I was reading a blog post by Diana Rodgers recently, and she brought out some great points.
Diana focused on three foods we, as Americans, commonly eat, and the ugly reality behind their production.
They were bananas, coffee, and chocolate, all of which I really enjoy.
In this country, we enjoy laws and regulations (still have a long ways to go) that have improved the health of our environment, and simultaneously, us humans.
This phenomenon has fostered an uneven global playing field. Large companies often exploit the people and environment of other countries, who's administrations aren't so conscientious, before importing product to the USA.
All in the name of "lowest prices/largest profits" which is the reason your cheapest options are often a poor choice.
When you buy imported food items, do your homework.
It's super important to know where our food comes from and how it was raised, because our money ultimately supports every institution factored in producing what we're buying.
Here's why bananas, chocolate, and coffee should be carefully purchased.
Cavendish bananas (most popular variety by far) are heavily sprayed with chemicals that have been outlawed in the USA and other countries due to environmental concerns and public health and safety. Children are often a part of the workforce and become exposed to these harsh chemicals at critical developmental stages in their lives.
Many coffee farmers these days are having a difficult time making a living and providing for their families. In Africa, farmers are destroying coffee plants and raising Khat, an illegal drug that makes better money.
Cacao plantations in western Africa commonly use child slaves to harvest the beans up in trees. 60% of them, Diana says, are under the age 14 and working 12 hour days.
To conclude, please seriously consider what you are buying and who you are supporting. Research name brands and willingly spend a little extra to support those companies who are doing what their best to be socially just and environmentally conscious.
This is one of the very reasons I love raising my own food, I know it's safe. The fact that it tastes awesome is the icing on the cake.