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Features The Katchup

Everyday Foods That Are Commonly Faked And Mislabeled

Meet the food playing the food, disguised as another food.

If you’ve ever been skeptical about brands being a bit deceitful in the food they sell you, there’s good reason for it, as there’s a little something called “food fraud,” and it happens in the most unusual of instances.

Dr. Rosalee Hellberg, a food fraud expert, spoke in depth about mislabeled products on The Foodbeast Katchup Podcast, rattling off food after food that you’ve probably had in your kitchen cabinet.

Dr. Hellberg and her team at Chapman University have dedicated their lives to researching fraudulent food, identifying the specific genes within different foods, and ultimately discovering sketchy practices within the industry.

While some companies have been publicly exposed and corrected the course, food fraud is easy to repeat, and has been a problem for hundreds of years.

Here are the foods, and some fraudulent examples that will leave you walking around the grocery store with constant doubt.

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Pepper


“Pepper is really interesting ’cause it has a really long history of fraud,” Dr. Hellberg said. “Even dating back to Roman times, there are instances of… fraudulent pepper being sold.”

While you’d think pepper would get its act together over the last 600 years, fraudulent practices still occur today. From adding dirt, to dried juniper berries, pepper manufacturers still try to get that weight up on the cheap. If you ever feel your lemon-pepper shrimp tastes like dirt, now you know why.
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Honey

Honey is the third most faked food in the world, according to New York Times best selling book, Real Food, Fake Food.

Dr. Hellberg said that with honey, a lot of times, sugars will be mixed in, so you’re not actually getting the 100 percent honey that’s put on the label.

If you’re in the loop with bees being wiped out at a rapid pace, this one may or may not be that surprising to you.
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Wine


“With wine there’s a lot of possibilities for fraud,” Dr. Hellberg said. “Some of the most common are mixing finished wines. You take one type of wine, another type of wine and mix them together.”

This one’s crazy because unless you’re a professional wine taster, how can you even tell they’re being mixed? Dr. Hellberg suggested the best we can do to avoid this, is to get to know the source, find their ethos, and go with wineries with good reputations. You can even ask if they’re actually doing anything to prevent wine fraud. While this form of fraud won’t hurt you, it might hurt your wallet if you’re paying for a premium wine and not actually getting it.

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Chocolate


“With chocolate, one of the main things I found was counterfeit chocolate,” Hellberg said. “People are taking substandard chocolate and putting it under a fake label of a chocolate brand that’s well recognized.”

One widely publicized occurrence of this type of mixing came from the Mast Brothers’ chocolate, which was accused of using melted chocolate from Valrhona chocolates, and selling them for $10 a pop. This type of chocolate fraud is common globally, according to Hellberg.
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Olives


“…In Italy, fraudsters were taking olives, and typically the substandard olives that are discolored, they were soaking them in a copper sulfate solution, which gives them a nice bright green color. Hellberg said. “They’re called, ‘Painted Olives.’ If you’re eating copper, you’re going to have some health problems.”

This happened in 2016, and Italian police seized 85,000 tons of those green olives. Believe it or not, this type of olive fraud is pretty common, so keep a close eye on your olives.
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Olive Oil

Like a few other things on this list, olive oils have been found to be mixed with lower quality olive oils. In 2016, it was reported that 80 percent of the Italian olive oil sold in markets is fraudulent.

“If you see something that’s out of wack, that doesn’t look right on the label, or the price doesn’t match, that’s usually a good indicator that it might be a fraudulent product,” Dr. Hellberg said.

While a lot of Italian olive oils are mislabeled, our own resident food scientist Constantine Spyrou argues that getting Spanish olive oils that are labeled “Italian” isn’t really a downgrade.
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Sushi


One of the most common forms of sushi fraud comes from the ol’ red snapper. It seems that every time researchers dig into the fish, regardless of year, or location, the fish has been faked.

It’s so bad, that you’ve probably never truly tasted real red snapper.

“Most of the time studies have found it’s not red snapper,” Dr. Hellberg said. “We actually just completed a study in my lab… and again, ‘red snapper’ was not red snapper.”

We can even take it one step further, as in 2017, a study showed that almost half the sushi in Los Angeles is mislabeled. From halibut to flounder, there’s a good chance Angelenos are not actually getting the sushi they ordered.

Categories
News

Tech Company Says You Can Use Pizza Toppings To Unlock An iPhone X

FaceTec, a biometric security company that’s working on their own facial recognition app, ZoOm, has found a shockingly easy way to hack into the new iPhone X’s Face ID recognition app.

FaceTec conducted an experiment with a “sleeping” iPhone X owner and placed numerous pizza toppings on their eyes, such as olives, mushrooms, and pepperoni, to easily hack into what Apple promoted as a “secure and private new way to unlock, authenticate, and pay.” As shown in the video, the iPhone opens right up as soon as it recognizes the toppings as the owner’s eyes.

Doesn’t really seem so secure or private if it can be fooled by some food.

According to the video, some other ways to hack into an iPhone X is to place bottle caps or printed paper eyes over the eyes of a sleeping owner.

