Monday December 22 , 2014

FOOD FRAUD

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Article Index

  1. FOOD FRAUD current position
  2. 7 THINGS IN MEAT TO PUT YOU RIGHT OFF EATING IT

 





 

 


WATCH THIS VIDEO ON FACTORY FARMING  HERE
 

 


2,000 Pigs Die After Falling Into Their Own


Waste Tank on Factory Farm

 

Factory farming subjects animals to so many shocking and outrageous cruelties that it’s hard to imagine there could be one more we haven’t thought of. Sadly, we’ve been proven wrong. In Guelph, Ontario, Canada, pigs can plummet into their own waste and die.

For reasons not yet determined, on May 6, 2014, the floor of a barn housing 2,500 pigs collapsed around 9 p.m. It was not just any floor, though. Reports describe it as an eight-foot suspended platform that held the pigs above a “liquid manure holding tank.”

When the floor gave way, all 2,500 pigs were flung down those eight feet into the tank below and onto one another. The fall killed many outright, say reports, but hundreds of others were stuck in the tank with the liquid feces.

Can you imagine the scene? The frantic squealing, the pigs climbing over one another, covered in waste, fighting for their lives and scared out of their wits?

“Efforts were made by those on scene, including local farmers and emergency services, to save as many pigs as possible,” a police press release said. Rescue efforts continued into the afternoon of May 7.

All told, a heartbreaking 2,000 pigs died in that manure tank. Only 500 could be rescued. The concrete 60- by 300-foot barn was reportedly only a year old, so this wasn’t a matter of old equipment. No one knows why the suspended floor gave way. Two workers in the barn at the time escaped injury.

Its Time to Do Away With Factory Farms

Is there any indignity we won’t inflict upon pigs to feed humankind’s apparently insatiable desire for bacon? Must they die frightened, injured and flailing about in their own waste? This situation is just one more in an endless parade of horribles we impose on the animals we call “livestock.” the egg industry, male chicks are unneeded and so they are either thrown away or ground up alive by the millions. Female chicks are “debeaked” which means their beaks are “trimmed” off using a heated blade. If you have the stomach to watch, you can see debeaking here, and see chicks being ground up here.

  • In the dairy industry, male calves are unneeded. They are taken from their mothers, often immediately after birth, housed in cramped boxes in which they cannot freely move, and end up mere weeks later as veal.
  • Milk doesn’t just happen. Cows must be kept constantly pregnant to keep the milk supply flowing. If you’re against veal but drink milk and eat cheese, be aware that you’re still directly supporting the industry that makes veal possible.
  • In the pork industry, pregnant sows are confined to gestation crates in which they cannot even turn around. It’s the rough equivalent of a human being forced to live endlessly in a phone booth or an airplane seat.
  • Soon after birth, piglets‘ tails are docked, their teeth are cut down with pliers, and males are castrated. Painkillers? No, of course not.
  • Cows sent to slaughter sometimes do not die after being shot by a captive-bolt gun. That means they survive what comes next — they’re hung by one leg, their throats are cut, their skin is ripped off and their insides are gutted. Don’t believe it? The Washington Post did. Read this. Afraid to read it all? Here’s a quote:

“I’ve seen thousands and thousands of cows go through the slaughter process alive,” IBP veteran Fuentes, the worker who was injured while working on live cattle, said in an affidavit. “The cows can get seven minutes down the line and still be alive. I’ve been in the side-puller where they’re still alive. All the hide is stripped out down the neck there.”

  • Chickens and turkeys raised for meat are bred and fed for abnormally rapid growth. Chickens, for example, are 300 percent larger today than they were in 1960. They grow so large so fast that their little legs sometimes cannot hold them up. They are crammed into tight quarters or cramped cages, often not seeing the sun or the outdoors. Chickens sometimes have only the space the size of an iPad or a sheet of paper to themselves inside a cage full of other chickens. Nice life, isn’t it?

There are endless examples of the inhumanity of modern factory farming. These are just a few of the highlights. We haven’t even gotten to the environmental impacts yet — the pollution, the fact that half of the world’s grain supply goes to feed livestock rather than people, and so much more.

