One of the reasons why I am interested in taking this course is because I want to know more about what really goes on in the food production process before I buy it off the shelf. Working in a supermarket for 4 years got me thinking about where our food really comes from. The only major thing I know about this process is that the meat we are buying now comes from livestock raised in factory farms. The living conditions in these places are awful to keep animals in, and that the animals are treated inhumanely. I know that the meat industry isn’t the only one that cuts corners and has some skeletons in its closet, but I want to find out who these other industries are and what they are doing that is wrong.
I read an article on www.foodsafetynews.com about the fungicide found in the juices we are importing into this country, mainly orange juice. At high levels, the fungicide has been tied to liver cancer. It specifically mentioned how the fungicide found in the juice, carbendazim, is banned from use in the US but not in Europe. The interesting part is that the EU has established a maximum residue limit, or maximum level considered safe, for carbendazim in orange juice: 200 parts per billion, while the FDA said it would reject any shipments found to contain the fungicide at 10 ppb or more. Just seeing the EU having more laxed standards than their American counterpart was very surprising to me. I found this to be out of character for EU standards. Europe is known to have very strict standards when it comes to any form of regulation. That, adding in the fact that European consumers are highly interested in where their food comes from, is really surprising. My other thought I had on this article is a question: why does America need to import the majority of its juice, especially orange juice? I understand that we don’t grow all the necessary fruits to make some of these juices, but we shouldn’t be importing orange juice considering America is one of the leading growers of oranges in the world. I know that buying oranges grown in other countries is probably cheaper, but we shouldn’t be importing something that we are perfectly capable of producing ourselves. I guess it bothers me that we are outsourcing one of the few things left America can do on its own.