Category Archives: Food

Vitamin C Not Made in China, Updated

Ok, so some people want an update on the Vitamin C post.  It’s a bit dated, so this will help update the list.  For those of you who do not know, China produces the bulk of vitamin C in the world.  They got that way by the government of China subsidizing the production cost of vitamin C, allowing them to undercut everyone else on the market until they drove everyone else out of the market.  For your information, that’s a violation of the WTO of which they are a member of and are not suppose to do such unfair trade practices. 

 

This is in an update, so go read the old post and the comments and then read this one.  Don’t expect a long list since almost ALL vitamin C sold in the US, comes from China.  In all honesty, get your vitamin C from natural sources!  The Chinese in a Wall Street Journal article defended their practices of price fixing, they don’t want to play fair and they have proven to not care about your health. 

 

My best advice, advocate at the local, state and federal level for country of origin labeling for all products sold in the US.  Then you will know what you are getting and can make a real informed choice.

 

Here’s what I have found:

 

Vitamin C foundation 

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Filed under Business, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Food, Globalization, International Trade

Not just for Techies

I love this idea, using computers to order your food in a restaurant.  I live in an area with extremely bad service in most restaurants.  So the idea of using a computer to put in my order is an idea I would jump on.

I’m a busy person and so the restaurant model of waiting for the waiter to come and take my order and then hope they got it right in between their flirting with the person catching their eye at the next table.  Instead it makes more sense to have a computer on the table so that when I’m ready, I just place more order and go.  So no matter what you order, green tea, cheesecake or whatever, you have control over the timing of your order, I like that.

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Monsanto Strikes at Ben and Jerry’s

I don’t eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, just not my thing, so I don’t have a dog in this race.  I do however applaud them for informing consumers about the quality of their products and the quality of their ingredients particularly if the milk comes from cows with hormones and antibiotics.  I like that and wish more companies would do that.  But then along comes Monsanto that for some reason feels that informing consumers is a bad thing.

 

A “farmers group” backed by Monsanto (that’s spin for, Monsanto partner farmers who would lose money if you knew which was which milk) say it unfair that you know what is in your milk, that it creates a bias.  Well, if Monsanto and these farmers feel their product is so safe, why not show us the studies?  Why not open up their farms and show us how safe their milk is?  But they don’t.  They don’t have independent labs test either.  So if their milk is so safe, why are they not doing what is expected in a capitalist system and show us why their products is better?  Maybe because they know we know better than to fall for it and ignorance is the only way they can sell their chemical soup they label as milk.

 

I wouldn’t buy from Monsanto because they don’t’ know what capitalism is all about.  The best product wins and that means informing consumers so the market can decide what is best.  Monsanto knows it has a bad product and doesn’t want to play by the rules; they don’t want you the consumer to be able to make up your own mind.  Of course if you don’t follow Monsanto’s made up rules, they sue the day lights out of you.  Be a good consumer, don’t buy their products. 

 

If these hormones are so safe, why are they banned in Canada, Japan and the EU?  Monsanto hasn’t answered that question and until they do, you have no reason to trust them. Use your consumer voice and demand more labeling and more choice.  We are told free trade and globalization is good for consumers because it gives us more choice, so why doesn’t that hold true for milk labels? 

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Boycott Whole Foods

I know Whole Foods is the poster child for organic and all, and yes they do have a lot of wonderful products which I am glad they are sharing with us.  Even though those items are generally way over priced and prohibit many people from shopping their due to the high margins Whole Foods imposes.  Which is probably the root cause of why they fired one of their own employees for trying to ensure you didn’t have to pay even higher margins.

 

Last December, just before Christmas, the Ann Arbor, MI Whole Foods had someone make off with over $300 in food.  John Schultz, an employee of 5 years at Whole Foods was on his break (as in not on the clock) when the store manager called for help to subdue a robber.  Schultz came to the aid and as a result, was fired.  You can read the whole news clip by clicking HERE. 

 

Whole Foods claims that it is against company policy to touch a customer.  Ok, but don’t you have to buy something or intend to buy something to be a customer?  When did being a thief mean being a customer?  Does this also mean that if someone is beating you senseless in the bulk foods aisle of your local Whole Foods, you can expect no staff to come to your aid because that would mean touch you or the person beating you, so basically you are going to lose some teeth at the least because Whole Foods doesn’t want to touch you.

 

Also, this guy was off the clock, not working for Whole Foods so Whole Foods is a bit in murky waters claiming he is always an employee, if that’s the case, I believe they owe him a lot of over time.  Also, this guy only went after the thief because the manager requested it, how can you catch a thief without actually touching the thief?  Usually they don’t stop just because you asked politely.  So the manager can be held liable because it was only on his request that the employee came to help.

 

Third, this did not happen on Whole Foods property, so again, Whole Foods is on some very shaky ground.  Do they now feel they have the right to dictate terms on public property or the property of others?  I wonder what would happen if Wal Mart decided to do that to Whole Foods, I’m sure Whole Foods would have issues with it.

 

Whole Foods is a company that I really used to like, but the more I look below the surface the more I prefer doing my shopping else where.  This is one more example to add to my list.  Here is a guy that did the right thing and they reward him by firing him, the day before Christmas, yet their CEO who was clearly in violation when pretending to be someone else on Yahoo message boards praising his stock while trashing competitors, gets a slap on the wrist?  He should have been fired and fined heavily.  This is a company whose morale compass is out of alignment.  As many of the comments on the article are saying, I have to agree, it would be a good idea to boycott Whole Foods, they don’t seem to understand the world of realities.

