Of all the labels we’ve ever considered putting on our poultry, “Made In America” seems like a throw-away. What value would that possibly add for the consumer? The way we raise our chicken, feed it, care for it, and process it, these seem to all be areas of value. But “Made In America,” that doesn’t seem to add anything to the conversation. Now, it looks like that’s all about to change. As many of you may have seen, the NY Times reported that the USDA has authorized four Chinese food processors to export chicken to the US. Initially, all the chicken must first come from Canada or the US, be shipped to China for processing, then exported back to us for sale. Efficient, right? But in the future, we will likely see poultry raised in China being exported to the US for consumption. I won’t go into all of the issues that China has had with poultry and health, you can read that on your own. However, in light of this “advance” in the food industry, it only seems to highlight the value of local, naturally-raised, slow food. It’s hard to imagine how much more “commoditized” we are willing to let our food stream become, but surely the USDA will find a way. But even beyond quality, is anyone asking good questions? Do we want to send these jobs to China too? Do we want China raising our food? When store-bought chicken is mere dollars a pound, where is the value for farmers/producers/shippers in this chain? Does anyone have enough “room” to worry about quality? Do we care about feeding ourselves? Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson is turning over in his grave…again.