Fake ingredients, deceptive labeling, cheaper food substitutes—sounds like something you'd expect from a fast food meal, right? Turns out, you could encounter food fraud with many of the everyday items you toss into your grocery cart.
That's because inferior—and sometimes unhealthy—ingredients in our food has reached an all-time high, according to researchers at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). In the last two years, the USP added nearly 800 items to their food fraud database. Everything from lemon juice to olive oil to seafood could be a big phony, based on their findings.
So what exactly is food fraud?
"It's defined as the dilution or substitution of a food ingredient without the knowledge of the purchaser, typically for economic gain by the manufacturer, so one does not get the quality or quantity that they think they are getting," explains Markus Lipp, Ph.D., senior director for Food Standards at the USP.
In other words, it's false advertising at its finest.
To make sure you're not fooled by food fraud, check out the information on the slideshow above!