Safety Warning: Spices Contaminated With Insects And Rat Fur (And More)

Avatar By Elise Phillips Margulis | 23 December 2019 362 views
fake foods

Watch Out For These Deceptive “Fake Foods”

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There you are, surrounded by billions of food options at the supermarket. You grab something from the shelf that’s on your lengthy list. 

Is it really what you think it is? Despite FDA and USDA regulations, sometimes labels and food names are very misleading.

Unscrupulous food companies use inferior and less expensive ingredients in their products…  or try to pass off a lower-quality food as a higher-quality food. 

Also, some of these are unpleasant manufacturing issues.

Here are 20 scary (but real!) examples of what to watch out for:

20 “Food Frauds” That Aren’t What You Think They Are

1) Not Natural Flavor

This is a scary one. The words “natural” and “flavor” certainly sound healthy together. 

However, those words can be used in processed food when ingredients are created in a lab to taste like the actual food. This is an example of why whole foods are optimal.

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2) Not-So-Nice Spice

This one’s disgusting. The FDA allows a certain amount of rodent hairs, insect fragments, and other horrible things in spice jars.

It’s supposed to be a trace amount that won’t harm us… but yuck!

3) Not Only Olive Oil

Some olive oils have other oils mixed in. If you or anyone you cook for has a peanut allergy, you need to make sure your brand isn’t contaminated with the allergen.

4) Horrifying Honey

You know that meat is tainted with antibiotics… and whatever else is pumped into cows on factory farms.

But did you know honey can have some antibiotics too? That’s because antibiotics can be given to bees, as well. 

This is just another food adding to our overconsumption of antibiotics… which may lead to us becoming immune to them.

5) Sickening Syrup

Speaking of thick, sweet liquids… there’s a big difference between maple syrup and “pancake” syrup.

Maple is made from tree sap. Pancake syrup is made from corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, coloring, and flavoring! 

Watch out for that not-so-subtle difference!

6) What’s In A Name White Chocolate

If you’re like me, you’ve long been suspicious of white chocolate. How can it be white and be chocolate?!

It can’t! The FDA requires at least 10% chocolate liquor in chocolate in order for it to be called “chocolate.” 

White chocolate is really cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar. At least it’s not a health hazard like other items on this list of deceptions.

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7) Lying Lobster

Have you ever heard of langostino? It’s a relative of the hermit crab and is also sometimes called “squat lobster.” Another name for it is squat lobster and it tastes like lobster. 

Because it tastes like lobster… and is around half the price of lobster… some food companies save money by substituting langostino for lobster.

8) Fraudulent Fruit Juice

Fruit juice can be full of things that aren’t fruit. The package can say “100% fruit juice” as long as all of the ingredients came from a fruit or vegetable. 

Fruit juice companies often use less expensive juices… like white grape or apple juice… in bottles of juice that AREN’T white grape or apple. 

Rule of thumb: If the ingredient list is long, it’s probably not exactly what it’s labeled as.

9) Not Only Orange Juice

“Not from concentrate” sounds like a good thing, right? It’s pasteurized, which means the oxygen and some natural chemicals that contribute to its flavor are removed in the process. 

To increase the “fresh” flavor… some juice companies buy flavor packs. The companies that make the flavor packs are usually perfume companies, so your juice has orange essence and oil in it! Who knew?!

10) Mercury-Filled Tilefish

Young children, pregnant women, and nursing moms should avoid mercury. Some types of fish are higher than others in mercury content.

Tilefish contains mercury. However, some restaurants and markets sell tilefish labeled as red snapper and halibut. That’s a dangerous deception.

11) Imitation Vanilla Lives Up To Its Name

If you want natural vanilla, make sure you choose real vanilla extract. It is made from vanilla pods and ethanol (a simple alcohol).

If you buy vanilla flavoring or imitation vanilla instead… you’ll be consuming petrochemicals or wood pulp. That’s kind of unpleasant in your baked goods.

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12) Uh, Oh Olives

In Italy in 2016, 85,000 tons of painted olives were confiscated by the polizia. The perpetrators soaked lower-quality olives in copper sulfate to make their color a bright green. 

