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View Full Version : Yet another made in America thread...



John Coloccia
12-16-2011, 9:46 AM
...or rather, the NOT made in China thread. At the risk of getting political, though I really don't think this is a political issue at all, has anyone else gone on a 100%, no compromise, buy NOTHING from China since they decided to publicly gear up for war?

I did, or I'm trying at least, and I'm finding it to be INCREDIBLY difficult. It seems like everything is made in China. Can you buy a computer that's not made in China? I'm bummed that when my iPhone finally breaks, buh-bye to all my wonderful apps because that's made in China. I think the inspection mirror I bought the other day is made in China. GRRRRRRR.

Forget about the Made In America...I'm resigned to the fact that we don't make things anymore. What I really want is a resource that lists where I can buy things that aren't Made In China or assembled from Chinese components. You wouldn't think this would be so hard but it is.

Like, can I buy a set of punches that aren't made in China? What about a nail set? Who makes a nice corkscrew that isn't made in china? Someone out there has got to be compiling a resource of items you can buy if not from your own country, from a friendly country.

David Weaver
12-16-2011, 10:52 AM
It is nearly impossible in some cases.

I wanted to get a push reel mower, and wanted a cheap scotts version that's been around for eons. Until 2007, they were made in the US - now china.

Then I eyeballed a nice version that I thought was made in the US (costs 2 1/2 to 3 times as much) called Mascot, Silent Cut, ...a bunch of different brand names. I don't know when they switched, but they are also made in China now, and to the tune of $300 for a very simple 40 pound mower.

What bothers me, not their war issue, or their pushing their way around with cash (well, because they have it and nobody else does) gaining shares in things that we should probably not be giving up shares to - but that whoever is bringing in all of this junk from overseas, the mower for example, is now no longer bringing it in cheaply.

What's occurred with the mowers, and the tools, and all of this other stuff that's inferior to what was made here 10 years ago is that even though the cost to manufacture is very little, the price to the end user is still nearly the same. I would call it "made in china quality and made in the usa price".

It is nearly impossible with almost any good to get something that's not at least going to have a bunch of made in china components, so all you can do is pick your battles.

Stephen Tashiro
12-16-2011, 12:39 PM
Someone out there has got to be compiling a resource of items you can buy if not from your own country, from a friendly country.

I suppose the Defense Department pays some attention to strategic items. As to consumer goods, it might require a new agency of government to compile such a list. Would it be useful? It would be useful in planning for a "trade war" or some sort of limited military conflict where there are embargoes. But being "adequately prepare" for wars is essentially a fiction since it's so expensive. A nation that devoted enough resources to be adequately prepared would be at a big disadvantage in peacetime economic competition.

I find the worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs in USA very ironic. When I was a kid (and this was in the USA) there were all sorts of programs on television that agonized about "the drudgery of the assembly line". I lived in a "mill town", so there were examples of that at hand.

Bill Edwards(2)
12-16-2011, 1:11 PM
I find the worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs in USA very ironic. When I was a kid (and this was in the USA) there were all sorts of programs on television that agonized about "the drudgery of the assembly line". I lived in a "mill town", so there were examples of that at hand.

It always seemed to me to be the worry of those who didn't do such work.
They just felt the need to "Help" like the government.:eek:

We don't exactly help ourselves. Our scrap yards are so busy sending steel
to China, they think they've gone to heaven.

John Coloccia
12-16-2011, 1:33 PM
I'm starting to wonder about little things too. Are the plastic bags at the supermarket made in China? What about the Unibal Roller pens that I love? I bring my own bags now...it's better for the environment and I know where my bags came from. I see more and more people doing that anyway. Dishwashing detergent....the can my chic peas came in...where is it made?

It's really difficult to know exactly where everything is from. I've even having trouble with my own guitars that I make. OK, the pickups are made here but where are the bobbins made and where is the wire made? How about the heat shrink? Where are the screws on the bridge made? I've always believed that talk is cheap and people need to take action if they want to affect change (or maybe just be stubborn and curmudgeonly), but I'm finding that task to be absolutely daunting, bordering on impossible.

Ben Hatcher
12-16-2011, 1:45 PM
I read an interesting article on Forbes called "Why Amazon can't make a Kindle in the USA", even if it wanted to. Evidently, the drive to manufacture LCD screens in other countries has left the US without the engineering, design and manufacturing skills to make state of the art electronics. It is an interesting read if you have the time. 'tis but a search away.

Dave Lehnert
12-16-2011, 1:46 PM
Made in the USA list.

http://americansworking.com/

John Coloccia
12-16-2011, 2:16 PM
Made in the USA list.

http://americansworking.com/

I've tried those lists. I appreciate greatly that you posted that, but here's the problem (and I picked this one because I just happen to know about guitars so it was easy to find)

http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?p=s&g=X&m=000X1AE

Martin is listed on that site and that guitar is made in...uhm....Mexico, I believe. Could be Asia. I know it's not made here and no where on Martin's page (at least not conveniently) can be found a hint where it's made, never mind where all the components from their "made in the USA" guitars come from.

