With the prevalence of food frauds everywhere, most of us have no idea what we're being sold or consuming these days.
Are we still sure that we know exactly what we are paying for? Despite the existence of food standards authorities and agencies, many of our everyday goods – like honey, milk, juice, eggs, rice, fruits and vegetables, wines continue to be targets for food criminals. From printing misleading or deceptive food labels to diluting or modifying the food itself, it's easier than ever for manufacturers and suppliers to dupe consumers.
When choosing honey, it's impossible to tell adulterated honey by either taste, smell or colour. We trust suppliers to provide us with honey with blossom from the acacia tree when it's labelled "acacia honey", unadulterated honey when it claims 100% pure honey. But in many cases, it turned out that some unscrupulous honey packers were guilty of mixing different blends of honey and selling it as more expensive honey varieties such Manuka or Corsican. Beekeepers were caught administering too much sugar syrup and antibiotics to bees, honey imported from many countries were found to be contaminated with chloramphenicol, an antibiotic banned in food production. And many honey stores were found to be selling fake "local honey" or even pure corn syrup as honey.
Until scientists and authorities become faster in finding and implementing ways to develop more sophisticated ways of authenticating and tracing the origins of our food than fraudsters in coming up with creative ways to fool consumers to increase profits, we will not be able to clamp down food frauds successfully, and we consumers will continue to wonder how much counterfeits we are getting in our purchases.
1. When truths about sugary drinks, obesity and calories are so audaciously twisted: Coke's Opinion About Obesity and Calories.
2. The story of Tara Bambrick would make you think twice about buying Chinese honey: Chinese Honey, What's In It?
3. Get tips that would lend you clues on what to expect from reading honey labels: Natural Honey, Pure Honey, Raw Honey ~ Making Sense of Honey Labels.
4. Trying to read food label but unable to make sense out of it? Do you question how transparent food manufacturers are? How much is truth and how much is pure marketing tactics? Read: Did You Know Reading Food Label Can Be So Tricky?
5. An incredible number of methods to test for pure honey are suggested here. But do they really work? More in: How to Test for Pure Honey.