The food industry, like any capitalist industry, is all about cutting costs and increasing profit to the highest it can be.
Most of us know that those mass-produced foods we buy every week might not be completely organic.
In fact, the food industry now labels their organic food with helpful little green stickers.
What does that say about the things we consume? So, what do you do if you want to be more aware of which foods are fake?
Read this article, and do some more research of your own! Knowledge is power after all.
8. Maple syrup.
Maple syrup is delicious, and a staple to any home breakfast!
But did you know that the process of collecting maple syrup is actually pretty complicated? It’s also entirely dependent on the seasons.
Maple syrup producers obtain their product by tapping into trees and collecting the sap inside. The truth is, most big brand maple syrups are actually not made of maple syrup at all.
A quick look at the ingredients on the bottle will show you that it’s 100% high fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring.
Did you know 99% of wasabi available in restaurants in the United states is Fake?
7. Olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is not only good for your health and palate, it’s also a rarity in places where olives don’t naturally grow from the earth.
Because it’s so hard to regulate imported products, American companies that buy olive oil from abroad trust the labels.
Most of the time, the EVOO you see in stores is diluted with peanut or soybean oil.
Although you don’t have to worry about this if you live in North America and buy from trusted brands, if you live in China or Nigeria you have to be more careful.
Recent reports have shown that contaminated rice has been making the rounds in those two countries, promoting health concerns in the population.
However, artificial rice does exist.
According to Wikipedia, this kind of artificial rice is made of non-rice cereals, and is fortified with iron, zinc and vitamins.
There are machines that push this mixture out into the shape of the little pellets that we know as rice.
5. Powdered instant coffee.
Not to point any fingers at any specific brand, but research has shown that pre-ground coffee bought at the store is littered with non-coffee ingredients.
According to Larry Olmsted, a food writer, some common ingredients found blending in with the coffee powder includes “cereals, caramel, parchment, starch, malt, and figs.”
It seems that none of our favorite caffeinated drinks are safe.
If you’ve noticed a difference between your regular bag of tea and loose leaf tea and couldn’t put your finger on why that was, this might be the reason.
As it turns out, and once again without pointing fingers at anyone in particular, research has found that some manufacturers added sawdust and non-tea leaves to maximize profits.
The seafood used in your sushi might not be entirely what you think it is. This is especially true if you live away from the coasts where the fish are taken from.
A study by environmental group Oceana found that 94% of tuna used in sushi in New York City restaurants wasn’t tuna. Instead, it was found to be a type of fish called escolar.
The same study also found that 74% of the fish that is sold at sushi restaurants all across the United States is mislabeled.
So what does this mean, exactly? It means that when you order sushi, you may not even be eating the type of fish that you ordered!
The study, which was completed in 2013, found that there are 4 types of sushi you should be weary about ordering.
These include: wild salmon, Alaskan or Pacific Salmon, White tuna, and red snapper.
Speaking of sushi ingredients, unless you live close to a hotbed of crabs, chances are you’re eating the imitation kind.
Business Insider states that imitation crab is not as nutritious as real crab, and that the main ingredient in imitation crab is a type of fish paste which is called surimi.
Surimi is made from pollock fish with added flavors like egg white, starch, sugar, and crab flavoring.
Imitation crab is made by pulverizing white fish and binding it with all of these ingredients. So if you’re allergic to those things and go for sushi, be careful.
If you thought we were done with sushi restaurants, well, brace yourself. Real wasabi is made out of a rhizome that is extremely expensive. It’s also very delicate to handle.
The truth is, because the original ingredient in wasabi is so expensive and delicate to handle, it’s most likely that the wasabi you’re eating at a restaurant is a mix of horseradish, mustard flour and green dye.
The Washington Post reports that roughly 99 percent of all wasabi which is sold in the United States is fake.
In fact, experts estimate that 95 percent of wasabi that is sold in Japan could be fake. This is because wasabi is not only difficult to grow, but it is also extremely expensive.
According to BBC, it costs a whopping $160 per kilogram! Real wasabi is made from the stem of a plant. The stem is grated and pulverized into a paste.
The reason horseradish is used as an imitation is because it has a very similar chemical structure to wasabi which gives it its spicy taste.
Now that you know about the top 8 fake foods that we are eating everyday, here are some healthy alternatives to our favorite restaurant dishes that you can order at restaurants!
Lots of restaurants tend to serve soups that are extremely creamy and high in calories.
Avoid soups like broccoli and cheese soup, which tends to focus more on cheese and cream. You should also try avoiding clam chowder, instant ramen, and lobster bisque.
Livestrong.com states that some of the best and healthiest meals to order at restaurants are soups – but not just any type of soups!
Livestrong suggests starting your meal with a cup of minestrone soup, which is a vegetable and bean soup that carries lots of fiber.
This can help you feel more full. Some other healthy soup alternatives are chicken noodle soup, black eyed pea soup, and butternut squash soup.
Burgers are some of the most popular foods to order at restaurants, but they are often extremely high in calories.
If you’re considering eating a burger at a restaurant, try to opt for a healthy alternative. Consider a turkey burger in a lettuce bun or on top of a salad.
You can also always opt for a veggie burger on a salad.
Try to avoid cheese and mayonnaise, and consider eating the burger open-faced by removing the top of the bun.
Sandwiches may seem like healthy alternatives to things like burgers or pasta, but some sandwiches can be just as high in calories as burgers or other entrees.
When ordering a sandwich at a restaurant, consider a BLT on whole wheat toast. The calorie count for a BLT is low as long as you don’t over do it with the bacon.
Ask for a small amount of mayo, or even light mayo. You can also opt out of using mayo to cut even more calories.
As a side, instead of fries, consider ordering a side of veggies or even fruit.
Pizza doesn’t always have to be unhealthy!
There are all sorts of different things you can do to a pizza to make it healthy and high in nutritional value.
When ordering a pizza, opt for a thin crust, and ask for half the cheese. Skip out on the high calorie meat toppings and try choosing grilled chicken or any other type of lean protein.
To cut even more calories, you can ask for more veggies, extra mushrooms, and a dash of oregano to add that extra flavor.
Try ordering a salad beforehand so that you are filled up a little before the meal. Remember, healthy doesn’t always have to be boring!
If you are weary about ordering some of your favorite foods because of their high-calorie content and poor nutritional value, consider healthy alternatives. All it takes is a few adjustments.
If you’re on a diet and are scared of ordering foods at restaurants because they don’t fit your dietary goals, then consider the alternatives in this article!