I've bookmarked the list, though. It's a good starting point.

Greg Portland
12-16-2011, 2:19 PM
...or rather, the NOT made in China thread. For kitchen goods look @ European and Japanese brands. I've seen punches made in Mexico; there are also used tools (does a punch really wear out?).

Jim Koepke
12-16-2011, 4:38 PM
Try this one:

http://madeinusaforever.com/

One of the problems is the way our tax laws were changed to allow manufactures to move operations to other low wage markets and getting tax incentives to do so.

The products are not much less expensive to the buyer, but some of the CEOs are making a lot off the difference.

One of the World's biggest retailers has made it almost impossible for American workers to compete. The sad part of this is at one time the same retailer had big signs proclaiming its items were all made in America.

Look what has happened to homes built with wall board made in China.

Sometimes saving a penny can lose your job...

jtk

Larry Edgerton
12-16-2011, 6:46 PM
What started out as a "American Christmas"for my wife and I has turned into a policy that I intend to continue. Well, not so much just American, but not made in China.

The Christmas presents were a bit of an eye opener, even for me, but still it was not so hard as I was not buying things that were absolutely necessary. Absolutely necessary is another eye opener all together, a much tougher game.

In the other thread I mentioned the boots, and the lighting that I have to have to do my work. It was tough, and I ended up buying a light made in Mexico because it was as close as I could get. For boots I am going to try hot weather military boots from that same company that makes them for the armed forces.

This will require more planning of purchases to be sure. My computer is old and I have to replace it soon, so I guess I better start looking into that. Impulse buying is out it appears. Any help on the computor front would be appreciated.

It will be interesting to see where this thread leads......

Larry

Larry Edgerton
12-16-2011, 6:53 PM
I just have to add that I am a pretty strong person that is not afraid of much, and since I started really paying attention I find this all very disturbing. As I am fruitlessly looking for domestic goods with no success I get a strainge feeling in the pit of my stomach. Its a bit scary.....

Larry

Dave Lehnert
12-16-2011, 7:02 PM
I've tried those lists. I appreciate greatly that you posted that, but here's the problem (and I picked this one because I just happen to know about guitars so it was easy to find)

http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?p=s&g=X&m=000X1AE

Martin is listed on that site and that guitar is made in...uhm....Mexico, I believe. Could be Asia. I know it's not made here and no where on Martin's page (at least not conveniently) can be found a hint where it's made, never mind where all the components from their "made in the USA" guitars come from.

I've bookmarked the list, though. It's a good starting point.

I had the same thought. I was looking at a mfg listed and know not all products were made here. Like you said. It's a start.

Joel Goodman
12-16-2011, 7:15 PM
I tried both the links that were mentioned http://madeinusaforever.com/ and http://americansworking.com/ and neither is very complete. For example R Murphy Knives, which makes old fashioned kitchen and other knives (carbon steel is available or stainless) here in the USA isn't on either site. I wonder if the sites are fee based (to be listed) Perhaps what we need is a labeling requirement that's got teeth -- often I have to search for the "made in..." and sometimes it's not possible to find it, and how about listing the country of origin in all catalogues and web listings? At least LV says USA or Canada in large letters or "imported" which is perhaps code for China. I think we consumers have a right to know and to put our money where our mouths are, if we so choose. My local running store stopped carrying Wigwam (made in USA) socks and now only stocks Chinese and South African socks!

Mike Archambeau
12-16-2011, 7:48 PM
At one time my work involved designing and making tools to mass produce photographic products. I had close contact with tool shops that employed talented tool makers. Their attitude was "if you can design it, we can build it." Their metal working skills were extraordinary. In the Hartford CT area you probably can find some very good tool shops. Colt Firearms are made there and there are small shops producing components for firearms. And Pratt & Witney is also in your area, so there must be tool shops producing for them. You may find a small shop who will produce guitar components for you. That way you could have an American made guitar with American made components......all produced in CT. A mighty fine proposition if there ever was one.

A video you might enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQbzQCByX4

John Coloccia
12-16-2011, 8:11 PM
At one time my work involved designing and making tools to mass produce photographic products. I had close contact with tool shops that employed talented tool makers. Their attitude was "if you can design it, we can build it." Their metal working skills were extraordinary. In the Hartford CT area you probably can find some very good tool shops. Colt Firearms are made there and there are small shops producing components for firearms. And Pratt & Witney is also in your area, so there must be tool shops producing for them. You may find a small shop who will produce guitar components for you. That way you could have an American made guitar with American made components......all produced in CT. A mighty fine proposition if there ever was one.

A video you might enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQbzQCByX4

That is cool. It reminds me that I really should sharpen my axe soon.

I have been trying to source locally for everything I can on my guitars and I've also been trying to be 100% made in the USA, including every component. I have to go through it again but I get closer everyday.

Jim Matthews
12-16-2011, 8:45 PM
The products are not much less expensive to the buyer, but some of the CEOs are making a lot off the difference.

The core problem, right there.

mickey cassiba
12-16-2011, 9:59 PM
The products are not much less expensive to the buyer, but some of the CEOs are making a lot off the difference.


