Americans don’t offer realize extent of foreign-made goods
Outsourcing has been the cause of a lot of tension in America over the past two decades. Today, we’re not surprised to hear a foreign voice on the help lines, but the unfortunate reality is almost everything we consume is being produced elsewhere, including the very products we eat.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a nice lobster, catfish, or a shrimp dinner and it did not say it was locally farmed, odds are it came from another country. The Government Accountability Office reported 90 percent of our seafood being imported, with much of it coming from China or Vietnam.
The Government Accountability Office also reports that of the 90 percent imported, only 0.1 percent of that is checked for drug residue. This leaves a huge window of vulnerability for possible terrorist warfare or general American health. China is already secretive with many of their practices to outsiders, so how can we trust their exports blindly enough to consume as many as we are?
While Columbia may be landlocked, our state has ready access to the ocean with large ports like Charleston. There are many fish farmers fighting to increase our seafood sustainability but change must also come from the consumers. Packages of seafood bought at local grocery stores might come from close ports but are often sent up north to be packaged then sent back down south to be sold.
The practice of fishing was once completely locally based. Cities such as Charleston sprang up around water because we needed the sustenance that lived within as well as the connection it could give us to other places.
Now locally grown and harvested fish is an artisan work. It has to be specially ordered and usually one has to pay above and beyond the norm.
The carbon footprint left behind by the transport of fish on either a barge from China or a truck from another part of the country is another reason to buy and eat locally. The process has become bigger than it needs to be, and in the process has removed a lot of potential American jobs.
America has always prided itself on being strong and independent. It has a history of breaking away from oppression of foreign rule for the freedom of the people. So why after 200 years are we choosing to place our countries dependence back in foreign hands — hands of those we don’t agree with, such as China.
Buying locally isn’t just good for local business, but good for our health. The quality control on foreign products and produce is too questionable to be putting all our stock into it. It’s time for America to take pride in producing its own goods and to turn its back against domestic companies who choose not to do so.