If the world doesn’t wake up to the fact that factory farming is both cruel and ill-considered, we will have a monumental problem on our hands. In fact, we already do.


Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/2000-pigs-die-after-falling-into-their-own-waste-tank-on-factory-farm.html#ixzz32uvCzcv7
 

 



Food Fraud:

5 Foods That Are Deliberately Mislabeled



Read more: 
http://www.care2.com/causes/food-fraud-5-foods-that-are-deliberately-mislabeled.html#ixzz2x4Y3729c


The word “fraud” probably brings to mind international schemes of financial corruption, intended to deceive the innocent and steal their money.

 


But did you know there is also food fraud?

From extra virgin olive oil to orange juice, there are literally hundreds of products available for our consumption with labels that are lying to us.

In fact, lying to consumers has become so common that the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has created the Food Fraud Database (FFD), to track infractions. According to the site, food fraud is the “deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain.”

Here are just a few examples.

 


1. Olive oil

Researchers have found that olive oil is the food most vulnerable to food fraud. An estimated 69 percent of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the U.S. are probably fake, according to tests by the University of California. In two studies, UC Davis researchers analyzed a total of 186 extra virgin olive oil samples against standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC), as well as methods used in Germany and Australia. Of the five top-selling imported “extra virgin” olive oil brands in the United States, 73 percent of the samples failed the IOC sensory standards for extra virgin olive oils analyzed by two IOC-accredited sensory panels.

As you can discover by checking on the Food Fraud database, olive oil is regularly diluted with imposter oils such soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil and sesame oil.

 


2. Honey

Honey is one of the most commonly mislabeled foods, representing 7 percent of food fraud cases. Last year, Food Safety News tested honey and found that 75 percent  of store-bought honey didn’t contain pollen. As Mother Nature News reports, people are still buying a product made from bees, but no pollen food regulators are unable to identify the honey’s source. Consequent testing found that a third of all phony honey was imported from Asia and was contaminated with lead and antibiotics.

By checking on the FFD , you’ll find honey that contains all kinds of added ingredients: sucrose syrup, sugar syrup, partial invert cane syrup, corn syrup, glucose syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and beet sugar are just a few of the offensive additions.

 


3. Milk

This one kind of threw me. Isn’t milk one of those wholesome products that you know you can trust? Apparently not, as a quick check with the FFD will reveal. In fact, milk turns out to be one of the most commonly adulterated food items available. Typing in “milk” will bring up pages and pages of search results for illegal ingredients. These include, but are not limited to, melamine, non-authentic animal sources, formaldehyde, urea, hydrogen peroxide, machine oil, detergent, caustic soda, starch, non-potable water, cow tallow and pork lard. Yikes!
 


4. Coffee

Yes, not even coffee is safe, although I’m hoping that by following my morning ritual of grinding my coffee beans myself, I am pretty well protected. However, if you favor ground or instant coffee, you may find that it contains coffee husks, roasted corn, roasted barley, roasted soybeans, chicory powder, rye flour, potato flour, burned sugar, caramel, figs, roasted date seeds, glucose, maltodextrins, starch and roasted ground parchment. I think I’ll stick to grinding my own!
 


5. Orange juice

That container labeled 100 percent orange juice? It’s probably not. Here’s how Gizmodo explains part of the reason:

Once the juice is squeezed and stored in gigantic vats, they start removing oxygen. Why? Because removing oxygen from the juice allows the liquid to keep for up to a year without spoiling. But! Removing that oxygen also removes the natural flavors of oranges. Yeah, it’s all backwards. So in order to have OJ actually taste like oranges, drink companies hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that make perfumes for Dior, to create these “flavor packs” to make juice taste like, well, juice again.

Another check with FFD will once again reveal all kinds of extra ingredients.

The best way to avoid all these extra, sometimes nasty, ingredients is of course to buy whole, non-processed foods. Since that’s not always possible, sticking to well-known brands is the next best path to choose. That’s because those big companies have a lot to lose if they’re busted for mislabeling.

And definitely avoid bargains that seem too good to be true; they probably are.
 

