Do you know where your dried Culinary Herbs are coming from?
Amazingly most are coming from Europe, Asia and China and only very few from the US. Just to mention a few: Basil and Winter Thyme come from Spain; Oregano and Rosemary from Italy; Beet Root from Germany; Marjoram from Egypt; Horseradish from China; Stevia from India and Bay Leaf from Turkey. China supplies 17 other dried culinary herbs; India 10; Egypt 8 and the US supplies 10.
In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration issued a 192 page report discussing the fact that 80 % of the Dried Spices consumed in America are imported.
In the Consumer Report on Health in March 2014 the concern was expressed about contamination of these products.
“Cooking with spices is a great way to add flavor without calories and sodium. Plus some may have serious health benefits, but reports of contamination in batches of imported dried spices over the last year may have you worried about what's in your spice rack.
Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration last fall issued a worrisome report that said 12 percent of imported dried spices contained “filth” such as insect fragments and rodent hairs. And about 7 percent of seasonings, most commonly leaf-based ones such as basil and oregano, contained bacteria including salmonella, which can cause illness. That’s a concern, because the U.S. imports more than 80 percent of its spices (and we eat a lot of them: 3.6 pounds annually per person, on average)
The FDA report was based on tests of 2,844 shipments of imported spices between 2007 and 2009. Those from Mexico and India had the highest rates of salmonella contamination overall. The presence of filth was attributed to unsanitary storage conditions and inadequate oversight of suppliers.”
All our herbs are produced on our farm in Snohomish, Washington, where they are harvested, cut, dried, stored and packed under controlled conditions. Since we ship throughout the US, we can claim to be “local” in the context of the massive global imports. We can see no reason why most of the herbs are not being produced by US farmers and supplied to the US market.
If you can not be sure where your dried herbs are coming from, you may want to support any local efforts to increase the demand for local farm products to make it to your table in a safe manner.
Currently we ship the following dried herbs in powder and/or leaf form.
Basel, Beets, Bay Laurel, Dill, Catnip, Horseradish, Lavender, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Pineapple Mint, Purple Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint Stevia, Winter Thyme.