The stockholders are what drive the companies to outsource...the CEO does indeed reap a whopping salary and ridiculous bonuses, but he achieves this by keeping the stockholders(the ultimate owners) happy.

Jake Helmboldt
12-16-2011, 10:12 PM
It is almost impossible to avoid Chinese products these days, but I have sworn off all food products from there, especially "organic". I scrutinize the country of origin on stuff, and it galls me that we are expected to pay top dollar for things made over there. As someone else noted the savings often aren't passed along to the consumer. That is one of the problems with the corporatization of America; race to the bottom line with no affordable alternatives. It is like the social strata; nothing left in the middle. I was shopping for shoes yesterday and found a pair of nice boots, made in America. They are about twice as much as the Chinese made ones, but I think I'll buy them anyway since it is so rare to find US made shoes anymore.

I bought a fishing rod at Wally World over the summer on vacation. First time I'd been in that place in about a decade. After less than a week of fishing (saltwater) the reel was frozen. Meanwhile my Shakespeare reel that I've had since I was a kid is still going strong. The disposable society we have become has negated any cost savings from cheaper (sometimes) products.

Mark Baldwin III
12-17-2011, 5:59 AM
Like, can I buy a set of punches that aren't made in China? What about a nail set? Who makes a nice corkscrew that isn't made in china? Someone out there has got to be compiling a resource of items you can buy if not from your own country, from a friendly country.

Dasco makes punches in the USA. They are quality tools, IMO. I'm also in the Not-MIC camp. I make an active effort to not buy anything Chinese. If I can't find a product made in North America, I then look for European or Japanese. If the only alternative is Chinese, I can live without it. I no longer buy from Craftsman, seeing as how most of their stuff is MIC now. For woodwork, I buy most of my new tools from Lie-Nielsen and Lee Valley. I make or buy antiques for the rest.
I'm working on weeding out MIC from my life. With some of the smaller stuff, it's hard to find the country of origin. I don't mind Mexican or South American products if I can't find it from here, Europe, or Japan first.

Bonnie Campbell
12-17-2011, 10:30 AM
The one type of thing I absolutely refuse to buy with a MIC label is foods. Though even that is hard to know for sure. Look at the additives bought from there that are incorporated into different foods. How many do they find eventually that are 'contaminated'? Often times even the government won't tell us what companies made the additive. The levels of contamination coming from overseas is mind boggling.

Another thought... How many years ago was it that Japanese products were taking over America? Their products were known as junk. They did clean up that reputation and now are known for quality products in numerous areas. I don't see China caring about their quality. When it is being bought, knowing it is junk, just because it's cheap, why improve?

And yes, I buy American whenever I can.

Ryan Mooney
12-17-2011, 11:51 AM
The one type of thing I absolutely refuse to buy with a MIC label is foods.

A good example of that is honey that isn't honey but mostly corn syrup. Interestingly when we banned Chinese honey a lot of countries that don't really have bees to speak of started importing tons of "honey". Search "Honey Laundering" and "Chinese honey". I'm pretty much done buying honey from anyone other than direct from beekeepers (its better honey by a lot anyway).

Mike Archambeau
12-17-2011, 2:23 PM
I hope Shiraz is reading this blog and thinking seriously about the sentiment expressed regarding MIC.

John Coloccia
12-17-2011, 3:30 PM
You know, there's a certain economy in a high quality too also. For example, half the reason I have 6 or 7 routers is that changing setups is an absolute pain in the butt on these things. Remove the dust collection shroud, move it to just the right height, fight the spindle lock (if you're lucky enough to have one), fumble with a wrench that hardly has enough room to turn, etc etc....do it all in reverse to get a new bit mounted and then actually setup your cut.

Has anyone ever worked with a Festool router? It's about 10 times easier, 10 times less frustrating and 10 times faster. It's like it's actually designed to be used! The dust collection is also miles better than any of them. I wasn't a huge Festool fan, but now that I see their stuff everyday and have had a chance to play with them, I can tell you that it's worth every penny. I would probably be happy with one Festool vs the stable of Boschs, Porter Cables and Craftsman routers I currently have. I could have bought two Festools by now. Instead, I almost bought yet another router today....a Dewalt palm router. LOL...I caught myself.


I hear you about the honey. We've been trying to get all of our produce locally. It's not really possible in the winter time here, but certainly from spring through fall I'm surrounded by farms that grow everything I could want. I have a dairy farm up the street that supplies our milk and eggs. The farm stands tend to be a LOT cheaper...the dairy farm is a little more expensive, though not by much. The quality of the milk, however, is far better than even our large local brands of milk. Do dairies water down milk because that's what out store bought milk tastes like now. I don't know. Maybe it's the quality of the feed?

We see the biggest difference in things like tomatoes. Good heavens, the chemically ripened tomatoes that are trucked in are absolutely useless for anything except sticking in the oven and drying....maybe putting a slice on your hamburger. It's impossible to make anything resembling a a good sauce with them. There's no sweetness....they're so stiff you practically need to run them through a blender to smooth them out. Nasty. If I can't get fresh, I use whole canned tomatoes...believe it or not they are far better than tomatoes out of season. Cento brand has nothing but tomatoes in the can...no salt...no basil.....the ingredients read "tomatoes", so that's all I use.

