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11 Misleading Beverage Labels Slideshow

11 Misleading Beverage Labels Slideshow


Vitaminwater — Just Vitamins and Water?

What's in a name? In the case of popular drink Vitaminwater, more than you might assume, actually. Certainly more than just vitamins and water, at least. It seems that a 20-ounce bottle contains more than 30 grams of sugar and 120 calories. Not exactly what you would expect from a healthy-sounding drink with phrases like "vitamin + water = what's in your hand" on the label. The beverage came under fire in 2009 when food-health advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), filed a class-action suit against Coca-Cola, the brand's owner, claiming that it violated consumer-protection laws.

100 Percent Orange Juice

The validity of the claim "100 percent orange juice" came under attack after a few reports revealed some interesting facts about the process of how it's made. Apparently, during processing, commercial orange juice is "deaerated" so that it won't spoil when it's stored. Trouble is, the process of removing the oxygen also removes a lot of the characteristic natural orange juice flavor. So how does it end up tasting like orange juice in the end? Credit that to brand-trademarked flavor packs.

"All Natural" Arizona Teas

All of those "natural" claims on the Arizona tea cans really put the company in hot water, when a class-action lawsuit was filed against the beverage-maker for its "natural" labels — and its use of high-fructose corn syrup and citric acid. But there’s still no real resolution as to whether the Arizona beverages are in fact natural. The three-year-old class-action lawsuit against Arizona Beverages was recently thrown out; as one attorney explained to Food Navigator, "The judge basically said that just because something is processed, doesn’t mean it isn’t ‘natural." Of course, scores of other experts would argue that high-fructose corn syrup is in fact artificial, despite its chemical similarities to table sugar. So those "natural" claims on the back of the giant Arizona teas may stick around a while longer — but that doesn’t mean you should trust them.

CytoSport Muscle Milk: 'Fat-Laden Junk Food'

If you actually thought that Muscle Milk would buff you up, and were sorely disappointed, you may be able to get some money back. A recent class-action lawsuit against Muscle Milk and its line of nutrition supplements was settled for $5.3 million, meaning that anyone who bought a Muscle Milk product between 2007 and the end of 2012 may be able to get a refund. The lawsuit debunked Muscle Milk’s claims that the drinks provided "Healthy, Sustained Energy" and "healthy fats," — and the lawsuit found that the drinks contained trace amounts of metals, including lead, cadmium, and/or arsenic. (What, you don’t like drinking lead?) The result of the lawsuit (in which the California federal court called the Muscle Milk drinks "a fat-laden junk food") now means that CytoSport must remove the offending labels and pay up. Lexology also notes that CytoSport will donate $85,000 to the American Heart Association to "further the class’ interest in cardiovascular health." Because cardiovascular health and sugary protein drinks definitely go hand in hand.

Mojo Malt Liquor, Just Like Bottled Water

Don’t be fooled by the pretty plastic bottle: the newest malt liquor to hit shelves, called Mojo, has liquor boards across the country concerned because its bottle design looks remarkably like a water bottle. The drink was sold in nine states in the Northeast, but New Hampshire has moved to ban it from sale in the state because of its resemblance to bottled water. Said the New Hampshire Liquor Commission in a statement, "These products are clear liquid, resembling water and are packaged in containers that resemble specialty water products." And the maker behind the Mojo drink, Irokos Group, wants to sell a New Hampshire version of the drink that’s only 5.9 percent ABV (instead of its normal 7 percent), so that it technically qualifies as a malt beverage instead of a malt liquor — so you can see it in a mom-and-pop liquor store next to the Mike’s Hard. One of the leading execs at Irokos Group said in response to the New Hampshire Union Leader that the fury at Mojo has been overblown. "I am frustrated that people are trying to give it a bad image for something so simple," he said. "This product is the same as Smirnoff Ice." So make sure you know what you’re picking up at the liquor store.

Inaccurate Labeling on Energy Drinks

The makers of energy drinks, especially Monster Energy Drinks and 5-Hour Energy Drinks, have been under fire for quite a few months now. Back in July, the New York State attorney general issued subpoenas for PepsiCo (the manufacturer behind Monster Beverages and Living Essentials) to further investigate the company’s marketing and advertising claims, including inaccurate labeling. The FDA followed suit with its own investigation in November.

The results should come as no surprise; one study found that the amount of caffeine in an energy drink is often very different from what the label says. One Consumer Reports study found that of 27 brands tested, 11 didn’t specify the amount of caffeine in the drink; the reason may be that energy drinks may not want to publicize their proprietary blends, which could include ingredients like amino acids, carbohydrates, guarana, and one particularly troublesome ingredient: dimethylamylamine (DMAA). In the latest energy drink news, the FDA has come out with a staunch warning against energy drinks and supplements with DMAA. Reports Boston.com, "The FDA said it had received 60 reports of serious conditions such as heart attacks, seizures, psychiatric problems, and deaths that were associated with DMAA use." Lovely. The manufacturer of one energy supplement, USPlabs, commented that DMAA is a natural dietary ingredient, but others have said that the plant-based argument is a guise for new pharmaceuticals. The take-away: you can’t really trust what’s in your energy drink.

"All Natural" Snapple

Wikimedia/ aido2001

"All natural" — sounds healthy, right? It's easy to understand why you might make that assumption. However, as it turns out, the FDA has no formal rules about what constitutes something as being "all natural." The unfortunate loophole is what allowed products like Snapple to label their teas and juices as "all natural" despite having been made with citric acid and high-fructose corn syrup (although in 2009 the company started using sugar in its iced teas instead). The drink even faced a consumer lawsuit over the issue but the case was rejected soon after. Still, the takeaway remains the same: Don't accept anything labeled as "all natural" at face value.

