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Food Frauds

Food frauds abound in the supermarket as consumers are demanding greater “value added” for their purchases while not wanting to pay more. Cheap food leads to expensive health care: obesity surgery to poor animal welfare, and artificial colors and flavors being labeled as food.

A 2014 article by Joseph Mercola, titled “Why Won’t Walmart’s Ice Cream Sandwiches Melt?” is a prime example of how gums and additives create new-to-nature food ingredients that allow ice creams to no longer melt [16].

A look at the ingredients in Walmart’s Great Value Vanilla Flavored Ice Cream Sandwiches reads like a chemistry book:

Ice Cream (milk, cream, buttermilk, sugar, whey, corn syrup, contains 1% or less mono-and diglycerides, vanilla extract, guar gum, calcium sulfate, carob bean gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan, artificial flavor, annatto for color)

Wafers (wheat flour, sugar, soybean oil, palm oil, cocoa, dextrose, caramel color, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, corn flour, food starch- modified, salt, soy lecithin, baking soda, artificial flavor)

Another food fraud of which consumers need to be aware is farm- raised seafood, which is reported to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Farm-raised catfish, trout, and salmon are fed fish pellets from corn, soy, wheat, and “pelagic species which are not used for human consumption” [17].

According to Dr. Joyce Nettleton in Seafood Nutrition, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are derived from the phytoplankton in the food chain that fish eat [18]. Corn, soy, and wheat do not contain phytoplankton.

Honey tops the list of food frauds because United States consumption is approximately 400 million pounds per year—approximately 1.3 pounds per person according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but the nation’s beekeepers can only supply approximately 48% of what is needed. The remaining 52% comes from Asian countries—particularly China—which are notorious for exporting products that are contaminated with antibiotics, heavy metals, or corn syrup [19].

Another food fraud is the remaking of orange juice from concentrate that has color, flavor, and synthetic folic acid that are not safe for consumers because they can mask Vitamin B12 deficiency. According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, these “remade” juices fortified with folic acid can lose an average of 46% of the nutrient during a year’s storage when kept in an environment reflective of supermarket refrigeration. When the juices were exposed to light degradation, the nutrient loss was even worse—especially during the first 6 months of storage [20].

Vitamin water is the epitome of deception and unsubstantiated claims according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Coca Cola’s notion that “you can take a penny’s worth of vitamins and minerals and mix them with a sugary drink and convert them to something healthful” is bogus, according to David Schardt, a senior nutritionist at CSPI [21].

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