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DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY IN YOUR FOOD?

Are you aware of how many different foods contain random ingredients you just wouldn’t guess were in there? Read on to see what you re looking out for and which foods hit the hot list

COFFEE

Devastating thought isn’t it? There a 2 parts to the coffee story :

1. is that some packaged coffee is labelled ethically sourced or single origin when it’s being mixed with lower quality beans.

2. sometimes coffee has ingredients completely unrelated to coffee such as twigs and sawdust to beef it up

Solution : read the labelling and do further research if you feel questionable, avoid the instant coffee and instead turn to beans you can grind yourself or go with trusted quality brands.

WINE

This practice of plumping up the wine with other grape blends, chemicals or sometimes even swapping the labels of cheaper wines to more expensive, is actually quite common.

Fortunately – not only do we have great Aussie wine but our producers with reputable names generally comply with regulations in labelling and delivering what they state on  their packaging.

Solution: support our local Australian and TRUSTED brands.

HORSEMEAT

You remember the shocker of 2013? Pork and horse meat within products you thought were beef. This occurred mostly within the UK and Europe so Aussies stayed fairly safe.

Subsequently however not only has the ACCC and Food Standards Board really become more vigilant in monitoring producing and labelling of all food products including meat within the country but consumers are demanding more of the paddock to plate story and there’s a growing consciousness around where and how meat is sourced. Both of these force producers to understand their supply chain and also honestly deliver on their product.

OLIVE OIL

The devastation is real because olive oil is one of the foods we love to support cardiovascular health and weight management but this alarming stat would make any conscious consumer wary of purchase. The fake olive oil, unfortunately and frequently exported from Italy, is often plumped with canola, sunflower and some nut oils too to extend the oil. This can be hugely problematic for some people’s health, especially those with allergies, or those who may wanting to integrate good olive oil to support cardiovascular health.

Solution:  Best to turn to trusted sources on supermarket shelves. It’s unlikely a good quality olive oil is going to be at a cheap price, so start asking those questions when you see low price popping up for instance.

FRUIT JUICE

Probably no breaking news here! Fruit juices are always going to be in the spotlight when it comes to health for a number of reasons, but in the case of fraud, they’re often watered down and then a food colouring or sweetener is added. It feels quite deceiving when you think you’re doing the right thing by buying fruit juice and what you’re actually often buying sugared water right? Best bet is to either not purchase extended shelf life juice products which often have these additives or juice your own so you know what is going in it.

SPICE 

There are fillers in spice – who knew??? Oregano, saffron, chilli powder and black pepper are the more common spices with counterfeit ingredients. These can sometimes be pumped up with olive leaf and sumac that are cheaper to produce and can increase the volume of these products.

Solution: do your homework and turn to the manufacturer, ask the question, they must answer you honestly or it is considered false and misleading conduct.

FINAL TIPS TO DO YOUR BEST AT AVOIDING FOOD FRAUD

  1. Flip the pack and read the ingredient list on the packaging
  2. Question price if it’s deemed a high quality product but delivered at low cost
  3. Purchase from reputable sources, open a conversation with the providers and find out who they are sourcing their product from
  4. Aim for fresh LOCAL wholefoods, those that aren’t going through huge manufacturing processes and risk being tampered with

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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