John Coloccia
12-17-2011, 3:37 PM
I hope Shiraz is reading this blog and thinking seriously about the sentiment expressed regarding MIC.

Well, I hope so too. For whatever reason, I happen to casually know a couple of people that know Shiraz, and by all accounts he's a pretty stand up guy. Certainly Grizzly has treated me well the couple of times I've had a problem. If someone like Shiraz would step up and simply refuse to do any more business in China, he would be my hero. I'm sure the it would make absolutely no business sense but then again life it far too short to be rational all the time. Sometimes you just gotta follow your gut.

And my gut is telling me that I split enough wood today and it's time for a beer! :)

Chris Kennedy
12-17-2011, 5:12 PM
In case people are curious, I found a Springbok jigsaw puzzle made in America. Several others in the store were made in Europe.

Cheers,

Chris

Ryan Mooney
12-17-2011, 5:45 PM
Has anyone ever worked with a Festool router?

Yep, I love my 1400 its really really nice although my only comparison (in reasonably memory) is a rather ancient crapsman. I wouldn't buy a festool for a router table though, its overkill. I've also found I actually really enjoy taking an old tool and rehabilitating it to work again, or repurposing something that's past its lifespan.



I hear you about the honey. We've been trying to get all of our produce locally. It's not really possible in the winter time here, but certainly from spring through fall I'm surrounded by farms that grow everything I could want. I have a dairy farm up the street that supplies our milk and eggs. The farm stands tend to be a LOT cheaper...the dairy farm is a little more expensive, though not by much. The quality of the milk, however, is far better than even our large local brands of milk. Do dairies water down milk because that's what out store bought milk tastes like now. I don't know. Maybe it's the quality of the feed?

We see the biggest difference in things like tomatoes. Good heavens, the chemically ripened tomatoes that are trucked in are absolutely useless for anything except sticking in the oven and drying....maybe putting a slice on your hamburger. It's impossible to make anything resembling a a good sauce with them. There's no sweetness....they're so stiff you practically need to run them through a blender to smooth them out. Nasty. If I can't get fresh, I use whole canned tomatoes...believe it or not they are far better than tomatoes out of season. Cento brand has nothing but tomatoes in the can...no salt...no basil.....the ingredients read "tomatoes", so that's all I use.

Re milk: Its about 1/2+ the feed for sure if they are on real grass and not grain/cheapest crap hay. The other 1/2 (or so) is that they strip all of the good stuff (fat) out in processing store milk, if I have to use store milk for things like cereal I usually end up using half and half because its pretty close to real whole (:eek: was the expression on lomls face when she saw me doing that). The reason cheddar used to be yellow was that it was only made with spring milk that had fat that was actually naturally orange from the rich spring grass, nowdays they mostly use annatto to color it (they started with carrot juice but annatto is denser coloring).

Fresh eggs are another thing that is completely different. Unsurprisingly they are also vastly better for you (the type of fats is way different). Ditto grass fed beef vs feedlot cow (farm scrap fed pigs vs corn fed pigs, etc..). There was an interesting article I saw a while back (can't find ref atm) that traced the % of corn proteins through the food supply.. it was pretty crazy.

When me and loml first started dating I had a small garden in the backyard (this was in phx az) with some tomatoes, etc.. in it. I walked out with a salt shaker and picked a tomato off of the vine and bit into it. She about fell over and said something to the effect of "how can you EAT those like that, tomatoes are NASTY" (never having had a fresh one); needless to say she's now a convert (actually was about 3 minutes later). I agree on the canned tomatoes, S&W are also a decent brand around here. Good fresh beets are another of my favorite things that suck pretty bad from most stores.

If you have the space a root cellar allows you to stock up in the fall on local produce, we used to eat mostly root veggies (and cabbage) in the winter with some canned stuff (like green beans, although now that I've tried it I'm also a huge fan of dried green beans aka "leather britches"- dried carrot strips also make a fantastic snack). Really you need at least two cellars - a root veg cellar and a canning cellar. The apples and pears go in the canning cellar with the canned goods because they prefer it drier and a little warmer than the root veggies (and pickup the "dirt" flavor if stored with the root veg). Cabbage keeps a remarkably long time if hung in the root cellar upside down with the root end up. The outside few leaves make get a little funky but pull right off. To this day two of my favorite "salads" are "Apple and Cabbage" and "carrot and raisin". Sauerkraut and pickled veg aren't very hard to do either and (imho) very tasty. Preserving all of your own food is pretty much a full time job though, and impractical for most folks if they have a real day job (used to do more, but the current job sucks a lot of energy). Don't have a root cellar nowdays due to lack of space, but do can a little and make some pickles still.

