How confident are you about the contents of your grocery basket? In a world ruled by evil marketing geniuses, it can be very difficult to figure out what is reality and what is smart branding. So, the products on the supermarket shelves may not be what you imagine them to be, and some of them are already present in your kitchen and can be harmful to your health.
As consumers, we are susceptible to all kinds of good lies, especially when it comes to the food we love. How to stop pecking only at the name and understand the real composition of the product in order to distinguish it from a simulation? Keep reading to learn about ten products that are most likely fakes.
The inexpensive extra virgin olive oil you bought may be an overpriced ordinary vegetable oil. Instead of using pure material loaded with healthy fats, pressed olives are often diluted with cheaper peanut, soy and sunflower seed oils, which is problematic because they can cause serious allergic reactions. The New Yorker writes that olive oil is one of the most frequently adulterated products coming from the European Union.
In any Japanese restaurant, sushi will be served with bright green pasta with a rich horseradish flavor. However, it is estimated that only 5% of the wasabi served in such establishments around the world is made from eutrema japonica root collected in riverbeds. Real wasabi seasoning must be freshly prepared, because after rubbing the root loses its taste within 15 minutes. Instead, a substitute was invented for catering, which included horseradish, mustard and green food coloring.
Tiny baby carrots, which kids love to crunch on, are fraught with a big secret. It turns out that this is not a single vegetable variety grown on tiny farms, but rather the tiny remains of a full-sized carrot, cut by a machine into rounded pieces 2 cm long. Yes, some gardeners actually grow miniature Thumbelina or Tambelina carrots, but You definitely won’t find it in regular grocery stores.
As you can guess from the previous point, there is no single variety in the case of corn either. Unlike carrots, which are cut to the right mini-size, baby corn is the most common cob, harvested in the early stages of growth.
Honey is known as one of the healthiest ingredients. The favorite natural sweetener is good in smoothies, tea, yogurt, desserts and, even better, never goes bad. However, there are currently no standards defining what is actually considered “honey” and what is not. Thus, producers can sell diluted honey and not be held responsible for it.
Some batches of honey were found to contain cheap sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science. And in 2013, a large-scale Chinese honey laundering scheme in the United States was uncovered.
This is one of the product categories where you should read the label every time. Manufacturers are not required to indicate the percentage of ingredients on the packaging, and apple juice is much cheaper than, for example, pomegranate or blueberry juice. Often, fruit or berry juices are diluted with plenty of apple juice for volume, so be sure to check the ingredient list.
Saffron is one of the most expensive and valuable spices in the world. The fact is that saffron crocuses bloom only in autumn, only one or two weeks a year, and they must be harvested only by hand because of their fragility. To get a kilogram of spice, you need to process two football fields of crocuses, that is, approximately 250-300 thousand flowers. The total cost of real saffron is about 10 thousand dollars per kilogram, so it is not surprising that fakes are flooding the world market.
If you’re looking to buy saffron, there are several ways to spot fakes made from cheaper bright orange spices like turmeric and safflower. First, saffron is never sweet and bitter on the tongue. Secondly, it is always fragrant (a mixture of earth, vanilla, tobacco, salty and sweet), while fake spice has almost no smell. When exposed to water, real saffron will not only not lose its original color, but will turn it honey-yellow. While the fake will discolor itself, and the liquid will turn dull red.
Ground coffee is often diluted to reduce the cost of the finished product. During research, branches, ground popcorn or barley were found in coffee blends. The falsification is more pronounced in powdered instant coffee, where substances such as chicory, cereals, caramel, parchment, starch, malt and figs are found. The safest thing in this case is to abandon the finished product, buy a coffee grinder and start grinding whole grains yourself.
Have you ever wondered why crab sticks are so cheap? This nostalgic product can be very tasty and fragrant, but there is nothing like a real crab in it. Crab sticks are pressed from a mixture of minced fish and other fillers, including eggs and wheat. So if you have a gluten intolerance, it’s best to make sure your rolls or salad are made with real crab meat and not crab sticks.
Remember the viral information in social networks that red, green and yellow bell peppers are the same vegetable at different stages of ripening? In 2018, The Insider debunked this myth by saying that peppers of different colors are grown from different seeds. While some green bell peppers at the grocery store are unripe reds, there are distinct differences between most of the varieties.