Top 10 Food Identity Theft picks for 2011

Posted by
December 20, 2011

Foods that don’t quite deliver what the label promises. One or more will probably surprise you…

10. A class act it’s not: GODIVA Chocolatier Dark Chocolate filled with Raspberry
We’ve all been hearing how good dark chocolate is for you, and who out there doesn’t know the Godiva name means top of the line – especially given its luxury price tag of $2.95 for a 1.5-ounce single-serving bar. But this super-premium confection (made by “chocolatiers” no less) contains both high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the preservative sodium benzoate. No less an authority than Dr. Andrew Weil refers to HFCS as a “cheap sweetener” and a “marker for low-quality food” — certainly not the sort of ingredient Godiva founder Joseph Draps would have used in the products sold in his Belgian chocolate shop in 1926.


9.  ‘Funny’ honey
The sweet nectar of the bees, honey is one of the world’s oldest sweeteners. The trouble is, over 75 percent of the “honey” being sold in stores in the U.S. really isn’t. Tests done for Food Safety News revealed that most of the honey you find in the supermarket contains no pollen, and without pollen, it’s impossible to tell if the honey came from “legitimate or safe sources.” This ultra-filtered honey is most likely from China and what ‘extras’ it may contains is anyone’s guess.


8.  Once upon a time, it came from an orange
Pasteurized, stripped of oxygen and dumped in million-gallon storage tanks where it sits for up to a year, and then revitalized with flavor packets containing secret ingredients, your “premium” orange juice has really been through quite a ‘squeeze’ by the time it reaches your breakfast table. In fact, we’re not even sure it deserves to be called “orange juice “any more. Despite the 100 percent pure claims and pretty photos of juicy oranges, the “not from concentrate” varieties marketed by Tropicana, Minute Maid  Florida Natural and other major brands are not what they appear to be.

7. Another “fresh” deception
As you may have noticed by now, “fresh” is a very popular labeling term, and too often just not true. Such is the case with numerous canned tomato products that tout “made with 100% vine ripened tomatoes” or “made from fresh tomatoes.” If an ingredient check shows tomato paste, the sauce was reconstituted from industrial tomato concentrate, and can hardly be called “fresh.” Another case where you have to read the ingredient listings, not the label claims.



6. A case of fruit identity theft
Searching for the fruit in numerous fruity products can be a fruitless challenge. From Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Post brand Fruity Pebbles, to General Mills’ Fruit Roll-Ups, these fruit-labeled products contain plenty of artificial colors and flavors to look like fruit, but what’s missing is the real thing. Recently the  Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a complaint against General Mills for its deceptive “fruit”  products, accusing them of “misleading and deceptive advertising and fraudulent business practices.” The take away? Once again, reading the ingredient list is the only way to find out if you’re actually getting what you think you are.

Check back on Thursday for the top five of our food identity theft picks, including, of course, the numero uno worst food deception. Stay tuned!