I'm somewhat more than a little concerned about the trend towards centralization of our food supply (and don't get me started on the food safety nazi's - and I mean fascists in the most literal sense there), and while I know its not quite the "MIC" problem its certainly related. We ship wheat to China to have NOODLES shipped back!! To heck with that!! I try to grind ~most of my own wheat (lazy: nutrimill impact mill works well) and make bread (sourdough largely cause its fast) and noodles at home. With a few sourdough tricks I can have 100% fresh ground whole wheat Pita bread within about 35m of coming home, that ain't bad. In fact I have a big rustic loaf in the oven right now made with spent grain from home brewing beer.

I actually think there are two interrelated issues here:

Globalization and outsourcing. This is somewhat fed by the following issue but has other driving forces as well. I'm unconvinced we can solve this problem unless we change the underlying culture around it though. The other forces can make progress because people like the results (at least initially).
Most folks nowdays don't do ANYTHING (it seems that people who do anything do all sorts of things, and people who don't pretty much don't do anything). This has fed into the throw away outsourced economy because no one fixes anything, no one makes do with what they have, no one rigs something together out of found parts, all they do it sit on the couch and complain. I like hanging out with people who do stuff, you learn things.

I have some vague hope that some of the "maker" culture will spread, but it seems that we're fighting a bit of an uphill battle. I try to get people to "do stuff" because it seems that once they "hey I can do that" attitude takes hold it will spread to other areas of their life. I've gotten a number of folks home brewing, which is an easy in because .. well beer! A few people have started making their own bread, cheese and roasting their own coffee based on trying ours.. Fewer people into more complex crafts, but hey.. maybe some of it will take hold.

TL;DR: I have an irrational hope that self determination and do it yourself may eventually save us but am pessimistic.

Ken Mosley
12-17-2011, 6:55 PM
One more area of concern for the MIC thread:

My "bread & butter business" for more than 40 years has been as a wholesaler in the professional beauty industry. About six months ago, after waiting quite a time on an order containing aerosol hairspray, the shipment arrived and we began filling a stack of back-orders. Shortly after delivery of those orders, we began to get complaints that the hairspray was "different". Upon close examination of the label, we discovered the reason for the wait- "Made In China"! It smells like bug spray. That brand is now dead, and I will be especially villigent in ordering NOTHING MIC. Consumers will be more likely to continue using the product because the smell dissipates after a time, but, hairdressers have to use the stuff all day and that's who will be affected the most. Anyone who uses formica ingrediates in baby food will do whatever.....

Mike Archambeau
12-17-2011, 8:14 PM
I recently bought a carbon monoxide detector for my home. Unpacked it and plugged it into the wall. It made annoying beeps as if it was detecting CO. But we had another CO detector that was not going off. Got on the phone with customer service from the manufacturer. They asked a bunch of questions, listened to the sounds it was making, and immediately ordered a replacement. The manufacturer has a high failure rate with this product, and they have to replace many of them right after you open the package. Country of origin? You guessed it......MIC.

John Coloccia
12-18-2011, 7:36 AM
Okay, so here's one I'm having trouble finding. We keep reading stories about additives in juice, and we're fed up. We want to get a juicer. Were do I buy a juicer not made in China?

Belinda Williamson
12-18-2011, 7:57 AM
When I started my "less chemically augmented" product journey I also launched my MIA purchases only journey, to the best of my ability. One thing I discovered is that it takes a lot of time to read labels! I do a lot of internet and catalog shopping. I think every item whether on a store shelf, on the internet, or in a catalog should have the country of origin listed. I was dressing for a party Friday night. I pulled a blouse and pair of slacks out of the closet that I purchased three years ago, never looking at the labels at the time. To my surprise, MIC!

Currently I make my own butter from raw milk from a dairy in a nearby town. It is illegal to sell raw milk in GA so I buy "milk for pets". I make my own laundry detergent and it works just fine. After the holidays I'm going to try my hand at making my own shampoo, or hair soap. I buy handmade soap from a high school friend who now owns an organic farm in a nearby town. Also after the holidays I'm going to join a local food cooperative so that getting fresh food is a little easier. I don't necessarily trust the "organic food" in the stores as I know nothing about the grower. Seed companies (like Monsanto) aren't currently required to label their seeds as modified. While I believe most organic growers pay attention to such things, I'm fairly certain there are some who just see the dollar signs and don't really care.

It all takes a little effort but I found that I really enjoy going to the Farmer's Market every Saturday during the summer months. Interestingly enough, my parents have a 2 acre garden every year so I have access to all of the free vegetables I can eat and preserve; however, my father thinks the best thing since sliced 'maters are pesticides. Add to that the fact that their property is surrounded by huge cotton fields that get sprayed with all manner of fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

Larry Edgerton
12-18-2011, 8:05 AM
When me and loml first started dating I had a small garden in the backyard (this was in phx az) with some tomatoes, etc.. in it. I walked out with a salt shaker and picked a tomato off of the vine and bit into it. She about fell over and said something to the effect of "how can you EAT those like that, tomatoes are NASTY" (never having had a fresh one); needless to say she's now a convert (actually was about 3 minutes later). I agree on the canned tomatoes, S&W are also a decent brand around here. Good fresh beets are another of my favorite things that suck pretty bad from most stores.





