Your Virgin Olive Oil is a Slut: Mislabeling Meat, Fish, Honey, Olive Oil, Wasabi and Kobe Beef

So in Europe they’re discovering grocery store goods and cafeteria meals containing horsemeat instead of beef. Hey, that’s why school kids call it mystery meat, amirite? But horsemeat for meat isn’t the only thing being adulterated. It’s just the most disgusting thing.

Virtually all Kobe beef and wasabi in the United States are mislabeled. So is most parmesan cheese. The EVOO that Rachel Ray tells you to choose when buying olive oil almost certainly isn’t even a regular virgin. In fact, it’s probably pretty skanky:

With Italian extra-virgin olive oil in high demand with concomitant high prices, adulterated olive oil has become the biggest source of agricultural fraud problems in the European Union.[6] While less than 10% of world olive oil production meets the criteria for labeling as extra-virgin, it has been estimated that up to 50% of retail oil is labeled “extra-virgin”.[7] Some oil labeled “extra-virgin” is diluted with cheaper olive oils or other vegetable oils. In some cases, lampante, or “lamp oil,” which is made from spoiled olives fallen from trees, is used, even though it can’t legally be sold as food. One fraud ring is accused of coloring low-grade soy oil and canola oil with industrial chlorophyll, and flavoring it with beta-carotene.[6]

Then there’s honey-laundering – selling adulterated and sometimes contaminated honey imported from China with the DNA fingerprints sanded off:

It has been reported that about 75% of all honey in stores are labeled “ultra-filtrated”.   This process removes all impurities such as pollen and wax.   Most generic brands of honey are usually ultra-filtrated.  And this is our first tip.  Stay away from honey that is labeled ultra-filtrated.   Why?

Pollen, removed by the ultra-filtration process, is the only way to determine  the source of the honey.  So when the pollen is removed, it can be from the US, China or somewhere else.  No one knows. Some countries, especially China, have been known to smuggle honey into the United States.  What’s wrong with this smuggled honey from China?  This honey is tainted by illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  Plus, some dishonest companies add corn syrup or some other type of sweetener to honey to increase the quantity.

And calling tuna the chicken of the sea was just the beginning of fish being mislabeled:

Tilapia for red snapper; catfish for grouper; oil fish standing in for cod; farm-raised shrimp and salmon in place of wild caught. These are just some of the common swaps that Will Gergits says his company, Therion International, sees when it conducts simple, inexpensive DNA testing on fish.

“It’s a real problem,” Gergits said. “We see substitution quite frequently. It makes me angry.”

A new report released this week says recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 percent to 70 percent of the time. According to Food and Drug Administration port inspections, a third of seafood sold in the U.S. is mislabeled as one type when it’s actually something else, even something cheaper.

As always, was there first.

4 Responses to Your Virgin Olive Oil is a Slut: Mislabeling Meat, Fish, Honey, Olive Oil, Wasabi and Kobe Beef

  1. Mike S says:

    So if this is to be believed, it would mean that the government passing all those laws requiring food labels ***DIDN’T FIX THE PROBLEM?!?!?!***

    I don’t know what to believe anymore!

  2. Steve K says:

    Also, government police departments HAVEN’T ELIMINATED CRIME!!!!!

  3. Steve K says:

    Really, laws in general continue to be broken, therefore logically LAWS JUST HAVEN’T WORKED!!!!!!

  4. Gladorn says:

    I’m quite impressed with Cracked. From their beginnings as a magazine standing in the shadow of Mad, to pretty much only going with an online presence (can you even get their paper copy any more?) they’ve become a well written and well thought out company.

    And surprisingly, they are a lot more… “conservative” than I am used to from most other publishers.