Most of us don’t consider food fraud to be a major concern. We have labels. We think we know exactly what we’re getting when we purchase our food. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Some products are intentionally mislabeled, and it’s a serious issue that should have everyone upset. Let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of food fraud.
It seems so simple. When you buy orange juice, you should know exactly what you’re getting – the juice from an orange! Setting aside the fact that there are many unsavory additives in most orange juice, you might be surprised to find that most of the juice is coming from other sources. Unlisted lemon juice and grapefruit juice might be filling up that glass you have with breakfast.
Honey is the sweetener of choice for the health conscious. It’s natural and it has several trace nutrients (such as antioxidants) that make it great option. That’s why it’s particularly infuriating to see that much of the honey sold in stores contains high fructose corn syrup and heavy metals.
Tea is the most popular drink in the entire world. Perhaps it would lose some of its appeal if those who drink it knew that it often contains colored sawdust.
People are starting to realize that it’s a good thing to consume fats and oils, as long as you’re getting the right kinds. Olive oil is a great source of healthy fats. That is, of course, assuming its real olive oil. Unfortunately, what you see in stores is rarely legitimate. Most olive oil is simply vegetable oil or corn oil in disguise.
A lot of times, the milk you think you’re getting only makes up a percentage of the carton. Cow milk is often diluted with milk from other animals. Sometimes, it’s even mixed with fake milk, which includes ingredients, such as detergent, salt, sugar and oil.
Coffee beans may not be all that contributes to your morning cup. Twigs and grains are often found in coffee. Instant coffee is no different. Sometimes it contains cereals, starch and malt. You decide if that’s how you want to start your day.
We’ve got some good news here: if it’s labeled as fish, it’s probably fish. The problem comes down to species. Fish is often intentionally mislabeled in order to make a profit off species that normally wouldn’t be eaten due to the risk of toxicity.
Black pepper is a very common spice, and it touts several health benefits as well. It reduces your risk of cancer and can lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, the flour, starch and buckwheat that probably reside in your shaker aren’t doing so much for your health.
It’s An Issue That Deserves Attention
It’s amazing that so many people think of the term “food fraud” as laughable, yet they deal with the issue on a daily basis. It affects our most popular food items, like orange juice, honey, tea, olive oil, milk, coffee, fish, black pepper and so much more.
If you really want to know what you’re eating, it’s going to take a lot more research than looking at the labels. Finding sources you can trust is difficult as everyone is looking to make a profit while creating the illusion of quality.
Author Bio: Jillian Roberts works for eConsumerServices, a fraud protection company. She works hard to unearth fraudsters and scammers. Unfortunately, the health industry is not immune to these troublemakers. Who would have thought a company that primarily deals with online scams would need to offer fraud protection to those in the health industry?!