How Wonderful Is POM Wonderful?

BBoth the Federal Trade Commission and the FDA took issue with POM Wonderful's allegedly misleading claims, filing a complaint and sending warnings. Specifically, the FTC attacked the drink's claims that it has "Super Health Powers" and that it "Promotes Healthy Blood Vessels." The FDA's warning stemmed from the fact that the drink was promoted for condition that would make the product have to be considered a drug.

Commercial Coconut Water — A Good Source of Electrolytes?

Coconut water — the trendy health drink du jour — suffered a bit of a blow after product testing company ConsumerLab.com released results on three popular commercial brands of the drink. They tested O.N.E. Coconut Water, VitaCoco, and Zico Natural Pure Premium Coconut Water, finding that only the later offered the same amount of electrolytes as a traditional sports drink. The other two failed to deliver the advertised amounts of electrolytes — troubling since the drink is essentially marketed as a natural sports drink alternative.

Evaporated Cane Juice in Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Chocolate Milk

Sure, you see the label and think, "Organic? Soy? Sure, that must be good for kids." But according to a new class-action lawsuit filed last month against the chain, the Trader Joe’s milk may be filled with more sugar than you think. The soy milk was just one of the many products named in the suit for one particular ingredient — evaporated cane juice — which the plaintiffs say is just a fancy word for sugar. As The Huffington Post notes, "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the term 'evaporated cane juice' as a synonym for sugar on packaged foods, but the use of the term has become increasingly common over the past few years." The suit also alleges that the label on the organic soy chocolate milk is misleading because it suggests that it acts as a substitute for dairy milk, despite the fact that calcium from soy milk is harder to absorb than calcium from dairy milk.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


11 Food Frauds You're Probably Falling For

In my effort to eat healthier and more ethically, I tend to gravitate towards foods that are organic, non-GMO, and locally grown—hence the $8 eggs I accidentally bought last week. Have you ever stopped to wonder what those phrases and certifications on food labels actually mean? Remember when Naked got in trouble for falsely advertising their juice as containing quality, healthful ingredients? And when we found out the truth behind food labels like cage-free, antibiotic-free, and certified organic? These are examples of food fraud.

Food fraud is not just when companies fraudulently market their products as something they&aposre not. Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as 𠇊 collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” No matter how you spin it, food fraud is shady business.

But without a subscription to the The United States Pharmacopeial Convention food fraud database, how do you protect yourself against food fraud? The answer is, well, it’s hard. There are thousands of ingredients and food fraud records in the database. To help you out, I put together a fairly short list of common foods that you should always keep an eye on.

The most dangerous example of food counterfeiting is olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is the healthiest oil we can eat. However, the hard truth is that according to a study conducted by the UC Davis Olive Center, only 69 percent of bottles labeled 𠇎xtra virgin” are actually extra virgin. The harder truth is that manufacturers can cut it with vegetable, soybean, and sometimes a nut oil. That poses a severe health risk for some people with allergies.

Fish is another big source of food fraud. Oceana.org found that 39 percent of seafood in NYC alone was mislabeled. A lot of fancy fish you&aposre buying could actually be a cheap, bottom-feeding substitute like Escolar instead of Tuna steak. The danger is that Escolar contains indigestible esters that can cause food poisoning and other shitty side effects (pun intended).

As for ground meat, you might be getting a mystery animal in your marked package. Remember the horse meat scandal in England? Lucky for the US, meat substitution is not as common here.

Another upsetting one is milk. Never use powdered milk, especially if it’s from China. Worse than drinking a mix of various livestock milk (as in, not just cow), some powdered milks can contain chemicals like melamine, urea, and detergent.

Far less terrifying is the wide-spread fruit juice fraud. Beyond various companies claiming unproven health benefits on the labels, a lot of juice companies will claim the product is � percent juice." The trouble is, that bottle of juice is probably 100 percent juice, but it’s not straight grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, or what have you. It’s probably cut with something cheap and sugary, like apple juice. Some juices even contain clouding agents to make them look 𠇏resh squeezed.” No thanks.

You probably already knew about honey and food fraud, but it’s one of the worst offenders. Those plastic bears are loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup, so just stick to your local apiaries.

Coffee is another common one because it’s easy to hide other brown things, like twigs, in coffee grounds. Ever wonder why your pre-ground coffee has a particularly earthy taste? Do yourself a favor and buy whole beans.

Ground black pepper is another easy way to dupe consumers, so buy whole peppercorns and a grinder and do it yourself. Freshly ground pepper tastes better anyways.

The next thing you should be scrutinizing is your vanilla extract. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, so it’s not surprising that the extract is made up of vanillin instead. While vanillin is a naturally occurring compound, most commercially sold bottles of extract synthesize it in a lab for cheap.

Cinnamon is either made from the bark of Ceylon or Cassia. We’re more familiar with the cheaper, spicier Cassia, but either way it yields a fine, brown spice that is easily faked with coffee husks. So make sure you read the label.

Finally, the most predictable victim of food fraud is your bottle of wine. Fraudulent wine mostly comes from cheap wine being falsely labeled as something much nicer, and it has cost the US wine business about $250 million. So seek out your local wine purveyor or buy straight from a trusted vineyard.


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