 

Whole Foods is known as Whole Check because it costs so much, they do that because they keep their margins very high.  That means, you pay more for the very same thing that your local supermarket sells for 30% less.  This is probably why the “customer” robbed them; they needed food and couldn’t pay the high prices.  But that would make too much sense to play high prices, so they blame the not on the clock employee for violating policy.  That’s just wrong.

 

Also, lets look at this issues more.  A zero tolerance policy of no touching.  Is Whole Foods saying they own the employee no matter where they are?  Have the right to dictate their lives?  Not very people friendly but really if you look at the comment by the Whole Foods spokesperson said “He is still considered an employee of Whole Foods Market regardless of where he was and what was happening.”  So lets say you work at Whole Foods and your spouse comes in to shop, does that mean when you go home at night you can’t kiss them or hug them?  By the definition given by Whole Foods, yes, they have to right to fire you for that.  If you play a contact sport, you are fired if you happen to touch someone who is a customer too.  Don’t you dare shake hands with someone either, you will be fired!  Anyone else see how insane and completely off the chart of common sense Whole Foods is being on this?  Talk about police state mentality, I wonder what policies they have toward customers that we don’t know about. 

 If you own stock in Whole Foods, you might want to ask the board why is it they are wasting money and reducing your income potential.  If you read this, Whole Foods has essentially said to every shoplifter to come on in and rob the place, because employees will be more afraid of being fired than stopping you from robbing the place.  All that shop lifting is going to cut into operating margins which means weaker stock performance.   This company has shown very little goodwill and more interest in political correctness than correctness and common sense.  I am not for giving money to companies that can’t tell the different and realize a good thing when they see it.  As a result, I urge you to think about spending your money else where, there are plenty of options in most locations and often less expensive at that!  With a tighter market on the way, maybe Whole Foods will realize we don’t want to have to worry about our safety in stores because employees fear for their livelihood.  The best way to help a company see the light is to spend your money else where.

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Filed under Business, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Food, Life

Recall Conspiracy?

I have been hearing a lot of talk now that there must be a conspiracy going on against China goods, why all the recalls?  Well it is quite simple and easy to explain without the need to rely on conspiracy theories of any kind.  This isn’t anything new, we have known about it for a while, the problem with China goods.  Just look at the FDA’s own records, the fish problems have been going on for years. Nobody paid attention to it, until some pets got sick and people started looking around at other products.  This is natural.

 

Never underestimate the anger of pet owners whose beloved family member got sick from bad pet food.  China was the problem and the source.  It actually took some time for this to get rolling, very little in March or April.  Some news in May and then an explosion this summer in the form of massive recalls.  If you look at the way most trends, products or information gets spread, this follows a natural pattern.  A few early adopters notice, the trend setters catch on and then the masses. 

 

So we had a few people who caught on, then the trend setters and finally everyone is looking around every corner wondering if their product from China is safe.  Add to that, the products in question are for kids, that gets people’s attention!  When you mess with someone’s kids, you are asking for more trouble and people are now questioning anything from China, where as before they just believed the brand promise without question.  The alarm is sounded, this is going to get wider.  Which is a good thing because if it had gone unchecked, imagine if people became ill or worse from these products on a wide scale.  Remember the spinach scare last year?  I know a lot of people who do not eat spinach anymore.  The ball is rolling so this is here to stay, and with the Christmas season coming, you can be assured more testing is going to bring up more recalls.

 

I don’t have any sympathy for the producers or China; they failed in their brand promise to deliver us quality goods, which does imply a safe good.  They will have to work hard to earn the trust of consumers.  Which is a good thing, consumers should question their manufacturers about the products they sell.  That’s how consumers stay informed and keep producers focused on quality.

 

Why some people want to claim the recalls are a conspiracy are because they don’t fully understand how people as a group react to alarming information.  I’ve been watching this since the first story on pet food hit the media and this is not a conspiracy, it’s not even a fad, it moves too slow.  We haven’t even hit the peak yet.  The great thing is, companies are taking advantage of this and new channels for businesses are cropping up.  In fact I just read how a local supermarket is going locally grown for produce as a result of concerns about where produce come from and they are doing great.  This is great, consumer demands are being met.  It goes to show that when given a chance, consumers will pick quality over cheap goods. 

 If anything the above example probably shows if there is a conspiracy, it was on the part of big multinationals who claimed we were getting inexpensive goods by moving production to China.  Not really, just their profit margins got better, the prices didn’t get that much lower. 

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Filed under Branding, Business, China, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Customer Satisfaction, Food, Globalization, International Trade, Recalls, The World, Trade

Chocolate, Flip Flops and Toys

Well a busy day for recalls, also a rather gross day. 

Now I never think of China when I think of chocolates but then that’s just me.  But for some unlucky shoppers in South Korea, they found a little something extra in their chocolates and it wasn’t a caramel center.  It was worms.

  

This is just breaking so it is hard to say where the worms entered into the chocolates, but it is still raising questions and the manufacture’s less than up front stand, only raised more questions.

  

A woman bought some flip flops from Wal Mart, only to experience what she says is basically a chemical rash burn on her feet.  According to some news sources, Wal Mart is finally pulling these off the shelves.  You can view the woman’s site, but I’ll warn you, it’s kind of gross at times.  

And finally, paint sets and crayons are being recalled, again, made in China.  I’ve lost count of how many children’s items have been recalled but the fact that it is in the millions already, is shocking enough.  And the fact most of the Christmas toys are already on their way, means we can probably expect a lot more.    

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Filed under Branding, Business, China, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Customer Satisfaction, Food, Globalization, Health, International Trade, Marketing, Recalls, The World, Trade

The Toxic 55

A fellow WordPress blogger has put together a list of the “55 Famous Toxic Foods From China.”  Worth a look since this blogger does focus a lot more on China than I do.  I’ve been reading his blog for a while and what he says is often inline with independent source of my own.

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