We continue to hear reports on food scares, contaminated food, and food recalls.
As more food travels to and from all parts of the world, and as testing methods increase for detecting these food issues, I would think we will continue to be faced with these food issues in the years ahead.
Most of us realize the importance of buying quality food products for ourselves and our family, as well as the economic value of supporting our local producers.
Knowing where our food comes from is becoming a major key factor for us as consumers. We all want to eat safe, healthy, and nutritious foods. When we purchase food products, we want to be assured the foods we buy are indeed safe to eat for us and for our family.
I have stated many times before that we have some of the best producers in the world in terms of knowledge, efficiency, care for their land, and also care for the foods they grow and produce.
Most countries in the world have federal regulations and inspections in regards to food. But these standards are not the same in all countries. In fact, Canada has one of the highest standards in terms of food safety. But there are issues you need to be aware of.
Our producers are able to spray their crops with certain chemicals to control pesticides (weeds, insects, diseases, etc.). The actual chemical and the amount of chemicals used are very much regulated by Canadian government agencies.
However, the Canadian government does not have jurisdiction on the types of pesticides and the amount of pesticides used by producers in other countries. This includes the U.S., Mexico, Chile, China, India, and dozens of other countries we import food from.
So what does this mean to you as a consumer? Well, the grapes you are buying that are grown in Chile, or the strawberries you are buying that are grown in California, or the jar of pickles you are buying that are grown in India, may be sprayed with chemicals that are banned for use by our producers here in Canada. This is important for you to know.
Also, here in Canada, we have the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which monitors and tests the foods our farmers produce as well as the foods imported into Canada. The testing on imported food products is determined by a number of factors, including the amount of that food we eat as Canadians, trends on eating habits, etc. One of their goals is to ensure we, as consumers, have safe and healthy foods.
But the CFIA has only so many inspectors to test so many food products. The bottom line – the majority of the food that is imported into Canada is not tested. It just can’t be. There is too much imported food for the CFIA to test. Saying that, they do test many foods and they do monitor parts of the world where they know there could be issues related to food safety.
This is not a criticism of the CFIA, for the job they do is important and vital. But you, as a consumer, need to be aware of this information. You also need to be more aware of the foods you eat, including fresh, canned, and frozen and where these foods come from.
All of this information is another reason to buy local, Ontario and Canadian food products. Because you know you will be getting the freshest and some of the safest foods available.
Think about this – Plan ahead – It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our website – www.wegrowfortheworld.com