Posts Tagged ‘HSUS’
I love this time of year when the stone fruit trees are in bloom. Such vibrant pink and billowy white blossoms! Makes me wonder if those who flock to see the cherry blossoms in our nation’s capitol know about our region’s Blossom Trails. Each blossom marks the promise of a piece of fruit – a peach, a nectarine, a plum, a pluot, an apricot and so much more as the following weeks and months will juicily unfold.
Recently, I have had several people share with me stories of their quest to buy domestically grown and produced foods. It is not as easy as one thinks. However, I wholeheartedly suggest that it is made easier when you plan your meals and grocery list ahead of stomach-growling hunger pains. For peaches, here’s what to look for – if the product is imported, the label must state the country of origin. If it is domestically-grown, you call tell by one of three ways: 1) The country of origin will not be listed (since it is USA); 2) It’ll clearly state “Product of USA”; or #3) It will feature “California Goodness” logo. To learn more, visit www.calclingpeach.com.
While on a recent trip to the local CVS Pharmacy Drug Store, I found myself wandering down the aisles to check out their canned fruit (as I’m now prone to do in any store carrying canned goods). Did I mention that the back of the CVS building adjoins a Del Monte facility? And that the CVS store is in the heart of one of the nation’s most robust growing regions for canning peaches? And that the region’s farming families and farming income is what enables majority of their patrons to be able to shop there? But I digress. There, boldly displayed, in the canned fruit aisle was, with the CVS Gold Emblem label, Yellow Cling Peaches (product code 503802) from CHINA! What a slap in the face to local peach growers, like myself, and many unsuspecting customers who would readily assume that they were buying local or at least domestically grown peaches.
I called CVS (you can too at 800-746-7287) to express my frustration. I talked to a sweet customer services representative who commiserated with me and expressed shock that CVS would be selling Chinese peaches. She diligently logged my call and shared that it would be forwarded to the “Category Manager” for canned goods.
I’m not super confident that my call will make a difference. But I do think that if enough people called and complained, too, that there will be strength in numbers (recall how ag supporters successfully created pressure on Yellow Tail wine with their Yellow Fail campaign to get them to reverse their support of HSUS?).
You might not blog; social media just may not be your thing… but “if you love to eat and wear clothes, you are involved in agriculture” (CWA’s motto)…take the time to ask for local and domestically produced food and use your personal buying power to make a difference! Be an ag advocate in way you are comfortable.
On a closing note, the month of March marks the occurrence of two special ag celebrations. March 15th is National Ag Day to highlight “Agriculture is Amazing” in Washington, D.C..; and March 23rd is Ag Day in California where at the steps of the Capitol building policy makers, residents and visitors are enlightened to “Agriculture Drives California”. Ag Day Partners CDFA, CWA and Ag in the Classroom in collaboration with ag related exhibitors from around the state show off our state’s agricultural commodities and programs.
Located in the Central San Joaquin Valley and passionate about a domestic food supply, Karri Hammerstrom is an agricultural advocate, educator and a small farmer with her husband of stone fruit, alfalfa and children.