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/food-fraud-5-foods-that-are-deliberately-mislabeled.html#ixzz2x4XdyI3n

 


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THE LEADING FARM ANIMAL WELFARE CHARITY



CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE


to find out more about this wonderful organisation who are trying to help stop cruelty amongst farm animals.
I donate just £5 a month to their work and if we all did the same - just £60 a year 
just think of how change could be made on  behalf of the animals welfare and the food that we eat. 
 

 


THE 6 MOST MISLABLED FOODS
 

Raw Almonds. In the US, all “raw” almonds are pasteurized. This is accomplished in any number of ways, from high heat, chemicals, steam, to irradiation. As with most pasteurized products, this compromises the nutritional value of the nut. How do you get truly raw almonds? You can buy them imported, like these, from countries where pasteurization isn’t a requirement. If you don’t mind pasteurized nuts, make sure the company you choose uses the steam pasteurization technique. This will help you to avoid the chemical residue and seriously denatured nutrients of other processes.

Olive oil. Unfortunately, heart-healthy olive oil is not always as pure as you would hope. Even if olive oil is listed as the only ingredient, many Italian olive oils use canola oil as a filler. Sad but true. You are far better off buying California olive oil than Italian.

Honey. If you are not buying local or raw honey, your prized stash of golden ambrosia could be spiked with corn syrup. Many supermarket, highly processed honeys are cut with (GMO) corn syrup to cut costs and increase profits. Is your honey labeled “pure honey”? Unless is says “100% pure,” odds are it is not as wholesome as you may have thought. On that note, it is probably best to steer clear of supermarket honey altogether and buy raw and local. Raw, local honey retains honey’s incredible nutritional value, supports the local economy, and will definitely taste better.

Wild Salmon. Yes, that wild salmon you just served for dinner may not have been as wild as you thought. Under current rules, “wild” salmon can technically spend up to half of its life in a hatchery before being released into the wild. That means the salmon are living in a chemically toxic environment for half of their lives — toxins which stay in their bodies once they are released into the wild. How can you avoid this? Well, for one, if the price tag looks like a deal, then the salmon probably isn’t truly “wild.” Also, fresh salmon sold on the off-seasons between November and March is more often farmed at some point, even if it is labeled “wild.” Another helpful tip is that sockeye salmon can NOT be farmed, unlike Alaskan, so sockeye is a much safer bet.

Maple Syrup. Aunt Jemima is not maple syrup. Ironically, there is not a drop of maple in it. It is a heinous concoction loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and GMOs. These fake maple syrups are usually labeled “pancake syrup,” “maple flavored syrup” or the like. If you want the good stuff, look for the words “pure maple syrup” on the label. Go for Grade B if you have the choice, as it has more antioxidants and nutrients than its lighter colored counterparts.

Pumpkin puree. Perhaps the least atrocious of the list, pumpkin puree is often mixed with other squash (not listed on the label). This is of course, still an issue. Why are companies allowed to sneak ingredients into their products and not list it on their packaging? Wouldn’t it be nice to purchase a product and feel confident that you know exactly what’s inside the can? Worry no more. This brand only uses 100% sugar pumpkin and has a BPA-free lining.

Do your research — find quality products and stick with those, let your friends and family know about mislabeling, and support local, honest products.



Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/beware-the-6-most-mislabeled-foods.html#ixzz2ndXXCD94

 

TRANS FATS IN OUR FOOD


Trans fats are bad. They may increase one’s risks of heart disease,

sudden death, diabetes—and even 
aggression.

Trans fat intake has been associated with overt aggressive behavior,

impatience, and irritability.

 


Trans fats are basically found in only one place in nature: animal fat. The food industry, however, found a way to synthetically create these toxic fats by hardening vegetable oil in a process called hydrogenation, which rearranges their atoms to make them behave more like animal fats. Although most of America’s trans fat intake has traditionally come from processed foods containing partially-hydrogenated oils, a fifth of the trans fats in the American diet used to come from animal products—1.2 grams out of the 5.8 total consumed daily. Now that trans fat labeling has been mandated, however, and places like New York City have banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the intake of industrial-produced trans fat is down to about 1.3, so about 50 percent of America’s trans fats come now from animal products.

