Friday, September 13, 2013
Many, many foods in the USA contain additives, such as aspartame (marketed under the names Nutrasweet and Equal,) that are banned in other countries in the UK, the Netherlands, and Europe. I order my chewing gum from Ontario because, even though Wrigley (the makers of yummy aspartame-out-the-wazoo ORBIT) does manufacture a chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol, it is only available in Great Britain . I don't trust aspartame so I avoid it. This isn't meant to be an anti-aspartame rant. The point is that the food industry can get around the relatively slack FDA regulations by outsourcing their production to other countries. So, if you are someone who is concerned about what is in your food and/or whether the food was produced ethically or by people working for slave wages, etc., etc., etc. barcode reading just might be of interest to you.
The first few numbers in the series of numbers printed just below the barcode on any and every product, indicates the country in which that product or food was manufactured.
"HOW TO READ BAR CODES;
ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY--NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK CAREFULLY!
With all the food and pet products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read label at the supermarket - especially when buying food products. Many products no longer print where they were made on the label, but instead give the country where the distributor is located - which is misleading. It is common sense to assume that the product was manufactured or processed near the distributor, but that is seldom if ever the case.
The whole world is concerned about China-made "black hearted goods".
Can you differentiate whether a product was made in Taiwan or China ?
The world is also concerned about GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods and animals that have been fed steroids and antibiotics. Some countries ban GMOs, and/or the use of growth hormones, and antibiotics. It is important to do your homework on this subject and to pay close attention to who is writing or sponsoring the articles.
It is also important to read the bar code to track a food's origin. If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan .
If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 00-09 then it's made or sourced in USA.
This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves. Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products "MADE IN CHINA", so they do not openly indicate in which country the product is made. However, you may now refer to the barcode -
Remember if the first 3 digits are:
890......MADE IN INDIA
690, 691, 692 ... MADE IN CHINA
00 - 09 ... USA and CANADA
30 - 37 ... FRANCE
40 - 44 ... GERMANY
471 ........ Taiwan
45 or 49 ........JAPAN
50 .......... UK
76.........SWITZERLAND and Liechtenstein
471......... is Made in TAIWAN
629.........UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
740..........745 - CENTRAL AMERICA
All 480 Codes are Made in the PHILIPPINES. Share it!"
I wrote the first 2 paragraphs of this blog and made grammatical changes (ever the editor) in the rest, which was posted on FaceBook with no copyright and the words "please share" at the end... so I am sharing. % )