A posting below about Marco Polo fruit syrups got me to wondering about food production. I've been getting a lot of products from "second-world" European countries: Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, etc., and, for the most part, they are preservative and additive-free. The jams contain only fruit and sugar, pickles have no preservatives and so forth. Also, there are some very interesting, unusual, oddball products that you don't see elsewhere. Three different kinds of eggplant appetizer, for instance.
I used to get jams from France ("Bon Maman" and others). They contained only fruit and sugar. Lately, the fruit has shifted to the second ingredient, and corn syrup, "anti-oxidants" and pectin have been added.
So my question is: Do these smaller food production companies eventually get infected with the Western disease of making an ever-larger profit as the primary reason for their existence, as opposed to bottling/preserving/canning a really superior, tasty product? This doesn't happen across the board, but you can't just buy something from France, Italy or Sweden without first scrutinizing the label to make sure that they haven't switched "production philosophy" while you weren't looking.