Saturday, August 9, 2014

Food Fraud in the United States

Hello everyone!

I came across an article today about food fraud and how prevalent it is in the United States, and as an American, this really concerns me. After all, I do eat the food here like mostly everyone else.

It already starts out with a really disturbing fact- Pork anus is used as imitation squid.

Squid or Pork Bung?

"In January, National Public Radio told a storyabout a multi-state pork processing company selling pig rectum – referred to, by the industry, as “bung” – as imitation calamari. NPR’s Ira Glass did everything possible to refute his source on the story, but dozens of experts could not shoot down the possibility that people are ordering squid and getting pork bung instead. He went so far as to have his sister, a chef, serve a plate of fried bung next to a plate of fried calamari. 

No one could tell the difference. "

Pretty vile.  Pig anus when you're paying for squid. 

Fish is also grossly mislabeled.

"A recent study by Oceana found the act of seafood fraud has been uncovered both in the United States and abroad at levels ranging from 25 to more than 70 percent for commonly swapped species such as red snapper, wild salmon and Atlantic cod. Oceana collected more than 1,200 seafood samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states to determine if they were honestly labeled. DNA testing found that one-third (33 percent) of the 1,215 samples analyzed nationwide were mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. "

Don't forget honey and olive oil.

"These are products most of us believe we could spot as fraud. However, most of the honey sold in American chain stores does not meet international quality standards. 

Testing done for Food Safety News found that most store honey isn’t honey, with ultra-filtering techniques removing pollen and hiding the honey’s origins. 

“More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce. The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled ‘honey,’” wrote Food Safety News. "

"Their research found that olive oil, milk, saffron and coffee joined honey and fish as the most commonly fraudulent products on the market. Most of the reported food fraud comes from producers adding fillers or diluting the real deal with less expensive ingredients. Clouding agents were found in 877 food products from 315 different companies. Vegetable oil was discovered in bottles of olive oil. Grape juice was passed for pomegranate juice. Given that even the best palates can be fooled by food tech trickery, it’s difficult to completely avoid being duped. "

However, if you get these things (and sadly pay more) from somewhere such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or farmer's markets, what you buy IS the real deal.

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