Have you ever gone to a restaurant, paid a small fortune for one of their specialty dishes, and then felt that you overpaid for some of the ingredients? There is not a more upsetting feeling when you’re paying for an experience at a restaurant. When you go out to eat, you want to be served quality ingredients that make your stomach smile – and not junk that the restaurant uses to save a few pennies here and there.
Unfortunately, we have compiled a list that is going to upset many readers. The food industry is fraught with fraud that makes about $50 billion each year selling “fake” ingredients to some of your favorite restaurants. Sometimes these stores don’t even realize they are getting scammed. But the time of ignorance has ended. After reading this list, you can protect yourself from eating fake food ever again.
Larry Olmsted, an author, explores the food industry’s scams in his nonfiction book “Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It.” In the book, Olmsted reveals how olive oil and Parmesan cheese is often fake. But so are other ingredients that will turn you red with anger.
Although truffle mushrooms and their oil are all the rage right now, you need to be aware that you might be getting scammed when you buy anything marketed as “truffle oil.” Unless you see the truffle being shaved in front of you, it’s probably fake.
When restaurants charge you over-the-top prices for Kobe beef, you might not even be getting what they promise you. Olmsted argues that because Kobe beef is so rare, about 99 percent of all Kobe beef served at a restaurant is fake and not the real deal. Never buy “cheap” Kobe beef, because it is a red flag that the restaurant is just trying to trick you into buying their steak.
DNA testing found that 94 percent of the time, fish labeled “red snapper” is really a different type of fish. Some restaurants won’t even serve red snapper because suppliers lie about it so often that a restaurant might serve another fish by mistake.
If you’re a fan of sushi, then you’re going to hate hearing the truth about wasabi. This popular condiment is usually a fake. Instead of serving wasabi with most sushi orders, restaurants plop horseradish, mustard, and green food coloring onto your plate. Real wasabi tastes more herbal than its horseradish substitute.
Do you enjoy morning coffee? Or do you love going to your local diner to grab some on the weekends? Unfortunately, the brown liquid in your cup might be fake. And that thought could be enough to make you never trust a restaurant ever again. “Contemporary researchers have found twigs, roasted corn, ground roasted barley, and even roasted ground parchment,” Olmsted writes. “Adulteration is more extreme in powdered instant coffee, where substances found have included chicory, cereals, caramel, parchment, starch, malt, and figs.”
What do you think about the way restaurants are scamming you with fake ingredients?
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.