Five Common Food Frauds You Need to Know!

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In a perfect world, you’d be able to trust the labels on your food; however, this often isn’t the case, especially with certain products. Everything from milk to extra virgin olive oil can be mislabeled, according to new research published in the April Journal of Food Science. Here are five of the most commonly misrepresented foods.

1. Fish: Consumer Reports recently indicated that up to 25% of the world’s seafood is mislabeled. This can include sushi restaurants swapping out more expensive fish with cheaper alternatives or companies saying that a fish was caught versus raised on a farm.

2. Kobe Beef: Known around the world for its incredible flavor and tenderness, Kobe beef is the crème de la crème of meat. However, if you buy Kobe in the states, it’s not what you think; currently, the US does not allow this type of beef, which is only grown and slaughtered in a certain region of Japan, to be imported. If you see something labeled as Kobe beef, it’s actually a similar breed of cow, although it is nothing near the flavor of actual Kobe. The manufacturer just charges the same price (or more).

3. Balsamic Vinegar: Manufacturers of this Italian staple are notorious for labeling inferior products as “Made in Italy” when, in fact, it was just bottled there, yet it was made with inferior ingredients from other countries.

4. Truffle Oil: If you’re paying less than $20 per 8 ounces for truffle oil, you’re likely buying sunflower oil with chemical flavorings.

5. Saffron: Here’s a quick way to tell if your saffron is the real deal instead of just dyed flowers or dried “safflowers”: if it dissolves slowly and stains your fingers yellow when rubbed together, it’s real. If it dissolves quickly without staining, you were gypped.