ear of GMO corn and an ear of non-GMO corn (whatever it’s fashionable to call non-GMO these days, seeing as both versions are human-derived species that come from something that no-one would recognize as edible maize) there should be no reason to force producers to label their products as “GMO”.

The picky community of hipster whining complainers with enough disposable income to make the choice for “non-GMO” foods can petition their favourite vegan, gluten-and-soy-free, IPA-drinking, homeopathic food companies to put a “GMO FREE” label on whatever they want to.

Of course, you’ll have no guarantee they aren’t lying. But that’s already happening with the Organic labels. ::shrug::

ibstubro's avatar

GMO ingredients are already kept strictly separate from non-GMO, @Seek, because other places – notably the EU – have strict guidelines. Labeling them shouldn’t be onerous for US food makers. I’m personally uneasy about modifying genetics over choosing mutations and I would avoid a GMO food if possible. How many billions does the US spend every year paying farmers not to plant farmland? Then those billions are paid to Monsanto to increase the yield on the acres planted.

I agree that knowing if meat is US specific or North American is of marginal, if any, value. The meat I buy (but don’t eat) is locally sourced. There’s value in that, IMO. For the economy and the health of the animals.

Seek's avatar

Well, when you modify a specific gene, you know exactly only the genes you’ve purposely changed will be changed, whereas if you choose mutations you have no fucking idea what extra problems features you’ll get alongside that mutation.

Immediately coming to mind is the experiment someone did on domesticating red foxes, which ended up with black and white spotted foxes in three generations.

ibstubro's avatar

But, left to the wild, the fox population would return to normal.

Humans are inherently short-sighted. Look at all the invasive species we’ve imported with good intentions and incredibly destructive results. I don’t trust some guy to take a gene out of a noxious weed and put it into a food crop with consistently positive long-term effects.

Seek's avatar

But you trust nature, which gave us poisonous mushrooms that look almost exactly like delicious mushrooms? or pokeberries, which deer can munch happily while a handful will kill a child?

Nah. I’ll take science.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Nonsense! Natural = good. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and have my daily glass of cool, refreshing, natural radium water.

Seek's avatar

Also, the fox population would not “return to normal”. If those foxes continue to breed in the wild, that “totally natural” genetic modification would continue to propagate. You could end up with a whole subspecies of docile spotted foxes.

ibstubro's avatar

I used to pick pokeberries for Granny Corum when I was a kid, @Seek. She made her rheumatism (room-a-tizz) medicine out of them. We snickered because we thought she was making some sort of homemade alcoholic beverage out of them.

Turns out there’s a long history of using poke and it seems as though there is a lot of study on the positive effects it can have on the human immune system.

Poisonous mushrooms are up-and-coming, too.

We haven’t begun to explore what nature has already provided us, but we’re eager to get in there and fuck it up as much as possible.

I trust nature. I distrust the human understanding of it.

flo's avatar

@hearkat “For those who don’t care what they eat, it makes no difference… no one will force you to read the label”* Exactly.
@ibstubro I agree.

@Seek 1) “Nah. I’ll take science.” Pro science people want as much info to be disseminated not less, wouldn’t you say.
2)there should be no reason to force producers to label their products as “GMO”.”
Whether it’s about GMO or origin of product there is no need to bring up “force” them. If the info would help them make more money they would want it in big letters, without anyone asking for it. So there should be no issue about it wouldn’t you say.

3) This isn’t about science and non-science so much as it’s about transparency wouldn’t you say.

Seek's avatar

Only if the information is relevant.

Consumers are, as a whole, stupid and impulsive. If you put “Containes Nitrites” too big on a bottle of wine, people will look for a bottle where they can’t find the word. Not because Nitrites are bad, or even because they have any fucking idea what a nitrite is or what it does, but because if there is a label they immediately associate it with something negative.

Again, if the non-GMO companies want to label their shit “GMO FREE”, bully for them. They can collect the fear money all they like.

If or when it’s ever demonstrated that a genetically modified food product causes harm, they won’t have to label it, because it will no longer be sold as food.

Darth_Algar's avatar

You could put ”contains Dihydrogen monoxide” real big on the label of something and most people would shit their pants and avoid it. And you’d have someone like the “Food Babe” telling people they should because it’s found in pesticides.

flo's avatar

@Seek Not the point. What some might do with the info (might get to the wrong conclusion) is beside the point.
@Darth_Algar Food Babe says x y z is beside the point.

flo's avatar

@Seek By the way nitrates are bad for you, that’s why one should not consume cold cuts.

Seek's avatar

Nitrates and nitrites are not the same thing.

I believe this assists in proving my point.

flo's avatar

@Seek You’re arguing against info.

By the way is this the nitrite you’re referring to?
“The reaction that your body has to the ingestion of sodium nitrite can vary depending on how much of it you consume from foods. Phyllis A. Balch reports in her _book, “Prescription for Dietary Wellness,” that the salts in sodium nitrites can cause a_ reaction that produces a chemical called nitrosamines, which increase your risk of_developing cancer. The American Medical Association says that sodium nitrites can lead_ to gastrointestinal and brain cancer. Restricting your intake can help prevent these_reactions from occurring.”

Seek's avatar

Further proving my point that people who don’t know how to process information should not be given too much, sodium nitrite is not the only nitrite.

flo's avatar

@Seek So, the labelled meat should be sold only to customers who can produce an ”@Seek approved to buy labelled items” document?

Seek's avatar


Response moderated (Unhelpful)
flo's avatar

@Seek Should there be no books no schools etc., because some people misinterpret what they learn?

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