Which foods naturally have significant amounts of trans fat? According to the official USDA nutrient database, cheese, milk, yogurt, burgers, chicken fat, turkey meat, bologna, and hot dogs contain about 1 to 5 percent trans fats. There are also small amounts of trans fats in non-hydrogenated vegetable oils due to steam deodorization or stripping during the refining process.

Is getting a few percent trans fats a problem, though? The most prestigious scientific body in the United States, the National Academies of Science (NAS), concluded that the only safe intake of trans fats is zero. In their report condemning trans fats, they couldn’t even assign a Tolerable Upper Daily Limit of intake because “any incremental increase in trans fatty acid intake increases coronary heart disease risk.” There may also be no safe intake of dietary cholesterol, which underscores the importance of reducing animal product consumption.

There’s been controversy, though, as to whether the trans fats naturally found in animal products are as bad as the synthetic fats in partially hydrogenated junk food. The latest study supports the notion that trans fat intake, irrespective of source—animal or industrial—increases cardiovascular disease risk, especially, it appears, in women.
 


“Because trans fats are unavoidable on ordinary, non-vegan diets, getting down to zero percent trans fats would require significant changes in patterns of dietary intake,” reads the NAS report. One of the authors, the Director of Harvard’s Cardiovascular Epidemiology Program, famously explained why—despite this—they didn’t recommend a vegan diet: “We can’t tell people to stop eating all meat and all dairy products,” he said. “Well, we could tell people to become vegetarians,” he added. “If we were truly basing this only on science, we would, but it is a bit extreme.”  Wouldn’t want scientists basing anything on science now would we?! “Nevertheless,” the report concludes, “it is recommended that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.”

Even if you eat vegan, though, there’s a loophole in labeling regulations that allows foods with a trans fats content of less than 0.5 grams per serving to be listed as having—you guessed it—zero grams of trans fat. This labeling is misguiding the public by allowing foods to be labeled as ”trans fat free” when they are, in fact, not. So to avoid all trans fats, avoid meat and dairy, refined oils, and anything that says partially hydrogenated in the ingredients list, regardless of what it says on the Nutrition Facts label.

While unrefined oils such as extra virgin olive should not contain trans fats, to boost the absorption of carotenoids in your salad why not add olives themselves or whole food sources of fat such as nuts or seeds? 
 


Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/trans-fat-in-meat-and-dairy.html#ixzz2fWBgoZ5S
 

 



Shocking Ingredients in

McDonald’s French Fries


 



It would be fair to assume that there are three ingredients in McDonald’s French fries:  potatoes, oil, and salt.  But if you assumed that you’d be far from correct.

Starting last year McDonald’s began a transparency campaign most likely to create a more health- and consumer-conscious image of the corporation.  As a result the company has made their ingredient lists and processing techniques available on their website. Out of curiosity, I had to know exactly what is in those fries.


It turns out that there are 17 ingredients in MickeyD’s French fries!  They contain:

-Potatoes (whew! I’m glad that was the first ingredient)
-Canola oil—Most canola oil is now genetically-modified.
-Hydrogenated soybean oil—Like canola oil, most soybean oil is now extracted from genetically-modified soybeans. Plus the hydrogenation process makes the oil more saturated than it would be in its natural form, and unhealthy.
-Safflower oil—Believed to be a healthier cooking oil, most safflower is unfortunately heated to high temperatures long before it is ever used for cooking, causing it to be chemically-altered from the heat, and a source of inflammation in the body when that is the case.

-”Natural flavor”—McDonald’s natural flavor is apparently obtained from a vegetable source, but the “natural” moniker means nothing since it can even potentially contain the nerve- and brain-toxin monosodium glutamate (MSG).
-Dextrose—a type of sugar.
-Sodium acid pyrophosphate—This ingredient is apparently used to maintain the color of the fries.  On the chemical industry’s own safety data sheets it is listed as hazardous for ingestion, which is exactly what you’ll be doing if you eat those French fries.
-Citric acid—used as a preservative.
-Dimethylpolysiloxane—used as an anti-foaming agent, this industrial chemical is typically used in caulking and sealants and comes with a list of safety concerns.
-Vegetable oil for frying, which is a blend of 7 ingredients, including:  canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), citric acid, and dimethylpolysiloxane.  We discussed most of these ingredients above.  Corn oil, like its canola and soybean counterparts is now primarily made of genetically-modified corn.

