Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Food Industry

I Started reading this book around 10AM and almost didn`t go to work.  Then after just reading the intro I realized that I would have to do some research and maybe should read it and take some notes, and make some calls.

As so happens I was hungry, and made some quesadilla`s for brunch.
Once I discovered from the author that most of the tomatoes grown for processing are produced in I grabbed the salsa I was about to open and studied the label.  Hmmmm
jalapeno peppers
tomato paste
distilled vinegar
dehydrated onions, and garlic
natural flavor

So i called Old Dutch Foods it happens - here in Calgary. I got a call back shortly thereafter and was assured that the produce was grown in Texas and no part was ever sourced from China.

So I ate my lunch. I don`t know why I never questioned the tortilla, but I didn`t...another day perhaps.

It was only after I called Sun-Rype the question the source of the apples, that I remembered the dehydrated onions and garlic from the salsa and realized that hmmmm, I didn`t beleive her, cause I know that most of the processed garlic and onions, not to mention ginger come from china. That`s why I stopped buying those little jars of garlic and ginger mush.  Cause I couldn`t trust the ingredients where 100% pure.  So I will have to send an email to make sure about the onions and garlic.   After reading a few labels in the fridge and pantry I have come to the conclusion that I will have to do some canning and processing this month. Darn...that`s alot of work. Pisses me off that the food industry has screwed up like this, and left me no choice - cause I can`t trust their sourcing.

That brings me to apple juice...and Sun-Rype

I have grandchildren, and they are all addicted to apple juice.(have to do something about that one day). And since I lived in the Okanagan in the past and it`s close mileage wise...Sun-Rype is usually my first choice for juice.  But I have been known to buy a cheaper product from time to time.

So when the book stated that most of the apples that are processed into food products, come from CHINA.. I was stunned, to say the least. WTF China...again. with the Okanagan and Washington state right here....and the Niagra region...just over there.  Apples are coming from China.   I always assumed that apples were going toooooooo China. Well guess what?  Apples are mass produced in China and exported all over, as in Apple Concentrate.

I have a history with Apple Concentrate....and it`s not a happy history.

There was a time, way back in the early 90`s that We lived in Oliver, BC and i was waiting for call-ups as a Chef (cook, whatever...I prefer Chef). I was on-call. And since I got the job kinda unexpectadly fast, We really didn`t have much time to get a place to live and start working etc, etc, etc.  So, we had a camper and truck at the time.  What fun, we will go camping while mommy works.  What fun.  Even though my husband was working himself out of town (as in Vancouver) at the same time as I was planning on working in the Okanagan ( I still don`t know what I was thinking at the time!!! I was young....and ....)And since this job wasn`t really a guarantee of hours as on-call, so I wasn`t prepared to move there lock stock and barrel yet.  We loaded up the camper, and all the stuff, tents, camp stove, boat, bikes, everything imaginable.  And parked it all in a lovely campground in almost downtown Oliver BC, next to a lovely lake, and rec center...very grassy, completely fenced.  What could anyone ask for. My husband stayed around for a couple days while I did my training etc. Then he went back to work in Vancouver and two days later threw his back out and came back for the summer on WCB. To the campground, and three kids less than five years apart.

The camper wasn`t fancy, or big, or big...or fancy.  There was a port-a-pottie, and the shower was ....down the lane.

I did most of the cooking on the campstove on the picnic table.  Cause it was way to hot to do it inside. And besides so much easier.  Then we thought ...maybe we should look into a rental ...just in case.  Well that was a surprise.  I then realized that most of the other families (and there were several) were looking for the same nonexistant housing that we were.
After about two weeks of this camping thing I got desperate to get away from them all.  This was waaaaay to much togetherness.  And no one was calling in sick at the Longterm care facility. So i was stuck in this family togetherness.  Than one day I spotted an ad in help wanted for bodies at a processing plant, that just so happened to be real close by.  I applied and got the job.  It sounded like a better one than the cooking (ooops I mean chef) one I was waiting and waiting for.  The pay was better, it was seasonal (meaning I could potentionally take the winter off on UI), I could wear cut-off or jeans. The hours were perfect.  Wow...

I went to work one, day, two days....only two hours of three days....
I couldn`t take it anymore.  UGhhhhh

The job itself was a no brainer.  Basically of what I remember I pre-packaged fruit leathers into larger bulk packaging, and then shrink wrapped the whole box, then assembled these boxes into larger shipping boxes.

The problem was, that my station was directly in front of these massive coolers, basically the size of a house each - that stored Apple Concentrate. The Concentrate was in these huge vats, the size of a small hot tub, on wheels.  And they were wheeled in and out of these coolers. They weren`t covered, just sloshing around...with this huge black cloud of flies, fruit flies, gnats....I don`t know what they were exactly. They were just massive and gross. And everytime those coolers were opened and the sludge was wheeled around, I was engulfed in black shit, up my nose, in my eyes, buzzing around.  It was ......awful

This is apple concentrate.....allowable blah per million of fly parts and mouse hairs.....yes fly parts and mouse hairs.

(Canned soup is another no no noooo in my house, for the same reason)

Anyway I lasted less than three days.  And have never bought fruit leather or granola bars since.  If my children ever eat these things in front of me, I can be sure to point out those mysterious brown spots on the leathers as fly parts etc etc etc.  And they usually throw them away with a gross look on their faces.

So if Canada has standards for apple concentrate that gross me out, I can only imagine that China has even less.  Therefore A call was made to Sun-Rype about the source of their concentrate in mixed juices that I have on several occassions purchased, not really reading the label before. But apparently most mixed juices all have apple concentrate in them.

According to the rep from Sun-Rype ``we only buy apples from the okanagan valley, then washington state....but when we buy apple concentrate we MAY source it from brazil, venezuala, new zealand, tailand, and CHINA`` blah blah...but it has these high standard shit, blah blah blah....I don`t remember anything after she said CHINA.


I am going to have to read those damn labels more closely now. Damn the food industry all to hell, for slipping this crap into my food.  I am soooo pissed.  Do you know how much work this is going to take now to monitor every-single-thing-i-buy-that-goes-into-my-mouth. ARGGGGGGGGG

Do you feel my outrage food industry!!!!!!
I am pissed!!!!!

And horror of all horror!!!!!  Im going to have to start canning and freezing my own stuff. i need all that work. Shit!

And now I will be on the look out for the 100% from apples juice from sun-rype when it`s on sale and have to buy many cases for the year. Damn

Thanks alot Food F*cking Industry.

No comments: