Inferior quality food can come from any country

“Don’t buy Chinese made” seems to be the mantra on almost all goods these days, but especially so when it comes to food.

Recent episodes of inferior quality have made news headlines, with contaminated dog food—which ostensibly caused the death of dozens of pets—topping the list.

It appears being wary of Chinese food imports is sound advice. But does that mean a “free ride” should be given to food goods from other countries?

As it happens, dangerous foods from other countries also make headlines in China.

Currently two-thirds of the complaints received by the China Consumer’s Association regarding infant formulas is against foreign imports. The complaints range from quality issues—such as finding foreign objects—to adverse effects such as diarrhea and allergic reactions. Additionally, many products were found being sold after their expiration dates.

So, how does a country which is known by the rest of the world as “producing crap” somehow get to the point where they are complaining about other countries?

It turns out that a few years ago a huge domestic infant formula scandal made headlines; hence, Chinese consumers switched in droves to purchasing foreign brands. After the negative publicity on domestic brands, foreign manufacturers were happy to capitalize on the situation. But it appears the foreign manufacturers did the same thing as the Chinese manufacturers: they produced crap.

Sadly, Chinese consumers had been assuming that any processed food product made outside China must be safe. And one has to wonder if we are making the same kind of assumptions to our detriment. A government inspection does not guarantee a safe product. Researching and knowing your supplier does. Many resources are available online to accomplish this.

And an even better place to start is to visit your local farmers market… and get to know the suppliers.

Read the latest on imported baby formula issues in China here.