Commentary: If the curry is tainted with lead, what else?

curry-4If  curry is tainted with lead, what else? By D.R. Miller

Our Curry:  Curry spice has been a main part of several cuisines in India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Caribbean Island such as Jamaica, Trinidad, and Martinique according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (International Foods).

This spice product not only use as a stimulation flavor, but also believed to be used for medicinal purposes.

Spices in general remain a global empire despite centuries ago when it was one of the main economic engine in several conquests.

The recent announcement that several companies; Jamaica Brand, Blue Mountain, Ocho Rios, Oriental, and Grace Kennedy have recalled  a blend products from mild to spicy across all brands, due to the presence of lead.

This has left many still asking questions.

The report noted that, the product was distributed in New York and Florida and was sold through internet sales and retail stores nationwide.

Among these companies, Grace Kennedy, one of the Caribbean Islands more recognized brand and leading manufacture of Caribbean products for decades.

Despite our parents migration to other countries, and have amalgamated, several home meals to have had  dash of a little Grace Ketchup, Jerk Sauce, or Curry.

curry-5A delicate balance: Although Oriental Packing Company has established an 1800 number to address the issue. Regardless where the curry products  manufactured, distributed or any subsidiaries in the U.S., Caribbean, and  other places, this  can have  a long-term negative impact.

However, this might have already had an aroma difficult to get out of the house, and can change a cultural history. This simply from current and potential, their customers now views of these products tucked away in a global food chain isle called international foods.

The tinted curry not only gives its customer base, a reason to pause, but now wondering what else in the section or  their pantries could be harmful from accumulation overtime and the potential long term health consequences.

Despite warning about batch numbers, it is very difficult to find those numbers on some of those products.

Brand locality sometimes makes customers overlook, problems in a brand. This is not to say that these Companies involved or any other subsidiaries have not adhered to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) rules.

In addition, competition is always healthy. It sometimes lower prices for the consumer. These products are being viewed delicately and therefore often sold at a premium.

What is troubling, competitions seems have caused accountability and standards to be diminished.

Furthermore, few still hold the belief that despite these new brands, one production, but different labels and the recall only confirms that.

curry-7-1Our Contribution: As an official sales representative, on several occasions, I made sure even one of these products faced properly I walk down an aisle, or answer a question without hesitation from a curious customer who wanted to try a Caribbean product.

The days when some of us approached managers in small and major food chain stores, rural or city store, and asks for Caribbean products and soon afterwards, a small section of a lisle stacked with these seasons and added crackers, coconut juice, and other Caribbean products emerged perhaps has diminished.

This has also made a stroll along the isles

less certain, and that could result in a loss of jobs for employees connected throughout the islands and other places where the potential of losing sales could be tremendous until confidence can be restored.

curry-7Profit and the competition Dilemma:  Many believe that Grace Kennedy has more to lose.  It has been a household name for decades.

Grace has been around for over 90 years, and was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1922. It covers north, and Central America, the UK, and Africa.

Could Grace Integrity and others breaking in to the market has now become victims of success, competition and demands?

Grace in 2014 according to the reports purchased another powerhouse; the La Fe Foods, Inc. This brand had several distributions chains from to New Jersey to Miami.

In 2016, according to the Jamaican Observer, Grace Kennedy profit soared over 78 percent, and some can be attributed to its foreign base consumers.

Although Grace now has a curry problem, chances are it will survive. It is well balance with other ventures in insurance, banking and money services; however, its customers might only see them from what ended up in their kitchen.

Grace not only established itself as a powerhouse in the Caribbean, from giving back to the community, and sponsoring several cultural events, it has the financial stability to emerge from this setback.

Since the recall, I have made a few calls to older friends and family in making sure they were aware of this recall. Despite concerns, they stay loyal.

curry-2What Next:  I am not an expert on curry or its products: It is not a required daily intake like water despite few opinions of potential health benefits.

This recall has not reached the level of media attention as what occurred in the U.S., Flint Michigan in 2016. It was reported that a range of will-full neglect caused drinking water to become contaminated with lead. Many customers are still not aware of this issue.

This curry dilemma is not political, and will not cause the Caribbean government immediately introduce laws protected the local customer base, it is also less likely to be affected as an adult with lead, where children are more susceptible to poising.

This is a time to ask serious question about what else

Although this is a U.S. base recall, it should open the door for local Caribbean food oversight to make sure these food products are being monitored.

Many customers might not have the option like a lead in the water to demand compensation, change in leadership, and brought litigation for compensation, and blame the government or to research the long-term impact.

However, one cannot decrease the potential health problem because no one really knows how long these products have been contaminated.

curry-3The danger: Curry is not a required daily intake, but it only highlights what others been getting away with for decades.

This Curry is not a human tragedy and, myself is not a fan of curry, nor do I have any concerns that aim affected.

On the other hand, lead poising is dangerous for everyone.  It can cause anxiety, memory loss, depression, skin lesions, and hair and vision loss.

Most importantly, several research has shown that exposure can affect the development of a child IQ that can result in learning disabilities.

Who’s Fault: This is not a Grace Kennedy issue only, but an avenue to take a closer look at what else could be tainted in the kitchen.

Why stop at the curry, residence in the region should start by looking a local drinking water still passing through old lead pipes, and even the impact of the bauxite pollution.

Now I am wondering why a loaf of Caribbean bread in the U.S., expiration date is longer than the average bread.

Sadly, this could open the door for other goods, and the quiet imports trading that is being running beneath the surface now find has opening to dump even more on the island.

Now that the curry has been spilled these companies has to restore confidence, in the fewer people will want chicken curry and rice, even got, or lamb.

Consumers remain hopefully, but this global presence has now put these companies under the microscope, and that now requires responsibility.

curry-8Off to find jar of curry, but only if I can find the batch number to match the recall number.

Oh! I lost the receipt and I paid cash.



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