Sources here and here
I can't believe the food we have these days are not real
Pretty much all the major players buy their honey from China. Chinese honey frequently has all of the pollen filtered out of it to disguise its origin, and it's then cut like back-alley cocaine with cheap corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. The FDA says that a substance can't legally be called "honey" if it contains no pollen, and yet most of the stuff tested from the main retailers contained not a trace of it.
2) Soy Sauce
Proper soy sauce takes a pretty long time to make, so many manufacturers have started producing an imitation product that takes only three days to make and has a longer shelf life. It is made from something called "hydrolyzed vegetable proteins," as well as caramel coloring, salt, and our good old friend corn syrup. Most of the soy sauce that you get in packets with your sushi is actually this fake stuff.
Speaking of Soy Sauce, the wasabi is fake too. Its usually made from horseradish mixed with mustard
A lot of "top-quality" saffron consists of roughly 10 percent actual saffron. The rest is just random, worthless plant bits, ground up and mixed with the real thing. Quite often, what you are actually using is saffron-flavored gelatin
5) Olive Oil
They've been at it for a while, too -- Joe Profaci, said to be one of the real-life dons who inspired the character of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, was known by the moniker of "The Olive Oil King." But evidence suggests that olive oil racketeering has been a major problem in the world for centuries. Hell, the ancient Sumerians had a fraud squad for shady olive oil peddlers.
Today, the stuff that is pawned off to us as quality olive oil is often just a tiny amount of the real thing, mixed with up to 80 percent of ordinary, less than healthy, cheap as muck sunflower oil. That is, if you're getting any olive oil at all. In fact, we're so used to shitty olive oil that apparently food connoisseurs reject the real stuff because it tastes fake to them.
But why would anyone bother? It's freaking olive oil. How much money can there be in it when you can get a bottle for a few bucks at the grocery store? It turns out that, profit-wise, shady olive oil is comparable to cocaine trafficking.
But sitting right in the same aisle with the actual cheese you'll see a package like this:
Note the careful omission of the word "cheese" from the package of "American slices" up there. These "pasteurized processed sandwich slices" are to cheese what a hobo is to, you know, someone with a home. The way the supplier's website puts it, the product "...resembles a Processed American Cheese in certain food applications."
7) Maple Syrup
Most brands are just water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring and various chemicals. Yeah, you could pretty much make the shit yourself in about five minutes. Though at least the log cabin people have switched from high-fructose corn syrup to actual sugar.
8) Strawberry Flavoring
Strawberry flavoring (like the kind you get in fast food milkshakes) is a mix of about 50 separate chemicals and none of them have berry in the name. They include:
Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.
But it does have orris butter, the most delicious butter you can squeeze from an orris, whatever the fuck that is.
China, there has been pepper sold that is made entirely from mud
Bootleg vodka production is rampant the world over and bottles that look completely legit on the shelf have huge amounts of methanol, which is a kind of alcohol, true, but it's the kind that's used as race car fuel and antifreeze
In certain parts of Africa, flour from markets is routinely cut with things like alum, chalk, Plaster of Paris and mashed potatoes.
4) Pork Dumplings
Last year, news outlets in China claimed that street vendors selling pork dumplings were actually stuffing them with wet cardboard flavored with pork juice