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The Jar

The Jar


As we have learned on this journey, transparency equals accountability. As I thoroughly research the goods we would like to carry, I find myself being shocked by the way we produce and acquire our goods and materials here in America. I have even asked myself if it's productive for me to provide an explanation as to why we will not carry certain popular goods or brands. I’ve decided, it is important for our customers to know what we know. Then, simply do with the information as they like.


One example of a good I assumed we would carry, but I quickly found out would take time to acquire was our glass goods. Specifically our glass food storage. I had dreams of carrying a certain popular American-made jar. The Jar if you will. We all own one or a dozen. I can not say the name for legal reasons. But you can assume what brand I am referring to. I wanted to carry this brand, not only for its association with drinking a sweet tea on the porch on a hot summer day, but I was excited because it was as American as it gets. Or so I thought.


My first red-flag was the Prop65 Warning. In case you are not familiar, Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Exposure to these chemicals may take place when products are acquired or used. Exposure may occur in homes, workplaces, or other environments. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals (https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/). If you were like me and brushed off this label as just a bunch of over-reacting hippies making a fuss over nothing, you and I were wrong. I dug deeper into The Jar brand and found several reports that it contained high amounts of lead. Even worse, my beloved colored jars contained the highest amount of lead and toxins than any other brand sold in the United States according to standard tests by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of course this took me down a rabbit hole of sorts. This All-American brand did not even exist anymore. Well, sort of. The most popular glass brand in the world stopped producing glass in the 1990’s. If you would like to know what they produce now, I encourage you to research that information for yourself as I don’t want to get too off topic. As I dug around, I found the foreign company that now owned The Jar copyrights had produced warning labels for the jar.


1. Lids are not reusable. You must dispose after each use.

2. Food should not touch lids. This was because of the plastic undercoating that once contained BPA for many years, now contains its equally toxic replacement BPS. These lids also release a toxic gas once sealed.

3. Do not store acidic food in jars.

4. Do not refrigerate jars.

5. Not microwave or oven safe.

6. Not dishwasher safe. They even make a point to emphasize this. So, of course I had to ask the next question? Why are these jars not dishwasher safe? I then found out that when a warning label says not dishwasher safe, it doesn’t mean unsafe for the product, it’s unsafe for the consumer. The high-heat setting will release toxic chemicals from products if they are cleaned in a dishwasher. There is also a statement explaining that they should be cleaned by hand in cold or luke-warm water. If these jars, and many other USA-made jars avoid extreme temperature changes, they are safer for food storage. Or they can be used for decorative purposes.


So…


Now you know why I am so thoroughly researching all the glass brands around the world. As wonderful as it would be to carry canning jars made in the USA, it looks as though I will be carrying glass food storage made in France (shipped from Illinois) where safety standards are exponentially higher. Although my dream of providing our customers with American-made canning jars isn’t a reality at the moment and maybe not for some time, knowing they will have access to truly safe food storage has to be enough until we, as Americans, begin to demand better for the safety and quality of our goods.


What to do with all those jars we all own? They sure do make for beautiful vases for a bunch of wildflowers...



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