Health updates

The following is new information regarding consumption of imported food and ecological shopping.

More reasons to buy local

Each year, the average American consumes 260 pounds of imported food.

Nearly 99 percent of foods imported into the U.S. are not inspected by the FDA for safety. Of the scant 1.3 percent of imported foods the FDA does test, more than 200 shipments of grains, fish, vegetables, nuts, spices, oils and other imported foods are detained each month for issues ranging from filth to unsafe food coloring to contamination with pesticides to salmonella. The other 98.7 percent of untested food is immediately green-lighted for the American diet.

The U.S. imports almost twice as much food today as it did just 10 years ago, yet the FDA’s budget for testing imports has been cut nearly in half since 2000.

Ways to reduce your ecological footprint when shopping

  • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. The use of conventional cleaners exposes your family and our environment to some very nasty toxic chemicals.
  • Buy organic milk and meat. Most conventional milk and meat are produced on factory farms that feed their animals massive amounts of pesticides and fossil-fuel intensive conventional corn. Such farms also create massive manure lagoons that contaminate local groundwater.
  • Be as conscious about the packaging as you are about the product. The production and disposal of packaging takes a heavy environmental toll. You can eliminate 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year simply by reducing your waste by 10 percent. Carry your own shopping bags with you.
  • Buy local, regional or at least USA-grown, when possible — to reduce energy and pollution from long transportation hauls. For overseas products, look for organic and Fair Trade labels.
  • Buy in bulk. It usually has less packaging, is more affordable and requires fewer trips to the store.

 

Resource: www.organicconsumers.org

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 3, June/July 2007.

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