The other day, I ran out of pickles.
See, my routine each morning is to prepare a sandwich for my lunch that day. I quite often have whatever lunch meat was on sale that week, or sometimes what was leftover from Sunday dinner. I like a little slice of cheese (trying to keep that thinner though, as the good doctor said to watch my cholesterol intake), the meat, mustard, horseradish sauce, and a few slices of dill pickles, in between two slices of wheat bread. It is not too often, but when I can add some iceberg lettuce, that just makes the sandwich extra special.
Since a kid, I have loved pickles. Just typing up this message, thinking about the crisp texture and sharp flavor, my mouth is salivating.
So like I said, the other day, I ran out of pickles. For a few days, I made sandwiches that were incomplete, without the pickle. They were just not as good.
The next opportunity that I was at the grocery store, I bought a new jar of â€œWestern Familyâ€ pickles. I picked them because they were on sale. Though I usually prefer a bigger name brand, I thought I could give these a try.
At home, I tasted one. They were really good. I was impressed. I almost liked them better than the regular name brand kinds. Their taste really blended well on my sandwiches too. I thought that I had accidently found a new favorite pickle.
The other night, I had the jar out, adding a pickle slice to my plate with a grilled cheese sandwich (I was trying something different). I donâ€™t know why, but I spun the jar around and looked at the back side of the label. And I saw something that disturbed me. â€œMade in India.â€
Whoa! Stop! Backup the horse! Made in India? Do we not have facilities in America where we can produce pickles of this quality and flavor? Can one of those facilities go and get the recipe from the Indian family out west and bring it home to make them? And how far west does one have to go to find that western family in India? Is pickle making one of those jobs that Americanâ€™s just wonâ€™t do anymore?
So I feel bad now. Iâ€™d much rather employ a Native-American Pickle-Making Indian than an Indian Pickle-Making Indian. Iâ€™d rather keep people producing things here at home than shopping abroad for my pickles.
Me: Where are the pickles?
Store Clerk: Just head west, take a short dip down and under Japan and pass by nearly all of China, and youâ€™ll find some more pickles.
When the toilet needed a repair a few weeks ago, I had a choice at the hardware store. I found a replacement part that advertised being made in the US, or another one that advertised made in China and Packaged in Mexico. Without question or hesitation, I bought the US part and installed it in my the tank. My toilet services a US family, therefore I thought it best to give my money back to a US employee.
But I never even thought I would have to pay the same attention to my pickle jar.