Lately the news has been full of warnings about products produced in China. From dog food, to lead in toys, to the toxic plastic in milk products, China has been the named culprit in recall after recall. I recently heard about glass made in China that has melted in microwaves (can you believe it?), and about cheesegraters made in that country that are highly radioactive -- owners of these cheesgraters are supposedly subjected to the equivalent of a chest X-ray every 36 hours. The most recent bit of China-product news that I saw had to do with drywall. Yep, drywall. You know, the stuff that people install in homes to keep rooms separated... I guess lots of the stuff used in Florida construction now appears to be toxic. Time to rip it out and replace. In over 30,000 homes. Can you imagine the magnitude of this job?
Here's the thing. It's almost impossible to buy stuff these days that isn't made in China. We took Daughter #2 out shopping last weekend to IKEA, Target, and Sam's Club to outfit her college apartment. We made a game of trying to buy items that were not Chinese-made. Just to see if it could be done.
Guess what? Not so easy. But try we did, and I have to say I was pretty proud of our stash of goods when we left the store. We gave up on a few items: measuring spoons, measuring cups, and a pizza cutter. Other than that, we did great. We bought plates, silverware, drinking glasses, coffee mugs, and even some decorative stuff, all made in the USA, or Italy, or Brazil. I think we had a couple of Thailands in there, too.
Since our shopping jaunt, we've become even more sensitive to "Where is it made?" on the bottom of items offered for sale. Last night, my husband and I walked through a Crate and Barrel and were really excited to see the country of origin marked boldly and clearly on so many of the shelf signs. When the country of origin was missing on the shelf tag, we checked the items individually. Interestingly, most of these were made in China. Hmmm...does this mean they don't want to advertise things made in China? Who knows? So delighted were we in finding things Made in Italy, and Made in USA, that we bought some stuff. Just a few mixing bowls, but they're cool.
We still couldn't find American made measuring spoons, or cups, but the search is not yet over.
Anyway, if you see someone peering closely at "Made In" tags when you're out shopping, say hello. It's probably me.