Copper sulfate is not healthy to consume. Sadly, olive fraud is another thing you have to watch out for.

13) Dirty Pepper

This one is crazy. Pepper fraud has existed since the days of the Roman Empire!

Companies add dirt or dried juniper berries to decrease the cost to make pepper.

14) Sneaky Saffron

Saffron is expensive… so dishonest companies have used sandalwood dye, turmeric, gypsum, and poppy petals to match its color and texture.

15) Mimicking Milk 

Buy a reputable brand of milk. Some unexpected (and very odd) ingredients have been found in milk: oil, caustic soda, salt, sugar, detergent, and urea.

16) Multigrain Madness

Multigrain” sounds like multiple healthy grains are in a loaf of bread, a bagel or another baked good. And that sounds like a good thing, right?

Well… it turns out that “multigrain” really just means that more than one type of grain is in a product. And if you’re just buying your multigrain bread at the grocery store, they probably mean refined grain.

Opt for “whole grain” instead.

Also, if the ingredients say “made with whole grains”… you should make sure that the grain is in the first few ingredients. That’s because the claim that something has whole grains in it doesn’t necessarily mean LOTS of whole grain—it could be any amount.

17) Fruit-Flavored Fraud

Beware of “fruit-flavored” foods. “Fruit-flavored” means the food may contain chemicals that are made to taste like fruit… instead of actually containing fruit! That’s just wrong.

18) Zero Trans Fat Trick

Foods can use the term “zero trans fat” if they contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

The trick here is that food companies can make the serving size very small in order to be able to label their product as “zero trans fat.”

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19) Fortified Or Enriched?

If you see the label “fortified” or “enriched”… it mean nutrients have been added to the food. Sounds great!

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re buying a health food. Anything can be enriched, but the product may not be a healthy food.

20) Low Calorie Lies

Can you believe the words “low calorie” on a label don’t mean ANYTHING? Are you beginning to have food trust issues, like I am?! 

“Low calorie” means one-third fewer calories than a brand’s original product. This means that one brand’s “low-cal” version may have more calories than another brand’s regular product.

Conclusion

I hope all of this news hasn’t depressed you too much… but has demonstrated that you really need to be vigilant. Hopefully now you are more aware of all the ways food companies try to fool us into buying things.

Keep these sneaky tactics in mind when you go shopping… and, to quote The Who, you “won’t get fooled again.”

The Most Dangerous Food Group For “Fake Foods” By FAR Is…

Artificial sweeteners.

There are all sorts of sweeteners that are marketed as “zero calorie” or “good for you”…

… but that have a bunch of health problems associated with them.

For example, did you know that a recent study published in Frontiers of Physiology found that sucralose (the “little yellow packets” at the coffee shop) was linked to massive die-offs in gut bacteria… and inflammation of your digestive tract? [1]

So while you may be missing out on calories in the short term… in the long run, something like sucralose can be REALLY bad for your health, and for your weight.

Once it damages your gut bacteria, it effectively sabotages everything else you try to do to lose weight.

Fortunately, you won’t be stuck drinking bitter coffee from now on. There are some really healthy, delicious sugar substitutes out there. They DON’T have these same side-effects, and they’re still lower-calorie (and lower carbs) than table sugar.

BUT… how are you supposed to know the good “sugar substitutes” from the bad “artificial sweeteners”?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend my free time wading through dense, wordy scientific journals, trying to separate the good science from the junk paid for by food companies.

So that’s why we went ahead and did it for you… and compiled this go-to list of our 3 “Sweet Superheroes” that are excellent sugar substitutes without the bad side effects.

We’ve even provided a handy conversion guide so that you can seamlessly substitute each one in for “sugar,” “sucralose,” “aspartame,” or any of the other bad artificial sweeteners…

So that you can eat wonderful, guilt-free baked goods and desserts!

Here’s what these 3 “Sweet Superheroes” are… plus a surprising side-benefit of each one that will help you lose weight even faster:

Click Here To Learn What These 3 “Sweet Superheroes” Are & How To Use Them In Your Cooking & Baking