Most of us are hopefully aware that a large portion of the food we eat is actually fake. From the cheeses on that microwave pizza to the pasta you made for dinner last night, unless you know a lot about the ingredient list, you may not know if you are eating authentic ingredients. Cheese is likely the most “faked” food on the planet given the significant cost and preservative benefits of not using real dairy cheese.
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In the US, most of us may trust the Food and Drug Administration to tell us if our food is safe or real, but really, when have we ever trusted the government to tell us the truth? However, in a recent investigation by the FDA, they found that many companies were skewing the way they presented ingredients lists to make it seem like their food had more real ingredients that in reality. The most common food the FDA found was being faked was, in fact, cheese. They found companies were using cellulose fibers and anti-clumping agents made from wood pulp, according to Gizmodo. Yum.
Behind cheese, Olive oil is another commonly faked item simply due to the fact that the original is quite costly to produce. Manufacturers have a significant financial gain if they can pass off cheap fake products as the real thing. So, how can we as consumers know if the food we are buying is real or not? Unless you have access to a high-tech laboratory with a mass spectrometer, unfortunately, you can’t. Check out the video from the American Chemical Society to learn a little more about how researchers determine if a food item has authentic ingredients.