Can't a girl just get honey when she buys honey? Apparently not. Food fraud ("the adulteration, dilution or mislabeling of goods" as defined by the FDA) is on the rise, with olive oil, milk, saffron, honey and coffee topping the list of food items most likely to have fudged ingredients or sourcing information.
The most recent study on food fraud from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention reports that in addition to the foods listed above, the other foods most likely to have fraudulent ingredients or elements include fish, tea, maple syrup, turmeric, black pepper and chili pepper.
What does it mean to be a fraudulent food? It means that the food in question has fillers or other substances in it other than what it was specified on the label. For example, an expensive spice might have less-expensive fillers added to it; extra virgin olive oil could be diluted with cheaper vegetable oils. And that pomegranate juice? Not 100% pomegranate, but more likely a mix of "grape skins and grape and pear juices," according to Eatocracy, who reported on the study. They offer their own tips to combat food fraud, which are worth checking out.
Read More: Faux pas! Food fraud on the rise | Eatocracy
In general, the best way to combat food fraud is to know your food source and supplier, if not for everything then especially for the high-target foods.
What do you think about this? Will it change how you shop for olive oil and honey? For spices and tea?
Related: The Great Olive Oil Scam. Don't Be Duped.