The rise of ‘organic’ food products has completely changed the way we shop and the way the supermarkets stock their shelves, but this doesn’t always mean a change for the better.
Organic food is more expensive to buy because more time and care has gone into the growing and the entire process from farm to supermarket shelves, but this has meant that companies have begun to be sneaky in trying to get around food laws.
China is one of the biggest exporters in the world, of food and many other products, and the U.S have not been able to get enough for the past couple of decades.
But Chinese imported food and the word ‘organic’ don’t really sit well together, it is probably one of the last places you might think that organic food would come from.
But recently, huge shipments of ‘organic’ food from China has been well received and had allowed shops to sell organic produce to consumers at low prices, something which every shop strives for, to undercut their competitor.
But when something seems too good to be true, it means it probably is. This Chinese ‘organic’ food has only been making its way into the U.S because it has been labelled as organic, even though in many cases it is not.
This is due to ever harsher restrictions at the customs posts which receive the goods from around the world into America. They need to make sure that the food that is brought in is safe and meets specific hygiene laws. In this area however, lots of Chinese imports were falling down, many packages were being rejected for not meeting quality standards.
To get around this, it has been reported that Chinese firms started sending out their food and labeling it as ‘organic’, despite this label not meaning anything in China. This way the companies were not breaking any laws in their country since there is no law to state what ‘organic’ constitutes, and then U.S officials were having to trust when it arrived that it was organic.
Without proper laboratory testing there is no way of knowing what chemicals or other contaminants were on the foods being brought in. A bag of dirty potatoes labelled as ‘organic’ will look inconspicuous as much organic food is rough and ready when it is shipped.
But despite this, even organic food from China that was meeting organic standards in the U.S has been deemed as unsafe, due to the poor conditions that food is grown in in many parts of China. The high demand for products and the low prices that other countries are prepared to pay for them has meant that something had to give, and that something is the quality of the food.