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Monday, August 03, 2009 

Keeping track of what you eat

and where it came from.
At a farm in Manteca, in San Joaquin County, workers smack labels onto watermelons freshly cut from the vine, each sticker bearing a unique string of letters and numbers that identifies where they were harvested.

"With food safety as big as it is, we can give each watermelon its own code so a consumer can check on the Internet to see where it is grown," said Ryan Van Groningen of Van Groningen & Sons Farms, which sells watermelons under the Yosemite Fresh brand.

This new code, called the HarvestMark, is being developed by the Redwood City startup YottaMark Inc. at a time when Congress is considering food-safety legislation that could make some type of tracking system mandatory.

...The tracking system is not unprecedented. For example, premium San Francisco chocolatemaker Original Beans prints similar locator codes on its wrappers to show where the cacao beans in an individual bar were grown. - SFGate

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