TBHQ is a petroleum-based, butane-like (yes, that’s lighter fluid!) ingredient used as a preservative.  It has been linked to asthma, skin conditions, hormone disruption, and in long-term animal studies to cancer and damage to DNA.

Contrary to what McDonald’s may claim in its slogan, I’m NOT lovin’ it!
 

JB Comment: Is there really need for all these hidden poisons and things in our food ?  

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/shocking-ingredients-in-mcdonalds-french-fries.html#ixzz2eCMfDmRy

 

 

When You Eat Chicken,


You’re Eating Arsenic


 



Farmers feed chickens arsenic, people eat the chickens, and then people have arsenic inside them. That can’t be good.
The arsenic at issue isn’t the same as the lethal “Arsenic and Old Lace” poison. By the time it reaches people’s guts it is inorganic arsenic, and instead of killing quickly, it can work slowly toward the same end using any number of weapons: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cognitive defects.

Chris Hunt at The Huffington Post writes that according to industry estimates, 88 percent of chickens raised for human food in the U.S. are fed an arsenic-based drug. That’s 7,920,000,000 chickens.

Meanwhile, arsenic has never been approved for administration to animals raised for food in the European Union, Japan and elsewhere — it is banned, rather randomly, in the state of Maryland.

The purpose of the toxic medicine is — hold onto your seats — to give the meat a “healthy color.” Nothing like arsenic to induce that rosy glow. The drug also makes chickens gain weight faster while eating less, which saves farmers money. Based on that math, you gotta figure they will fight pretty hard to keep their budget-boosting arsenic.

Chicken-eaters who are thinking that they will just cook their meat up real good and kill that arsenic: forget about it. A study out of Johns Hopkins, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that cooking a bird increases the amount of arsenic in the meat. And eating it raw is (I hope) obviously not recommended either. Almost makes a body consider not eating dead fowl.

Committed poultry-eaters can reduce their arsenic intake by buying organic. The Johns Hopkins study found that organic chicken meat contained the least arsenic, which makes sense given that it is illegal to feed drugs to birds and then sell them as organic. Antibiotic-free chickens, who are allowed to chow down on arsenic, came in next, followed by conventional, medication-laced chickens, who bear the highest arsenic load.

The FDA itself conducted a study finding that the livers of chickens who had to eat Roxarsone, an arsenic-based drug, contained more arsenic than Roxarsone-free birds. This anti-climactic conclusion was enough of a bombshell in the upside-down world of Big Ag for Pfizer division Alpharma to voluntarily withdraw Roxarsone from the market. (Don’t fret for the farmers. They just switched to another Pfizer arsenic drug, called nitarsone.)

Food safety advocates are hacked off that Big Ag is feeding its customers arsenic. So the Center for Food Safety, along with a slew of other like-minded groups, filed a petition three years ago with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asking it to withdraw its approval of feeding arsenic to animals raised for human consumption. Even though the FDA itself raised concerns of “completely avoidable exposure to a carcinogen” when it studied arsenic in chickens’ livers, it ignored the petition.

But it’s harder than that to shake a determined coalition of activists. Now the FDA finds itself staring down the barrel of a brand-new lawsuit, courtesy of the scorned petitioners.

Paige Tomaselli, senior staff attorney at the Center for Food Safety, noted that the “FDA could easily and immediately fix the problem, but instead puts its head in the sand.  We can only conclude the FDA is catering to the companies that continue to sell products containing arsenic that ends up in our food supply.” Sounds right to me: see above re arsenic saving factory farms money.

If the FDA is smart, which it has shown over and over that it is not, it will do the right thing now before wasting taxpayer money by dithering about until a judge forces it to act. Make it the law: don’t let farmers feed animals arsenic.



