How many of you remember what you ate for lunch?? How many of you know exactly which country your lunch came from?? Over one-third of the food we eat is shipped from over seas and nearly another 1/3 comes for Canada, Mexico, and South America.
This is the reality; if you dont raise your food yourself, you dont know where it came from, or how it was handled. Chemicals such as DDT and Guthion are still used every day in less developed countries that the US buys food from. Toilets and sinks in the field are not even considered in these countries. It seems that if the USDA prohibited DDT and set up sanitation laws in the United States to protect the food we eat, then counties we buy food from should have the same laws.
Friends, the best traditions of our National life are in trouble, the cornerstone of the US is giving way. Agriculture, is suffering. You might think, so what! Ag is down right now, but so is every other major industry in the United States. This is not just a sign of the times. The problem is deeper.
An economic issue comes into play with imported foods.
Domestic food is more expensive because of labor costs, chemical costs, and laws surrounding agriculture that dont apply in most other countries. It is important to us as Americans have clean food and a clean environment. If we continue to eat contaminated, imported food what good will we be getting out of these laws?? The bottom line, here in America, is what seems to matter so we buy the cheap food not knowing what may be lurking or how we maybe destroying the American economy.
More danger comes to the American population in this time of war. The fact that over one-third of the food consumed in the US is shipped in from over seas makes it easy to cut off part of our food supply or contaminate it. A loss of imported food could cripple America in a grave way, by making us hungry or gravely sick.
If terrorist are not afraid to contaminate our mail then what will stop them from contaminating our food??
What about all the food grown here in Oregon? Where does it all go? Over 80% of the crops grown in Oregon are exported. The sad truth is, commodities such as sweet corn, green beans, and peas are then imported into Oregon cheaper than they can be grown.
Now, how do we solve this problem? Several options look as if they have a real potential for solving the problems at hand. The option I have heard from the most growers is only importing food into the United States when it is not in season here. This option will allow American agriculture to produce food to be consumed most of the year while keeping a friendly door open to trade. This would benefit the slumped economy through putting Americans back to work in the canneries; equipment manufacturing industries, the steel industries and the list of positives goes on.
Another option maybe government subsidized farming. Though subsidizing farmers now being forced to compete on a global market would have the playing field leveled. This would benefit the farmers, but food containing US banned pesticides would still be allowed to come into the country as regularly. Now that many farms have been set-up in foreign countries production is less likely to move operations back into the United States unless by force.
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