Ryan

You have to get your hands on a Guy Clark song titled "Home Grown Tomatoes" It will make you smile....

Larry

John Coloccia
12-18-2011, 8:35 AM
Good Lord, Belinda, I had no idea that states actually made milk sales illegal. I just looked it up and a whole bunch of states make it illegal to sell raw milk in any form for any purpose. That is so outrageous. Not in a million years would it have occured to me that selling milk could ever be illegal. Shoot, maybe raw eggs, raw chicken and raw seafood will be illegal one day too. Surely steak tartare is in someone's sights.

I'm still a bit stunned.

Brian Elfert
12-18-2011, 9:18 AM
Someone I know is a VP or senior VP at Wells Fargo. He is an agricultural economist. He told me several years ago that almost no tomato paste is made from American tomatoes anymore. Tomato paste is made in China, put in drums, and then shipped here to the USA. Apparently it lasts virtually forever in the drums. He told me any time you buy ketchup or tomato sauce it was probably made from Chinese tomatoes. Manufacturers may not have to disclose this if they do the final processing and packaging here in America.

Bonnie Campbell
12-18-2011, 9:29 AM
Try finding tuna that isn't asian packed. Yep, I know, you can go to local canneries here in Oregon, but paying around $3 a can makes for slim pickins.

John Coloccia
12-18-2011, 9:37 AM
Someone I know is a VP or senior VP at Wells Fargo. He is an agricultural economist. He told me several years ago that almost no tomato paste is made from American tomatoes anymore. Tomato paste is made in China, put in drums, and then shipped here to the USA. Apparently it lasts virtually forever in the drums. He told me any time you buy ketchup or tomato sauce it was probably made from Chinese tomatoes. Manufacturers may not have to disclose this if they do the final processing and packaging here in America.

Based on this I've put my wife off on a quest: learn to make ketchup. Why not? We make bread, we make mayo, we make salad dressing....occasionally I make mustard. We may as well make ketchup too.

Belinda Williamson
12-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Good Lord, Belinda, I had no idea that states actually made milk sales illegal. I just looked it up and a whole bunch of states make it illegal to sell raw milk in any form for any purpose. That is so outrageous. Not in a million years would it have occured to me that selling milk could ever be illegal. Shoot, maybe raw eggs, raw chicken and raw seafood will be illegal one day too. Surely steak tartare is in someone's sights.

I'm still a bit stunned.

Yeah, ain't that somethin'? I'm waiting for the law regarding fresh eggs - which I can still buy. I have occasionally gotten a bad egg, but it's not that hard to tell when one has gone over the dark side. The one's I don't like to get are the baby chicken eggs. EW!

Do you know how hard it is to make mozzarella and ricotta with pasteurized milk? To top it off, most companies have gone to ultrapasteurized to increase shelf life. Totally useless milk.


Based on this I've put my wife off on a quest: learn to make ketchup. Why not? We make bread, we make mayo, we make salad dressing....occasionally I make mustard. We may as well make ketchup too.

Homemade ketchup = good! Much better than store bought. I don't make it because I rarely eat ketchup.

Mike Harris 2
12-18-2011, 12:30 PM
Okay, so here's one I'm having trouble finding. We keep reading stories about additives in juice, and we're fed up. We want to get a juicer. Were do I buy a juicer not made in China?

Champion juicers are made in the USA and look like pretty solid machines. I used to have an Omega a few years back, but I'm not sure where it was made, but it was definitely a well-made juicer.

David Keller NC
12-18-2011, 1:06 PM
Okay, so here's one I'm having trouble finding. We keep reading stories about additives in juice, and we're fed up. We want to get a juicer. Were do I buy a juicer not made in China?

Hmm - Wasn't aware it was possible to get an electrically-powered one without components (or the whole machine) MIC. But you've a couple of alternatives - less convenient, but will satisfy your desire to avoid MIC.

The first one is to go neanderthal for the juicer - there were many, many designs made before the advent of widespread electrical power that are commonly available from antiques/tools/kitchen collectables dealers. The other alternative would be to look for one made in the 1970's or 1980's at a garage sale - these would almost certainly be Made in America.

David Keller NC
12-18-2011, 1:24 PM
A comment - several floks on the thread have commented that highly-paid CEOs and/or shareholders are to blame for outsourcing. While I'd agree that ridiculously-paid CEO's are indeed a problem, they're not the root cause of most of small appliance, electronics, clothing, food and other consumer items manufacturing being shifted overseas. Wally world started the trend by very aggressively strong-arming their suppliers to support their MIC policy - to the point of demanding that the suppliers shift their manufacturing, even if keeping the existing production here would be cheaper.

But the problem isn't Wally World or the legions of junior execs they've trained that have gone on to migrate the model to most big retailers, including target and the 2 big BORGs.

The problem is the millions of folks that walk through their door on Saturday morning. In other words, "We've met the enemy and they is us" Retailers and manufacturers respond to their customers, albiet slowly in some cases. If a large majority of their customers started turning their noses up at their wares because of where they were manufactured, you can bet your paycheck there would be a swift response.

