America is moving one more step closer to awareness of where its food comes from.
The US Department of Agriculture has mandated that all produce as well as meat, fish, and poultry sold in US retail stores will be required to have country of origin labels (COOL) beginning next Tuesday, Sept. 30.
Aside from knowing more about your food's origins, the COOL new system (pun intended) could be helpful in situations such as this year's widespread salmonella outbreak. Since the outbreak was traced to Mexico, if you purchased jalapeno or serrano peppers from, say, California, you could be assured that your produce wasn't from the contaminated source.
For years, COOL has been applied to canned or boxed foods packaged overseas, but this will be the first time the rule is required for fresh foods. There are exceptions, however: meat and fish sold in small butcheries or fish markets; salad bars or packaged mixed fruit and vegetable salads; bacon, ham, and smoked salmon; frozen vegetables; domestically canned vegetables; cooked shrimp; and roasted peanuts. What do you think of this move? Are you glad to learn more about where your food comes from?