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Made In China

Made In China?

The steam pipes heating my building run under my office. They leak a lot, so over time I’ve made friends with the plumber. One day I said, “I’ll bet you see a lot of plumbing problems in these older buildings” “Nah,” he replied, “the real problems are in the new buildings.” He meant he had his hands full with new defective pipes made in China. I am in favor of the economic cooperation that has blossomed between China and the West. China is succeeding in raising the standard of living for its people higher and faster than at any other time on our planet. The increased well-being of the Chinese people is good, just as increase in any human well-being is good. I myself don’t think it’s wise for the West to promote a huge trade imbalance just so we can have cheap sneakers, but I don’t decide these things. If we want to mortgage tomorrow in order to have cheap sneakers today, we’re allowed because that’s what markets are all about. Somebody’s betting Yes (buy) while someone else is betting No (sell). As the Chinese bet on selling and we bet on buying, I believe they’ve made the best bet that will make them the world’s economic powerhouse in a few decades. Fair is fair, if they make a better deal they deserve a better reward. I’m not worried about this. I’m worried about the health of our children. We have no guarantees as to what’s in the dishes, pots, and pans that are made in China. Labels say one thing, but there’s no quality assurance and plenty of reason to worry that materials have been adulterated. If the rubber in a sneaker has been adulterated, it doesn’t matter as much because the outcome will be only a sore, sprained, or broken ankle…and you’ll recover. But when it comes to what we eat, it makes no sense to put our health and the lives of our children at risk just to save a few bucks. We can hardly blame China for pursuing the profit motive, just as our forefathers have done in America since the Industrial Revolution. We have to blame ourselves for buying pots and pans that we know might poison us. I’m not saying that China is sending us poisoned materials. I’m saying we have no guarantee as to what’s actually in their materials. You have to think about the risks before buying any kitchenware that says “made in China.” If you’re over 65, you can ignore all this because you body’s not as vulnerable to trace amounts of poison. Another way to say this (Sorry) is that you’re likely to die from something else before the amount of poison in a pan made in China can do you in. If you’re 45, you can serve from dishes made in China, eat from plates made in China, and use utensils made in China, but don’t cook in pots and pans made in China. Dishes, plates, and utensils hold food but rarely contribute anything that would alter chemical compounds in this food and make it dangerous. On the other hand, pots and pans get very hot and foster molecular exchanges, so they’re very dangerous. Stay away. No matter what your age, if you have young children never use anything in the kitchen made in China. This is because we have no knowledge, no guarantee, as to how illicit materials interact with young bodies over the course of their lifetimes. 60 years ago, America’s scientists assumed that children weren’t harmed in the long run by X-rays, plastics, and second- hand smoke. We were totally wrong. Since we know nowadays that China’s quality control is untrustworthy, we know not to put our children at risk. You’ll have to be diligent in searching in stores for safe kitchenware made in France, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, or the USA. It will cost you 30% – 50% more, but it’s worth it. If I offered you a sneaker at half price but warned that it would break your child’s leg, would you buy it? No. So the kitchen is a no-brainer. Look under the pan, find the label, read the label, make sure you’ve determined the origin: France, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, or the USA.

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Gary

NYS Licensed Psychologist, Certified Psychotherapist, Psychoanalyst, and Master Hypnotist with offices in NYC and East Hampton.

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