13 Fake Foods You Could Be Eating Every Day and How to Recognize Them

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13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

Your life will never be the same after reading this. What you previously thought was cinnamon is in fact cassia. Cassia is a cheap alternative to the famous spice that is sold everywhere as cinnamon. It has a different smell, and most importantly, it is dangerous for your health (the flavoring cassia contains may cause migraines). In order to produce real cinnamon, it is necessary to use the bark that grows only in Sri Lanka and Western India. And cassia is produced from trees that grow in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • Most of the time, real cinnamon will have Cinnamomum verum on the pack and cassia has Cinnamomum aromaticum.
  • Real cinnamon is very easy to break, it is light, and looks like parchment. Cassia is very rigid and it is bright brown.

7. Blueberries

13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

The Consumer Wellness Center in the US conducted a study of foods that supposedly contained blueberries and the results are pretty bad. Most of these foods didn’t contain anything like blueberries. It was a combination of starch, colorants, flavoring, and hydrogenated oil. A huge number of fakes exist because blueberries are considered to be superfoods and the demand is extremely high.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • Read the ingredients. If you see that a product contains Indigo carmine (E132), it means that there are no blueberries.

8. Whipped cream

13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

Some manufacturers are so talented that they don’t even need cream to make… cream. In 1966, American chemist William Mitchell invented a replacement for whipped cream that consisted of coconut oil, corn syrup, natural flavoring, and a thickening agent. Yes, it did contain milk, but very little of it. Of course, this “whipped cream” has its advantages: it looks good and it is easy to work with if you are an amateur chef. But experts can see the difference right away.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • The ingredients should not include vegetable fats and sugar.

9. Scallops

13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

A scallop is an extremely expensive delicacy and few people know what it really looks like. This is why there are a lot of dishonest manufacturers who use minced fish, stingray meat, seahorse, and even shark meat. Sometimes, snow fungus is used instead of scallops as a salad ingredient in some restaurants.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • A 100 % genuine scallop can only be sold in the shell. There is no way to replace it or fake it.
  • Frozen scallops should be a light pink or beige color.

10. Caviar

13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

Caviar is faked more than any other food. Dishonest manufacturers fake different types of caviar, for example, the flying fish caviar is replaced by capelin, and pike caviar is colored and sold as black caviar. Experts say that it is very hard to tell the difference between genuine caviar and fake caviar just by their taste. 1/3 of all the caviar sold in Europe is fake.

Red caviar is faked more than any other. Fake red caviar is a mix of gelatin, fish soup, oil, and colorant. You can find caviar made of seaweed, but it costs so little that it’s unlikely anyone would think it was genuine red caviar.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • Genuine black caviar is not perfect: all the pieces are a different size.
  • Flying fish caviar is a little bigger than capelin.
  • If red caviar is sticky, doesn’t pop well, and smells a lot like fish, unfortunately, this means it’s fake.

11. Meat glue

Most manufacturers don’t like to get rid of waste, because the more waste they have, the more money they lose. This is why chemists invented this great thing called transglutaminase, or meat glue. This thing is used to glue hundreds of meat pieces together to get something that looks like a beautiful steak.

But transglutaminase is not harmless. Despite the fact that it is an organic component (it is produced in humans and animals), using too much of it can cause an allergic reaction, digestive disorders, and coeliac disease — an autoimmune disorder that disrupts the absorption of fats, vitamins, iron, and calcium.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • Buy farm-produced foods from manufacturers that you trust, and don’t buy frozen foods. Glued meat is easy to tell from real meat because the lines on it don’t look natural.

12. Meat for burgers

In the 21st century, burger meat is not just minced meat anymore. There are huge companies that work on creating meat alternatives. In 2016, the company Impossible Foods showed a beef replacement made of starch, genetically modified yeast, and textured wheat. It is really hard to tell this “meat” from real meat, and it is even harder to do when you are eating a burger. More than that, burger meat is often made of soy and other beans and they taste much better than real meat.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • The answer is obvious: make your burgers yourself and avoid eating fast food.

13. Smoked foods

13 Fake Foods You Could Be Buying Every Day and How to Recognize Them

Natural smoking is a long and difficult process, this is why many manufacturers use so-called liquid smoke. You should know that smoked foods are not good for your health in any case, and you shouldn’t eat them more often that a couple of times per month.

There is no proof that liquid smoke is dangerous for your health, but if you have too much of it, you could get food poisoning.

How to avoid buying a fake?

  • Smoked meat and fish should be dry and not very bright. The color of the surface should not have any dark or light spots — it is supposed to be an even color.

How often do you come across fake foods? Or maybe you have your own ways to avoid buying fake foods and you know exactly how to tell them from real ones? Share your experience in the comment section below.

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