So you’ve been warned, iPhone X owners. With the way the Face ID is set up now, you may want to rethink ordering that pizza around nosy folks if you’re planning to pass out anytime soon after.

Categories
Fast Food

McDonald’s Italy Adds Deep-fried Stuffed Olives

olive-mcd-stuffed

Every international fast food chain has menu items based around local cuisine. French McDonald’s locations feature more baked goods than their US counterparts, while Mcdonald’s Japan has items such as a cheese-stuffed pork katsu sandwich.

McDonald’s locations in Italy just introduced these new deep-fried stuffed olives, Brand Eating reports. The pitted olives are stuffed with meat (likely beef), then breaded and deep fried. They’re served in about five bite-sized portions.

Olive all’Ascolana is a regional dish that’s served as an appetizer throughout the country.

The olives will only be available for a limited time on the McItaly menu.

Photo: McDonald’s

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

These Hello Kitty Bagel Bites Have Pepperoni Bows

hello-kitty-bagel-bites

Before you rush to the grocery store scouring the frozen section for Hello Kitty Bagel Bites, let me disappoint you. These petite snacks are not available anywhere (at least not that I know of) to the public and are created by Flickr user LoveBones, who seems to have a particular fondness for food too adorable to eat.

Categories
Packaged Food

Refresh Your Martini — Company Launches Habañero & Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

habañero lemon peel blue cheese pimento stuffed olive olives West Coast Products

West Coast Products, a grower of domestic olives celebrating its 75th anniversary, and its affiliated Olinda Brand has launched a new line of stuffed olives including Habañero, Blue Cheese, Lemon Peel and Pimento-stuffed varieties.

The brand uses Sicilian-style green olives – the same olives used to create Olinda’s extra virgin olive oil. These speciality olives are hand-selected, hand-stuffed and then hand-packed into one-gallon jars. #lotsofolives

The jars vary in price based on the variety but range from $26-$35 and can be bought through the West Coast Products website.

 

Categories
Recipes

Slow Roasted Tomato and Olive Focaccia

How gorgeous is that photo above? Don’t you just wanna pick up that piece of bread and dip it in the olive oil? I DO!

This guest-post thingamajig rocks! Look at all the deliciousness I have posted in the past couple of weeks, and the amazing bloggers I have come to know so far – I am truly blown away.

My guest post today comes from The brilliant Kitchenarian. If you have not met her, yet, you are in for a wonderful journey.

Lorie, apart from her talents in the kitchen, she is one of the loveliest people I have ever come across. Her soothing voice speaks to you through her blog, and her caring nature can be felt as soon as you meet…errrr…read her.

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I am so excited to be over here at Diethood today. I have known Kate for quite a while and consider her one of my dearest foodie friends. I love to pop over to her blog often to see what delicious treats she has made. Earlier in the summer, Kate made some delicious Oatmeal Raisin Muffins over at my blog while I was away on vacation. I am so thrilled she has invited me here today to share a recipe with you while she is taking a little bit of time away.

When Kate asked me to guest post on her blog, I knew almost right away what I was going to make. Both Kate and I made slow roasted tomatoes a few weeks ago for French Fridays with Dorie and she commented that she made them often in her house. When I made that dish, I thought to myself how they would be the perfect topping for focaccia.

Focaccia is such a great bread to make. I think it is pretty much no fail. It can be made thick or thin, crunchy on top or not, but it is almost always soft in the center. I like mine baked to a nice golden brown with coarse salt and other savory ingredients sprinkled on top. I love to serve it with a nice olive oil for dipping. This is a great recipe adapted from one I discovered at foodnetwork.com that is easy to make and delicious with whatever you choose to put on top. I don’t include measurements for the toppings, because you can add whatever amounts you like. Some people like a few ingredients scattered on top, and some like it piled high.

Slow Roasted Tomato and Olive Focaccia

You will need:

  • 2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cornmeal, for dusting

Toppings for this recipe:

  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Slow roasted tomatoes (or sundried tomatoes)
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Optional Toppings:

  • Carmelized onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Fresh Herbs

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Proof the yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer by combining it with the sugar and warm water. Stir to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears.
  • Using a dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl.
  • Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the bowl.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium.
  • Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
  • Turn the dough onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times.
  • Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil.
  • Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Grease a jelly roll pan with olive oil and sprinkle with corn meal.
  • Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter.
  • Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Place dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips.
  • Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add your toppings.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned on top.

Enjoy!

Categories
Cravings Recipes

Open-Faced Raisin Hummus Sriracha Black Olive Sandwich

It’s been awhile since I ventured into the Foodbeast Lab, but my recent trip resulted in this fun creation: Open-Faced Raisin Hummus Sriracha Black Olive Sandwich. My recent fixation with raisin bread led me digging through the fridge for reasonable pairings. I found a batch of home-made hummus (thanks mom!), Sriracha (need that kick) and some succulent black olives. Trust, we have ourselves a winner here folks!

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Godzilla Burrito

This Godzilla Burrito looks like it could feed an army! Jalapeño, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, olives, sauce, and sour cream all contribute to the two and half pounds that this burrito weights in at! I think I can eat this by myself, can you?  (Thx TIWYH)