Monday, July 3, 2017

Dietitian Cara Rosenbloom of Washington Post makes an important observation about the food fraud about which most consumers are not aware. We at Herbally Radiant consider food important in any skin care regime. The diet should be balanced and healthy enough to promote good appearance and prevent premature aging signs.

Cara Rosenbloom highlights how consumers are typically get ripped off in one of these three ways:

• They buy luxury goods, such as expensive olive oil, wine or cheese, that are counterfeit.
• They buy products with proposed health benefits, like antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice, that have little or no active ingredient.
• They buy organic or non-GMO foods that are actually conventionally grown products that have been fraudulently labeled.

The vast majority of fraud incidents do not pose a public health risk. The harm in most cases is that you’re not getting what you paid for. When consumers learn that they’ve been duped, they get a deep feeling of violation and outrage.

In a small number of cases, there is the potential for harm. Consider the substitution of extra virgin olive oil with cheaper nut oils, which could be problematic for people with food allergies.
And there have been countless cases of people getting sick from the bait-and-switch of white tuna for cheaper escolar, a bottom-feeder fish that’s full of a waxy substance that is indigestible by humans. It can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress (it’s known as the “Ex-Lax fish” — enough said). In a nationwide study of seafood fraud, researchers found that 84 percent of the white tuna samples were actually escolar.

The basic steps she recommends to the consumers are in the form of following questions:
What can you do about it?

1. What is the product? Be on alert when buying oils, dairy foods, spices, fruit juice and fish.

2. Can you distinguish the quality? If you’ve had real Parmesan cheese or maple syrup, you can tell when the consistency or flavor is off. If the price is too good to be true ($3.99 for a 750 milliliter or 25-ounce bottle of extra virgin olive oil), then it’s likely fake.

3. Do you have a trusted supplier or retailer relationship? Buying from a reputable grocery store is a good first step and offers more protection than an alternative retailer, like a flea market. Remember: It’s harder to buy fakes when you’re looking at the whole and unprocessed products. For example, choose whole instead of ground spices, and brick instead of grated cheese.

4. Are you shopping online? If so, make sure it’s a reputable and recognizable supplier (such as Publix or Walmart), rather than a basement-run shop.

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