Food fraud is a $50 billion industry. It is possible that you have been its victim more than once, writes Business Insider. From kobe beef to parmesan, restaurants and grocery stores are chock-full of foods that aren't quite what they seem. Or not at all? Here are eight products that are most often counterfeit.
About 99% of the wasabi sold in the US is counterfeit. The vast majority of wasabi consumed in America is simply a mixture of horseradish, spicy mustard, and green dye. True wasabi is difficult to grow and costs about $160/kg at wholesale prices.
More than a third of restaurants are replacing lobsters with cheaper crab. DNA tests conducted on lobster dishes from 28 restaurants around the country showed that 35% of the samples contained other seafood, such as langoustine (“little lobsters”, or cheap crabs).
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3. Kobe beef
Restaurants in the US offer "kobe hamburgers" and expensive "kobe steaks", although most of these claims are not true. Kobe beef costs over $20 an ounce, so if you're buying something that's supposedly made from this meat and it's not ridiculously expensive, you're being scammed.
4. Parmesan cheese
Testing grated cheese showed that all cheeses, called 100% grated cheese Parmesan Cheesecontained an “anti-slip” cellulose additive. Although this supplement is safe, the acceptable level is 2% to 4%, this percentage is often exceeded to reduce the cost of the product.
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5. Red grouper
According to experts in DNA testing of products, in 94% of cases, ordering red perch (red snapper), you get another fish. There is a rule derived empirically: if the fish is expensive and you have not seen it raw, the risk of forgery increases.
6. Olive oil
Counterfeit versions of olive oil are extraordinarily common and contain soy, peanut and sunflower oils. Consuming fake oil can be dangerous. For example, in Spain in 1981, 20 people were poisoned by toxic oil sold as olive oil.
Real truffles are trending, expensive and extremely rare in stores and restaurants. If the mushroom has not been processed in front of your eyes, chances are you are dealing with a chemical combination - especially if it is labeled as "truffle oil."
More than 75% of honey sold in American grocery stores contains ingredients other than honey: it is often “watered” with corn or fructose syrup to reduce costs. In addition, some retailers label certain types of honey as more expensive to intentionally increase the price.