Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Made in the USA update
It's been a week, and what occurs to me most is "why the hell am I doing this"? I've (tried) to give up products not made in the United States and there have already been very frustrating moments.
Some of your comments, too, have me concerned: Chris in Seattle says that even if just one small component is US made, the entire product can be labeled thus. Randal brings up the whole travesty of the Marianas Islands- a scheme brought to life by Tom DeLay et. al. where products made in sweatshops by asian women (who may be forced to undergo abortions just to stay on the job-whassat? christian right?) are still able to be labeled Made in the USA.
Frankly, I think that no one is even trying that hard to deceive anymore because no one is paying attention.
And its so convoluted to try to figure out the place of origin on some things. Yesterday I went to spend a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. CDs and DVDs are marked 'printed in the US'. But does this mean that the package is printed here or are the CDs and DVDs printed here? No doubt the jewel cases are Chinese. Should I care? And another point-I wouldn't ordinarily buy from Barnes and Noble except for the gift certificate. I prefer to buy CDs from a locally owned store rather than to download (I'm probably 50/50 right now). Downloading is environmentally better, but buying locally is economically better. I havent' figured that out on the hierarchy yet.
I just came from the grocery store. Today I broke down and bought straws for my daughter. I don't buy them because she tends to spill when she uses one, she tips her glass toward her like she's drinking but still has the straw; also single use plastic items are just kind of a 'no'. So I bought them and Ben pulled them out of the bag. "Busted", said he. "China?" "China". Crap. They're probably 100% phthalate neon glow straws. I did find a face scrubbie thing since I can't buy Biore strips; those dandy little wonders that yank stuff out of your pores are made in Canada. I wonder if the lady in the HABA aisle thought the little "whoo hoo" I squeaked out was weird. 3M corp. Minnesota. Made in the USA.
Ben got stuck out of town one night last week. He needed clothes for work and stopped at Kohl's to get a dress shirt for the next day's meeting. You absolutely can't impulse-buy on this program.
I also had clothes to exchange at the Gap. I can't tell you how deflated I felt walking in to the mall knowing that there is probably not a single thing in those 5 acres of mall store product that was manufactured here.
And tomorrow is Ben's birthday. I also went to Kohls yesterday to see if I could find a kitchen gadget miraculously made in the USA. Wisconsin used to be home to three or four manufacturers, like the Mirro company who make small appliances and pots and pans. The closest I came to something for Ben was a product labeled 'Engineered in the USA. Made in China'. We'll be going out for dinner.
We won't order the Chilean Sea bass. (I knew better before this experiment anyway).