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/when-you-eat-chicken-youre-eating-arsenic.html#ixzz2TMHGuB9A
 

 


Written by Oiwan Lam



Thousands of Dead


Pig Found Floating


in Shanghai River






 

 

A two-day clean-up effort has recovered 3,323 dead pig bodies from the Huangpu River, which cuts through the middle of Shanghai. Local media are reporting that the pigs came from Jiaxing, in Zhejiang province, where over 20,000 pigs have been found dead in villages since the beginning of the year because of swine flu [zh]. While the public is very anxious about the potential pollution caused by the decaying pig carcasses, local authorities quickly asserted that the dead pigs had not polluted the water supply. Shanghai’s water comes from Yangtze River and authorities claim the pigs died of cold weather, not a virus. However, most netizens are skeptical of these claims.

Testing Paper (验算纸) invited [zh] the leaders to prove to the public that the water is safe:

The Zhejiang Agriculture Department said that the dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River died of cold weather rather than swine flu. The experts also said that the water quality has not been affected. Does that mean that the pigs are safe to eat? Why don’t we serve the leaders some of the Huangpu river pigs’ meat?

Liu Junluo (劉軍洛)wondered [zh] why the local authorities did not release the details concerning the dead pigs in advance:

[Responsibility concerning the dead pigs incident] According to Jiaxing Daily, the dead pigs in Huangpu River came from a virus in Jiaxing. In January, 10,078 pigs were found dead in a village. In February 8,325 more were dead. In the past few days, on average 300 pigs were dead everyday. The village has kept digging holes to bury the pigs. So far around 1,200 were found in the river. Had other dead pigs been served at people’s dinner tables? Why doesn’t the government alert people about this news?

Weibo user Changan Xianling (@长安县令) added more background information about the incident:

Many people have raised questions concerning the dead pig incident in Huangpu River. How did the 3,000 pigs make it to Shanghai? Usually, they would have ended up in people’s stomachs. The reason is that not long ago, people who had sold pork from dead pigs were tried and convicted. Last November, a court case in Jiaxing tried 17 people who had sold 77,000 dead pigs for 8.65 million RMB (1.4 million USD). The main perpetrators, Dong, Chen and Yao have received life imprisonment.

Many questioned why there were so few reports concerning the dead pigs incident. @I Am Zuo Anlong (我是左安龙) looked to [zh] the authorities to be accountable for the incident:

Such big news and there isn’t any government authority to take responsibility and comment on the incident. Now we have the Two Congress, but no representatives to be accountable. What has happened to our society? Is there anything left apart from power struggle?

Li Mingseng (李鸣生) mocked the nature of news in China:

More than 2,000 dead pigs entering Huangpu River is not news. More than 20 million Shanghai people drinking dead pig soup for half a month is not news. That the Shanghai Water Supply Bureau claimed that Huangpu River’s water quality is up to the national drinking water standard is news.

Brother Excellence (卓越兄) wondered [zh] why there hadn’t been any discussion in social media until the dead pigs appeared in the Huangpu River:

[Sad news: Pigs have beaten the Chinese media] We have information distribution tools like micro-blogs, mobile chat, web portals, SMS, websites, television, and newspapers. Yet the swine flu that killed thousands of pigs in Jiaxing has to rely on the dead pigs for spreading the news — not until the dead pigs floated into Shanghai did the public learn the news. In the new media era, we still depend on pigs to obtain information, isn’t that sad?

Environmentalist Dong Liangjie wanted [zh] to know the truth:

The incident has caught the public attention. I urge the authorities to reveal the truth and the water supply factory should look into the bio-toxicity data. Don’t cover up the truth because of the Lianghui. Don’t risk your credibility. If anything goes wrong, the consequences would be too heavy to bear.

This post was originally published by Global Voices.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/thousands-of-dead-pigs-found-floating-in-shanghai-river.html#ixzz2NVyR5tOp

 


FOOD FRAUD
 

1. White Tuna

What the heck is white tuna? Well, you might not have to worry, because that’s probably not what’s in your sushi anyway. Many markets are using escolar, a cheaper fish that, by the way, can cause food poisoning thanks to the waxy esters it contains (it’s also known as ex-lax fish if you want an idea of the symptoms you’ll experience). Escolar is such a concern that some nations have banned it from the market.

