Store Brand Foods vs National Brand Foods — Trading Reputations? by – Mary A. LaClair Some name brand foods are actually made in China and Mexico while other store brand foods are made in the United States. Some people think that the food inside packages with a store brand label is most probably the same product, from the same place, just in different packaging and that we are simply paying more for the ‘name’. Nabisco Brand had always been a brand I could depend upon for quality.
Notice, please, the word ‘had’ as the word of choice.
NABISCO: Making, or attempting to make, a lemon meringue pie, upon my opening the first cellophane packet of Nabisco Graham Crackers I was bowled over with a putrid smell. A smell like paint remover wafted up my nose and across the room. I looked at the box, PRODUCT OF MEXICO – Nabisco, Mondolēz Global. I took the package back for a refund, which was gladly given. Perhaps they were painting or cleaning while product was being made in Mexico, or perhaps something else I’d rather not consider. I’ve not noticed any product recall. I find that strange.
I wanted to make that Lemon Meringue Pie! Back at the store, with cell phone in hand, I found the store brand crackers: it happened to be TOPS MARKET BRAND. I called the 800 number on the box while still in the store. I wanted to know if their graham crackers were produced at the Nabisco Plant. A message on my answering machine the next day notified me that “TOPS BRAND Graham Crackers are made at their own TOPS plant in Kentucky…Kentucky USA” I was satisfied with her answer, however the re-affirmation that it was actually “Kentucky USA” could be revealing and thought provoking.
Later, I called TOPS back thanking them for the information, advising them that that information would be best put in bold letters on the front of the package with an American flag revealing: “CONTENTS PROUDLY PRODUCED IN USA (flag icon) WITH ALL USA INGREDIENTS.” I explained to them that it now takes a discriminative shopper three to four times longer to grocery shop because of the time it takes to comb packages for the fine print to find the source of the food we feed our families.
Del MONTE Red Grapefruit Sections: – no sugar added. Before Christmas, I actually put it in my cart without checking. I was looking for another little fun item for our son. Married now with a family of his own and college aged children, I wanted him to remember when his father and I sent him to college with a case of canned grapefruit sections which he liked so well. Starting to wrap it, I noticed that NO SUGAR ADDED did not necessarily mean unsweetened; they had put in artificial sweetener and used smaller print! He also avoids artificial sweetener. And, what else did the very fine print say? PRODUCT OF MEXICO! After Christmas I returned that food item to Wal-Mart for full refund.
KELLOGG’S RAISIN BRAN: Again at Wal-Mart, I was putting a package of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran in my cart when I was moved to look for fine print. PRODUCT OF MEXICO. Back on the shelf it went.
LAY’S TUBE POTATO CHIPS: check the fine print – the ones I found in Wal-Mart years ago said, PRODUCT OF MEXICO and I haven’t bought any since. I’ve been to Mexico several times. Americans are still warned: “Don’t Drink the Water”. I called the company. I wanted to know how hot was the water in which the machinery, tubs and utensils are washed down. They had never been asked that question before. Well, ‘the potatoes are grown in U.S.’ I was told. “That is NOT the question I’m asking.” When an attempt at an answer came another referral was given. It was in such broken English on my answering machine that I couldn’t understand it. Hmmmm…
Del MONTE lunch box orange sections packed in orange gel: PRODUCT OF CHINA wait..! isn’t China the country guilty of putting lead in our children’s toys, and toxins in our dog food and doggie treats? Yes, yes, yes! You want to ingest food from there? Then look at all food labels for fine print.
MADE IN USA in red letters with an American Flag is appearing on more and more various and sundry material products. Our food products being more important, this practice should carry over to food products also, nay, it should have ORIGINATED with our food products. And the label “Made in USA” “Product of USA” should pertain to the contents, not simply the box or packaging.
NABISCO, KELLOGG’S, LAY’S, DelMONTE, the brands we used to trust, instead of being reliable now have to be scrutinized and called into question when necessary. I, for one, no longer find them trustworthy brands. I do hope those who read this will take note and act accordingly, as they see fit, for the safety of their own family. A resulting thought: Mexicans are still coming here for jobs, why? …when it seems we are sending jobs down to them… Some things don’t add up! And this deals just with, to my alarm, the formerly more trusted ‘top brand names’ – … perhaps now others will care enough to find and use the 1-800 numbers on food packages.
We should use them to
(1)express displeasure at foisting food upon us from known un-clean countries or enemy countries; and, (2) to inquire about which country actually processes the food. (knowing country of origin is not enough, chickens raised here may be sent to China for processing yet still qualify as USA for country of origin) We should know where our food is PROCESSED AND PACKED.
A word to the wise should be sufficient.
Let us read our labels and purchase discriminately: our own long term health, and that of our Nation, just MAY depend upon it. People have sent me some e-mails regarding countries and UPC codes however I have not yet found the information on these certain e-mails to run 100%true.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for thinking.
P.S. The next time you get a prescription filled, dare to ask the pharmacist the country of origin of the pills. You may be surprised.