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Beware! The 6 Most Mislabeled Foods

Beware! The 6 Most Mislabeled Foods

It is unthinkable that we allow companies to get away with blatant dishonesty on food labels. All ingredients should be listed, no matter what.  Be wary when you buy these 6 foods, and seek out their more honest counterparts…

Raw Almonds. In the US, all “raw” almonds are pasteurized. This is accomplished in any number of ways, from high heat, chemicals, steam, to irradiation. As with most pasteurized products, this compromises the nutritional value of the nut. How do you get truly raw almonds? You can buy them imported, like these, from countries where pasteurization isn’t a requirement. If you don’t mind pasteurized nuts, make sure the company you choose uses the steam pasteurization technique. This will help you to avoid the chemical residue and seriously denatured nutrients of other processes.

Olive oil. Unfortunately, heart-healthy olive oil is not always as pure as you would hope. Even if olive oil is listed as the only ingredient, many Italian olive oils use canola oil as a filler. Sad but true. You are far better off buying California olive oil than Italian.

Honey. If you are not buying local or raw honey, your prized stash of golden ambrosia could be spiked with corn syrup. Many supermarket, highly processed honeys are cut with (GMO) corn syrup to cut costs and increase profits. Is your honey labeled “pure honey”? Unless is says “100% pure,” odds are it is not as wholesome as you may have thought. On that note, it is probably best to steer clear of supermarket honey altogether and buy raw and local. Raw, local honey retains honey’s incredible nutritional value, supports the local economy, and will definitely taste better.

Wild Salmon. Yes, that wild salmon you just served for dinner may not have been as wild as you thought. Under current rules, “wild” salmon can technically spend up to half of its life in a hatchery before being released into the wild. That means the salmon are living in a chemically toxic environment for half of their lives — toxins which stay in their bodies once they are released into the wild. How can you avoid this? Well, for one, if the price tag looks like a deal, then the salmon probably isn’t truly “wild.” Also, fresh salmon sold on the off-seasons between November and March is more often farmed at some point, even if it is labeled “wild.” Another helpful tip is that sockeye salmon can NOT be farmed, unlike Alaskan, so sockeye is a much safer bet.

Maple Syrup. Aunt Jemima is not maple syrup. Ironically, there is not a drop of maple in it. It is a heinous concoction loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and GMOs. These fake maple syrups are usually labeled “pancake syrup,” “maple flavored syrup” or the like. If you want the good stuff, look for the words “pure maple syrup” on the label. Go for Grade B if you have the choice, as it has more antioxidants and nutrients than its lighter colored counterparts.

Pumpkin puree. Perhaps the least atrocious of the list, pumpkin puree is often mixed with other squash (not listed on the label). This is of course, still an issue. Why are companies allowed to sneak ingredients into their products and not list it on their packaging? Wouldn’t it be nice to purchase a product and feel confident that you know exactly what’s inside the can? Worry no more. This brand only uses 100% sugar pumpkin and has a BPA-free lining.

Do your research — find quality products and stick with those, let your friends and family know about mislabeling, and support local, honest products.

7 Lies the Food Industry Sells Us

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Food, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at


+ add your own
6:29AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

If you can, buy all of your honey from local sources.

4:59AM PST on Feb 16, 2014

Shocking, I guess we can't trust anything on labels anymore - that is very sad. Just returned from Europe where such practices are prevented by legislative controls

11:39AM PST on Jan 28, 2014

I'm really not at all sure that point about Italian olive oil being better than Californian is true. Your evidence for Californian oil being unadulterated is a study paid for by the Californian olive oil industry and it doesn't bring the same societal benefits as Zaytoun oil from Palestine, a country where more than half the population are living in poverty.

11:35AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

Too bad the majority of people don't have access to locally grown, fresh vegetables, honey, etc. Those who are on a limited income also can't afford o buy the healthiest foods, such as organic etc.

10:01AM PST on Jan 10, 2014

Almonds that are treated with chemicals should be labeled chemical treated.

3:58PM PST on Jan 8, 2014


12:30AM PST on Jan 8, 2014


5:31AM PST on Jan 5, 2014


12:13PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Yes what can we still eat that isn't tainted, we never eat outside, we make our own meals and cookies, and still we are not safe from gmo's, now honey and olive oil, fish i already knew, the best seems to buy from locals farmers, and eat only what you need to stay alive...!

8:39AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

This really is becoming a huge atrocity in the world, if you are sick, and have special needs, you are risking getting sicker, because of mislabled foods! I am totally sick of having to worry about foods I buy and need may be tainted! This is the Presidents job to protect all of us from toxins, and he is not doing his freaking job! Tainted water, tainted food, everything is tainted! We need a special watch dog group to literally test ever single bottle of water, every single food item, before we damage the health of small children, no wonder so many people are getting sick! Everything seems to be tainted, the air, water, food, etc. This should be a priority to the President!

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