2. Pomegranate, Apple, Orange Juices and More

Fruit juice is a big hit these days thanks to the antioxidant punch it packs, and it’s also pretty expensive. So if you see some pomegranate juice with a price tag that seems too good to be true, it probably is; apple juice and other less costly fillers may have been used to bring production costs down. Other juices like apple and orange may include pesticides, sugars and other added ingredients that most definitely don’t appear on the label. Juices may also contain ‘clouding agents’ to make them look fresh, and some of these could make you sick.

3. Olive Oil

Olive oil’s a biggie in a world where many people are trying to eat a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. In addition to being cut with less expensive oils that can alter its nutritional profile, flavor and performance in the kitchen, olive oils can also be mislabeled in terms of processing and origin. That ‘extra-virgin Italian olive oil,’ in other words, may be a secondary pressing from somewhere else entirely.

4. Honey and Maple Syrup

Ah, natural sweeteners. Think again! Honey and maple syrup may be processed with corn syrup and other sugars to increase their sweetness, and to dilute them; both products are expensive to produce and process, and a low-cost filler can make them stretch further.

5. Milk

Even milk?! Yes. Cow milk may be cut with sheep, goat, and other species, along with various filler materials, some of which aren’t so great for human consumption — like melamine in infant formula. If you’re avoiding cow milk for ethical or allergy reasons, be aware that contaminants have also been found in goat and other species.

6. Spices

Saffron, an extremely expensive spice, is a common culprit, but it’s not alone. Many packaged spices contain adulterants, especially if they’re sold in powdered form, because the original spice is so costly. Borate, glycerin, barium sulfate, and a variety of other unpleasant visitors have been found in spice jars.

7. Coffee and Tea

Before you brew a cup, you might want to think about what you’re drinking, because ground and instant coffee along with teas may contain twigs, paper, malt, chicory, starch and various grains. Wondering why you get an upset tummy after drinking coffee? If you’re gluten intolerant, you may have just unwittingly downed a cup of gluten.

8. Fish

Mislabeling of fish is a recurrent issue; a 2012 study by Oceana discovered that almost 40% of fish sold in New York City was mislabeled. It may be advertised as wild caught when it’s farmed, or as a totally different species. And when fish is sold in fillet or frozen form, it’s hard to tell what it is and where it came from without genetic testing.

9. Kalimari

If you love deep-fried squid as much as I do, this is a real blow. In This American LifeIra Glass recently explored the fact that pig anus (“bung” in industry terms) can be seamlessly interchanged for the real deal on a seafood platter. He was reacting to a tip that a meat plant was doing just that with its products and it makes you wonder what other pig parts might be passed off as something else.

10. Grains

Love rice, lentils and baking with a variety of grains? You’ll shudder at the adulterants that have been discovered in them, including herbicides and pesticides along with other toxins like melamine. Many are also mislabeled, with incorrect information about their region of origin reflected on the label. Yum!

What can you do about food fraud as a consumer? Well, one piece of advice is to buy whole and close to the source. It’s harder to pass adulterated food when you’re looking at the fresh product; for example, pepper is frequently cut with fillers like millet when it’s ground, but you know what whole black peppercorns look like, so you can inspect the pepper you see for sale to see if it’s authentic. Buying from local farms, fisheries and butchers can also increase the chances of getting what you actually pay for.

Don’t be seduced by cheap prices, either. If something is radically on sale or is consistently priced lower than competing products, that might be a sign that it’s not what you think it is. If you have questions, contact the company and demand information. Want to know if those “free-range” eggs are really produced in humane conditions? Contact the company and the certifying agency, and think about asking for a farm visit so you can see for yourself.

 


John:  I don't mind that we may have been eating horse in pies etc. from Tesco and Findus, as it is quite edible. What really annoys is the lies and deceit that goes hand in hand with how they expect and demand making bigger profits while witholding information from us. The lies seem to be throughout all official channel;-  politicians, media, church, corporate power, banks;- and as a person who has always been raised to be truthful and honest, this just rankles with me. Thank you for your page of Food Fraud.  I will re visit it often and keep abreast of what you find to share. Well done John.
Fred F. ( London ) 

 

 

FF

 

 

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