What one typically hears from the public when it's suggested they pay more for items that are locally produced - "Well, if I was rich like you, I'd have the luxury of doing that". The problem with this argument is that most of us aren't rich, and can't buy just anything we want when we walk into the store. Yet many like John are successful and reducing their dependence on foreign-manufactured goods.

The key to putting down this argument (that, by the way, is made by virtually all economists - "on the whole, shifting manufacturing to where it can be done most cheaply benefits the overall economy because a consumer's dollars go farther") is this:

If you can't afford to purchase something made in the country of your choice, then do without it until you can.

For the vast majority of the population, including many that are below the official poverty line, this is doable - it has little to do with absolute income. Yet it can be successfully argued that the reason this doesn't take place isn't so much a "I don't care where something is made" attitude, it's exploitation by companies of a basic aspect of human nature - greed. And yes, you and I and all of us have aspects of greed in our daily lives - you don't need to be a Gordon Gecko to enable/justify decisions based on it.

Ryan Mooney
12-18-2011, 1:36 PM
Good Lord, Belinda, I had no idea that states actually made milk sales illegal. I just looked it up and a whole bunch of states make it illegal to sell raw milk in any form for any purpose. That is so outrageous. Not in a million years would it have occured to me that selling milk could ever be illegal. Shoot, maybe raw eggs, raw chicken and raw seafood will be illegal one day too. Surely steak tartare is in someone's sights.

I'm still a bit stunned.

Well you better sit down then. Raw eggs are actually illegal to sell in restaurants in CA, they actually did write an exception in for Caesar salad. Its also illegal to sell raw juice most places around here (WA is for sure and think OR as well... but I'm not positive on OR there seems to be some complicated small grower exception).

You also can't get decent soft cheese here. Pasteurized milk doesn't make good soft cheese (the heat wrecks the protein structure) and any cheese made from unpasteurized milk has to be aged a certain number of days.

This is despite the fact that there have been so close to zero cases of any contamination on any of these products that the "protection" is completely ridiculous. The sad fact is that the large producers are the ones who have contamination problems and they're using that to drive legislation to drive the small producers out of business.

David Keller NC
12-18-2011, 1:40 PM
Yeah, ain't that somethin'?

I thought I might post this because my work is involved in public health practice in the US. I would not defend laws against the sale of raw milk - the way I think, so long as you're informed of the risks associated with consuming it, the govmint shouldn't outlaw it.

But here's part of the reason behind the laws:

The current issue with the sale of raw anything, including raw milk, is the contamination of the product with pathogenic enteric microbes. Examples of "pathogenic enteric microbes" are salmonella, campylobacter, e. coli (and its much, much more dangerous cousin, shiga-toxin prodocing e. coli) and listeria monocytogenes. As you might imagine, it's particularly difficult to ensure that no contamination occurs in a product that's collected in very close proximity to the source of the contamination - cows. It is for this reason that a process is needed to not only avoid the contamination, but to kill any trace of bacteria that might get into the product in even the most hygenic dairies.

BUT - most of the laws governing sale of unpasteurized dairy products are quite old. And the reason they were enacted has a lot more to do with a serious public health menace from the late 19th and early 20th centuries - tuberculosis. Around 1/2 of TB infections and deaths could be traced to mycobacterium bovis. This organism is a member of the TB complex whose natural reservoir is cattle and other ruminants. And drinking raw milk contaminated with m. bovis was the chief route of infection with m. bovis.

And unlike e. coli, TB can be passed from person to person, and the body doesn't naturally eliminate it as it will with enteric pathogen infections (though only in healthy adults - immune compromised individuals, children and the elderly are at extreme risk of death from food contamination organisms). And killing an infection with any of the TB organisms is tough - it requires months-long regimens of powerful and poorly tolerated antibiotics. Most of these antibiotics make the recipients feel very unwell, which is why most states have imprisonment laws for individuals that refuse to be treated for TB.

Modern veternary medicine has largely eliminated cattle infected with m. bovis. But it could quite easily return if unpasteurized milk was consumed in large amounts.

Belinda Williamson
12-18-2011, 4:50 PM
I thought I might post this because my work is involved in public health practice in the US. I would not defend laws against the sale of raw milk - the way I think, so long as you're informed of the risks associated with consuming it, the govmint shouldn't outlaw it.


My thoughts exactly, David. In the 70's my parents bought raw milk from our cousin's dairy, so it was legal to sell it at least until then in GA. I do understand the safety issues though.

Bill ThompsonNM
12-18-2011, 6:46 PM
Good Lord, Belinda, I had no idea that states actually made milk sales illegal. I just looked it up and a whole bunch of states make it illegal to sell raw milk in any form for any purpose. That is so outrageous. Not in a million years would it have occured to me that selling milk could ever be illegal. Shoot, maybe raw eggs, raw chicken and raw seafood will be illegal one day too. Surely steak tartare is in someone's sights.

