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Buying American #2 - Exceptions

   Tue, June 26, 2012 - 10:14 AM
Pretty much the first thing you find when you undertake a Buy American quest, is that you have to draw up a list of exceptions. Mine include:

1. Foodstuffs. I'm not giving up French (and British and Dutch and Italian and Spanish) cheeses and wines. Coffee will still come mostly from Africa and Asia -- I'm partial to organic Sumatra. Also the really cool Balconi cakes from Italy that show up in my local grocery store

I am, however, scaling way back on my silly imported water habit. I like Volvic, from when I lived in France, and Voss, and I like the idea of getting different mineral profiles from time to time, but I'll be mainly purchasing American bottled water, preferably East Coast and preferably New York state. This is a good way to save money anyway.

2. Clothing. I have wearable seven suits, all made from Italian wool. I'm not sure why, but the Italians have a lock on making this stuff. The last time I bought suits, the tailor who made them brought me swatch books with about 200 choices, and there were only three or four that I didn't want. All seven suits were constructed in America, however, so I don't feel too bad about that.

I hate petroleum-based synthetics, so I never buy them. For a few items, such as socks, it might be necessary to buy imports.

3. Electronics. Nobody makes electronics in America anymore. My main workaround, as in buying a new computer, will be to purchase recent manufacturer-reconditioned models. For stuff like TVs, I'll just buy used. I may have to buy imports for specific needs, like cassette tape players (yes, I still use them, for spoken word. They're often dirt cheap as libraries jettison their collections).

4. Gasoline. Well, you never know where the gas comes from, but insofar as possible, I'd like to stick to East Coast companies, so most of my gas purchases, which are infrequent anyway, will be from Sunoco and Hess. Sorry Lukoil and BP.


add a comment
Tue, June 26, 2012 - 10:51 AM
French wines -
Did you know that nearly all of the current rootstock for French vines came originally from Missouri? How about the fact that Missouri's own Augusta area is the UDSA's Viticultural District No. 1, and NOT Napa Valley (came in at Viticultural District No. 2)?

We've been producing wine here since the French settlement at Ste. Genevieve when it was still on the Mississippi River. The river migrated, and left Ste. Genevieve landlocked.

Plus, the Midwest produces the world's best BACON and barbecue. Imports are great and all, but still.....give Missouri wines a try. I recommend any vintage by Hermannhof (German wine, produced from Norton grapes), and of course Les Bourgeois wines from little ol' Columbia, Missouri, where I live. And there are many other vintners and wines to please the palate of any oenophile.

Just a suggestion, but there ARE options.
Thu, June 28, 2012 - 12:09 PM
Hard to explain this, but New World wines often taste funny to me. It probably doesn't have as much to do wtih the root stock as the growing conditions. There's like this soapy undercurrent that I don't get in French and Italian wines. Perhaps psycho-somatic snobbiness?
Tue, July 24, 2012 - 1:33 AM
We recently watched a series I recorded off of public TV, "Germans in America". Many of them came to Missouri, and indeed, their rootstock replenished Europe after vine rot took its toll on the Continent. Great series. Suppose I'll have to look for their wine to try, sometime. I do generally prefer [to buy] California wines from a local/carbon-footprint perspective. Although I've had some lovely fruit and honey wines from upstate NY, of which some, I even had shipped out here; they were so good.

Occasionally socks are made in the USA. I got some cotton "soccer socks" by Asics, made here, 100% cotton, at TJ Maxx last year!