Earlier today on my Instagram page, I shared a picture of a product label.
I tell everyone to read the label on everything you consume.
My mom enjoy’s grapes and she eats a lot of them. The purpose of this update isn’t to throw any particular company under a bus. Instead, my intentions are to educate you (and me) on why we have to stay diligent in reading labels and doing research on any product we consume (internal or topical).
The more research I do, the more I realize how confusing the lingo and the process is. I am certain this is all by design. So let’s try to dissect this mess!
Nature’s Partner, a self-proclaimed, family business who grows fruits and vegetables.
The label says: Grown & Packed By VIDEXPORT S.A. DE C.V. * Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
VIDEXPORT is a produce marketing company and is a partner of Nature’s Partner.
The grapes are a “product of Mexico” and are distributed by Giumarra in Los Angelos, CA.
A closer look at Giumarra reveals that the Black Seedless Table Grapes are grown and exported from Mexico, so I think the mention of Los Angelos on the label is for consumers who think they are buying from the US (a marketing tactic). At a glance, the label will trick you. Sidebar: If you wear reading glasses, when you shop for food, start taking your specs with you.
Check out this out! Some of Giumarra’s produce is USDA Certified Organic while others are not. 😦
Hot peppers, cucumbers, honeydew melons, and grapes are the only products that are NOT USDA Certified Organic. This makes me nervous and should do the same for you.
Lastly and according to the label, the grapes are
“treated with Sulfur Dioxide for fungicide use”
I am not a science person but I researched Sulfur Dioxide or (SO2) and learned the following about Sulfur Dioxide:
- It is a chemical compound that is a toxic gas found in the atmosphere.
- The largest source of production in the air is from the burning of fossil fuels by power plants and other industrial facilities.
- Short-term health exposure and affect the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult.
- Children, the elderly, and those who suffer from asthma are particularly sensitive to effects of SO2.
- Environmentally it can harm trees and plants by damaging foliage and decreasing growth and contribute to acid rain which can harm sensitive ecosystems.
So what’s the bottom line? Do your best (as I do) to buy locally grown produce and freeze them for later usage. If you are more adventurous and like the idea of playing in some dirt, try growing some of your own produce.
Try to buy produce that is grown and distributed in the US. Produce grown in other countries are difficult for our government agencies to regulate. They can pretty much do and say anything they want.
Read food and beverage labels. If you don’t like what you’re read about a product, write the company and/or stop buying the item.
Follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on twitter and facebook. The agency posts updates on their pages. You will be surprised by what the information posted on their web page. The facts are published but consumers rarely make time to read it.
Acquire knowledge, apply it to your life and share with everyone that you know. Us consumers have to stick together. When we stick together we have a voice that makes a difference.
Although I grew up helping my mother in our large garden, I haven’t gardened in years. I still have fond memories of picking fresh green beans, peppers, tomatoes, corn, and more from our garden.
Although, it’s been many years I am happy to share with you that this summer, I will start my first vertical garden as well as, a vegetable container garden. I think this a simpler approach to gardening that will work for me and my elderly mother will enjoy helping out. The enormous amount of chemicals used to grown fruits and vegetables have inspired me to return to my roots.
2 thoughts on “What Food Labels Really Say”