Have you ever walked into a grocery store, picked up some product, and wondered where it came from? Are you trying to buy more local foods? Well, you are in luck. A new food labeling law will went into effect as of September 30th, and it will label the country of origin for many foods that haven’t been labeled in the past.
Our local co-op labels where the produce comes from, as does our local Shaw’s in most cases. But this will require producers to label the country of origin on produce, meats, fish and shellfish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole ginseng.
Keep in mind that the slightest bit of processing exempts food from the labeling, such as roasting peanuts, or even mixing salad greens in a bag. Canned vegetables also do not need to be labeled under this law.
Does this clear everything up as far as making informed choices at the grocery store? No, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Now we can attempt to buy produce that is in the very least grown in the U.S. of A so it has a higher nutrient content (less travel time) and less of a carbon footprint. Of course, I would like to see genetically modified foods labeled as well, and all foods having a country of origin label, processed or not. But it is a start.