As a Justmeans staff writer for the Sustainable Foods editorial department, I explore the disparity between consumerism and independence through the topic of sustainability. As a self-described 'urban homesteader' I look to find the balance between a sustainable lifestyle and use of corporate convenience. I don't necessarily want to live without electricity, but I want to be comfortable if eve...
USDA Gives The OK To Japanese Food Imports
Japanese food is delicious and usually very healthy, clean, simple and elegant. And while it isn't a significant interest of the American palate (which is far more interested in unclean, complicated, vulgar food), Japanese food does hold about 4% of the import market in the United States, mostly in the form of snack items and instant soups.
The FDA says that, "based on current information, there is no risk to the U.S. food supply" regarding Japanese food imports. At the same time, Today Health reported the FDA also claimed that, "while there was no 'public health event' in the United States requiring the use of the antidote potassium iodide, it was working with companies to increase production quickly."
The FDA uses the term, "based on current information" as a preventative litigious measure. This is what our country is now: people scared to say what is really going on because it may later demand a law suit, or affect commercial sales. But if you were to ask me, I'd steer clear of any imports for at least a little while. At least until we can get "more information."
The United States doesn't import that much from Japan, but many other countries do. And because the global market is full of shenanigans to bypass regulatory laws, we can't really be sure from where many of our imports are truly originating.
For instance, Thailand imports a large quantity of food from Japan, and we import _____ from Thailand, so who's to say there isn't some hand-changing along the way? Knowing that many products get globally laundered in order to be imported into an unassuming American consumer base (we'll buy almost anything, it seems!), we can safely assume that some companies might launder some products for profit without stating, or misleading, the products original starting point.
It's fair to be clear here: Nobody wants to economically punish Japan after all they have been through. And certainly I would not want to encourage banning Japanese products unmercifully; rather, I think we all want to see Japan get back on its feet after such an awful disaster and should also use some common sense until we have the full story and a realistic account of safety with regards to imported food products from the affected areas, at minimum. But it's possible even domestic foods will be at risk depending on the information the FDA later reveals, whatever that may be.
Photo credit: By richardmasoner