Friday, July 19, 2013

Made in USA

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

And so this week I ran out of toothpicks.  It had been quite a long time since I'd bought any. Years.  Maybe even 5 years because I bought a box at the Dollar Store.  The box had 1500 toothpicks, and until this year, I didn't use more than one or two a week.

(And where did I start using them?  With "pigs in a blanket."  Wrapping puff pastry around cocktail wieners.  Preferably Zswiegle's cocktail hot dogs, which we only seem to be able to buy at holiday time, and let me tell you, next November and December I will be buying MEGA packages of the little doggies and freezing them.  If you've only tried Vienna cocktail wieners or Hillshire Farm cocktail wieners, then you are not eating the best there is ... but that's another story.)

But after so many years I discovered we were almost out of toothpicks.

I don't know about you, but after all the food disasters in China, I distrust anything edible item that comes out of that country. A couple of years ago we went to Sam's Club and found a great price on frozen Atlantic Cod and bought a package.  Except, when we got home and read the fine print, we found that the ATLANTIC COD came from China.  Excuse me, but even I, who am geographically challenged, know that China is nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean. 

We tossed that fish into the trash.

So the other day when I went in search of toothpicks, I decided I would only settle for Made In The USA picks.  And really, if our economy is ever going to recover, don't we NEED to support products made in the USA?

Ah, but the choices were not that great.  My local grocery store had about five different Diamond toothpick products, but only ONE was made in the USA.  They were the multicolored Party Picks.   As these toothpicks are multi-colored, I'm not sure just how safe they are, but I feel better knowing they were made in the USA, where quality control is much stricter.

I've gotten to the point in life where cheap is no longer the criteria for the food I put in my body. The older I get, the more I want to cling to life, and eating stuff from China, where the safety standards are low, if not totally nonexistent  (or genetically modified food from Monsanto), just doesn't cut it for me.  Every summer I try to grow at least a tiny portion of my own food because I know it won't have pesticides or any other contaminants in it.  (And what I don't eat, I freeze for the winter.)

I did pay more for the toothpicks.  About a dollar more than I would have paid at the dollar store, but you know what?  My peace of mind is worth a lot more than a buck.  And if my tiny purchase could keep one American worker in a job for even one minute, it was well worth it.

How have you supported our economy by buying American?


Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

One thing I will only buy US made is dog food/treats.

Anonymous said...

I try to make sure everything I buy is's a little more $$$ and sometimes takes longer to find but I made it a mission.

Carrie P said...

Food from China scares me too. Especially pet food from China. I'd rather pay more and know that what I'm putting in my body or my pets bodies is safe and not modified. It's hard to find only made in the USA products but I prefer buying them and paying for the better quality than buying cheaper and having to replace quicker.

Jeannie D. said...

My husband and I refuse to shop at Walmart, since almost all of their products are from China. We try to buy locally and also have a garden and grow our own veggies. We buy meat from a local farmer. Good for all of us buying USA only!

Aurian said...

Thanks for the warning, I never thought about this really. I have absolutely no idea where the food I buy is coming from, I will take a closer look at labels from now on. Is it ignorant to think that Dutch brands are made in Holland?
I did hear a few weeks ago that Chinese people here in Holland are shipping Dutch baby foods and milk and stuff en masse to China, causing a shortage in the stores.

I do buy a lot of American books in England (Bookdepository) ;)

CindyD said...

I was excited to find grown in the USA canned mushrooms last week - at WalMart!!

SueAnn said...

When I was a kid, yt mom would look to see if things were made in Japan!! and she would not buy are looking to see if things are made in China!!! USE to be......elite, to buy a foreign item..France, Italy.....but all the global economy stuff...has cheapened that. I buy USA only....some tings from France, and Egypt, fabrics....but that is it..if a company sells Chinese goods, I don't shop there. Vermont country store started selling cheaper made goods from China and I won;t shop with have to many places just say "imported", but my question is, imported from where?! It is tough to shop American.....wish it were not so.....

A Sunflower Life said...

I always try to buy Made in the USA, and when it comes to food, I go for local first and organic second. I like to know where my food comes from and that it is free of pesticides, GMOs, etc.

ANNETTE said...

Like you, I am a made in the USA kind of person. And Walmart, nah, partly because of the Chinese product issues, (betcha Sam Walton is spinning in his grave every day) and partly because their employee practices have been unbelievably terrible. It is sometimes more time consuming to find the USA products, but it is worth it. We are helping jobs here - and buying things which should be safer. I have been trying to deal with local businesses too. It has become important to me to deal with a neighborhood business if possible.

Joanie said...

My husband has been on a crusade for years. Any computer I buy can't have an Intel processor because they built a plant in Vietnam, and about ten years ago we spent MONTHS looking for a space heater made in America because he wouldn't buy one from China. I get his point in both cases--a faulty-made space heater could easily burn down our house, and we fought a war against Vietnam, but the majority of chips we buy build their economy. It's crazy. It literally took us months to find a space heater completely made in the USA, and I tried to find another from the same company last year and learned they'd gone out of business. The space heater was more than twice what we would have paid for a Chinese model, but it's still working perfectly a decade later. And don't even try to find a US made television.

The kicker, though, was the remark by the big box computer salesman when I said I wanted a laptop with an AMD processor. When the salesman asked me why I wouldn't buy Intel, I told him, "We don't believe in furthering a Communist economy. That's one of the reasons we fought the Vietnam War."

His response would have been funny if it wasn't so scary. He said, "But they're not Communist anymore. They're capitalists now."