I'm still a bit stunned.
Note, John, it's Raw Milk that's an issue. Speaking as a veterinarian, there are lots of diseases you can get from raw milk. Our ancestors drank raw milk but they also had a lot of TB, Undulant fever, listeriosis and other diseases. Properly produced and monitored, it might make sense to certify raw milk dairies and require more testing and higher standards. There's probably a good market even though higher prices. Diseases like TB are public health concerns. Two incidents come to mind to illustrate this point. My brother, and many other diners came down with listeriosis after dining at a fancy Santa Fe restaurant using Natural cheese from raw milk. A second incident, while I was in vet school in MA, two bus loads of elementary school kids had to undergo post exposure rabies treatment after drinking raw milk from a dairy in which a cow was diagnosed with rabies a few days after their visit. Yikes! It does seem that ultra pasteurization is s bad idea for the dairy industry since it significantly changes the flavor. Regular pasteurization has the least change in the milk and eliminates most diseases.

John Coloccia
12-18-2011, 9:50 PM
I don't doubt there are health concerns. There are health concerns eating raw chicken too. I would probably not choose to drink the raw milk. I'm just shocked that its actually illegal to buy it in many places. Seems crazy to me.

Bill ThompsonNM
12-18-2011, 10:02 PM
I don't doubt there are health concerns. There are health concerns eating raw chicken too. I would probably not choose to drink the raw milk. I'm just shocked that its actually illegal to buy it in many places. Seems crazy to me.

Think pasteurizing it as a non flesh eating milk, John. :) same principle...

Brian Elfert
12-19-2011, 3:21 PM
Based on this I've put my wife off on a quest: learn to make ketchup. Why not? We make bread, we make mayo, we make salad dressing....occasionally I make mustard. We may as well make ketchup too.

Are going to start with fresh tomatoes?

John Coloccia
12-19-2011, 4:49 PM
Are going to start with fresh tomatoes?

Depends if they're in season or not. I gravitate towards Cento canned tomatoes when fresh are unavailable.

Mike Kelsey
12-19-2011, 7:00 PM
A good book with a way forward on food is the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. How do we reach a point where we can buy local, eat local food products? Look up Joel Salatin (as he calls himself: "a grass farmer") as a model for sustainability, yet always running into "regulations". Increasing size in the business structure always turns out to be the killer. Scaling down or keeping it small is what is needed. Maybe if that happened we could actually become citizens rather than "consumers". I know, dream on.......

Larry Edgerton
12-21-2011, 5:33 AM
I have worn my made in USA Bellville boots for a few days now and I like them. They require no break in, are comfortable and support my feet and ankle well. For $117 they are every bit as comfortable as the Wings that have shot up to $240.

There you have that. We will see how long it takes me to destroy them now.

Larry

Belinda Williamson
12-22-2011, 9:25 AM
Dagnabit, I just looked at the back of one of the Christmas cards I bought and the blasted things were printed in China. Didn't even think to look. . . sigh.

Chris Kennedy
12-22-2011, 9:41 AM
I read an interesting column in yesterday's paper about this. The columnist, whom I usually vehemently disagree with, cited a report by two Federal Reserve Bank economists, Hale and Hobijn (The U.S. Content of 'Made in China'). According to the columnist, they found that 16% of the GDP in 2010 was from imports and of that 2.5% came from China. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States originate here. Certain goods were dominated by Chinese goods -- 35% of clothing and shoes bought were made in China. Their data came from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Now, I haven't read the report and know no specifics beyond what I read in the paper, but I just found it interesting.

Cheers,

Chris

Ben Hatcher
12-22-2011, 9:44 AM
I wonder where the SMC servers were built:eek:

Lori Kleinberg
12-22-2011, 11:12 AM
I have tried to buy strictly American made for a number of years (albeit on and off due to fustration levels). The 1st thing I tried a few years back was a garden hose sprayer, couldn't find one not mic. The 2nd thing was a thingy (plate, cup, saucer) to hold a candle. Finally found one not mic, it was made in India. Bought it anyway.

This past year I spent an hour going through all the ladies and mens socks in a department store until I found Made in the US. Believe it or not they were Nike brand, but you have to be careful as some are US made, some come from Mexico and the vast majority were mic.

I also just recently switched my cat and dog foods. Now I use Made in America brands, but I guess I need to research further as to where the ingredients actually come from.

It is a daunting task but I too hope to buy only Made in America products. One of the most difficult items is toys for very young children (under 1 year). All the learning toys for infants and toddlers are mic. I did find companies that made things here, but they were not for the little ones.

Larry Edgerton
12-22-2011, 6:38 PM
I read an interesting column in yesterday's paper about this. The columnist, whom I usually vehemently disagree with, cited a report by two Federal Reserve Bank economists, Hale and Hobijn (The U.S. Content of 'Made in China'). According to the columnist, they found that 16% of the GDP in 2010 was from imports and of that 2.5% came from China. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States originate here. Certain goods were dominated by Chinese goods -- 35% of clothing and shoes bought were made in China. Their data came from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Now, I haven't read the report and know no specifics beyond what I read in the paper, but I just found it interesting.

Cheers,

Chris

We are not allowed to talk politics here so I will go no further than to say I know of no organization I trust less that the Federal Reserve.