Food fraud awareness

According to a new book on food fraud by Larry Olmsted called "Real Food, Fake Food," fish, coffee, beef, and olive oil are just some of many foods that are often mislabeled or replaced by a cheaper or completely different substance before being sold

- On the streets of Midtown Manhattan, almost everyone we spoke to said they're actually aware that much of the food they put in their bodies, may not be what it's advertised to be.

Registered dietician Lindsay Rosen was pleasantly surprised to hear that so many New Yorkers know about the fraudulent foods that are prevalent worldwide. She recommends that you do your homework, ask questions in your market, and become educated about the food you buy and eat.

And what are the foods that are most fraudulent? According to a new book on food fraud by Larry Olmsted called "Real Food, Fake Food," fish, coffee, beef, and olive oil are just some of many foods that are often mislabeled or replaced by a cheaper or completely different substance before being sold or bottled.

"A lot of olive oils will have a seal of approval--either from the North American Olive Oil Association or the California Olive Oil Council--and this stamp here means that what you're intending to buy is what you're actually buying and later consuming," Rosen says.

Although Rosen says that a lot of the food being mislabeled may not dangerous, it could be depriving consumers of much-needed nutrients.

"Salmon are very high in omega-3 fatty acids. If [consumers are] intending to eat salmon for those heart healthy benefits, and not actually eating salmon, not only are they not reaping those benefits, but they might actually be encountering negative health implications," Rosen says.

Health experts say instead of worrying about each thing you eat, the most realistic thing you can do is to make a conscious effort to purchase your food in its most whole, unprocessed form, as often as you can.

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