Real talk: when it comes to producing healthy food, the United States certainly does not have the best reputation. Sure, education surrounding organic, nature-based diets is mounting, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t constantly inundated with GMO-filled, corn syrup-packed goodies.
Yep, keeping a healthy diet can be a hard thing to manage, especially when there is usually an abundance of inexpensive, fast food available at every corner.
But, junk food aside, those health nuts who might think that they are consuming only all-natural ingredients, are still probably not. This is because there is a myriad of foods lining the shelves of your local grocery store that are adorned with extremely misleading labels.
Angry yet? Well, if you’re not, take a gander at these 9 everyday foods that aren’t what you think they are–and you WILL be angry in no time…
Look closely at this photo. You likely know that there a big price difference between the syrup on the left and the one on the right, but did you know that the one on the left isn’t maple syrup at all? In fact, it’s usually just sweetened high fructose corn syrup. Disgusting, but true!
The parmesan cheese that comes in jars might be the most commonly found variety in American households, but most are just “fake food.” Now, let’s forget the fact that real parmesan cheese comes from Parma, Italy. Obviously, you can purchase high-quality, similarly-made cheese from other regions.
That said, most of the stuff in the bottles that line the dry pasta section of the supermarket are chock-full of preservatives and, according to an FDA study, blended with fluffy wood pulp. Yep, that’s exactly what you think it is!
Spicy food lovers dot their sushi with a ton of wasabi, but did you know that most varieties of “wasabi” are actually just finely milled horseradish that is colored green? Your favorite Japanese joint probably isn’t as authentic as you thought it was!
Similar to maple syrup, honey is sold at a lot of different price points–but there is a reason for this. Believe it or not, 76% of all storebought jars of honey have gone through a filtration process that has, effectively, taken away their “honeyness”–i.e. the pollen and vitamins that make it so healthy for you in the first place. Talk about deceptive!
“Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
We all know that extra virgin olive oil is the purest form of the cooking oil, but did you know that many companies get away with mislabeling their packages? So, how do you know if you have the real stuff? Bonafide EVOO should smell earthy, like grass, nuts, or fruit. The other stuff doesn’t smell so fragrant because it is cut with vegetable oil or sunflower oil. How rude!
Yes, your cup of morning joe probably isn’t as pure as it could be if you invested in the real stuff. This is because some brands cut their coffee with cheap substances like corn, barley, and even twigs. Yes, TWIGS, twigs!
Sorry, tea drinkers, you’re not safe either–some teamakers are known for adding sawdust and leaves from other plants to the mix. This, apparently, makes the tea last longer. Drinking tea hardly sounds classy when you consider the “sawdust element.”
Unless your vanilla extract is labeled as being 100% pure (like the bottle pictured above), chances are it is an entirely synthesized flavor that contains NO real vanilla at all.
Champagne might not be an “everyday” food for you–if it is, no judgement!–but this special occasion indulgence is rarely the real stuff. This is because real champagne only comes from the French region of Champagne. If you’ve ever watched Wayne’s World, you know exactly what we’re talking about…
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these fake foods. Are you surprised by any of the items on this list? Do you have any in your fridge right now? How do you guarantee that the ingredients you are buying are 100% natural?