The food industry is plotting against us, one fake blueberry at a time

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The food industry is plotting against us, one fake blueberry at a time

Blueberries are a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health.

Blueberries are a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health.

Veronika Dvorakova

Blueberries are a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health.

Veronika Dvorakova

Veronika Dvorakova

Blueberries are a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health.

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Consuming enough servings of fruit was already challenging enough before it began deceiving us.

We are encountering an interesting situation where we are being bombarded with fake blueberries.

When I say fake blueberries, I am not referring to decorative plastic blueberries that one might use in a center piece on a table. I mean the nasty concoctions that are largely composed of high fructose corn syrup and food coloring, which food companies have been sneaking into processed foods.

Despite advertising real fruit on the box, Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry cereal sugarcoats their use of artificial ingredients instead of fruit in the serial by referring to their product as containing “blueberry flavored crunchlettes.”

Yum.

Blueberries are a lot more significant nutritionally than their size might suggest. Their great taste aside, according to WebMD blueberries are a superfood that is “packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.”

Companies are tricking consumers by associating their food with the glorious reputation of blueberries, and then don’t actually include any blueberries.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The nonprofit Consumer Wellness Center reported Thursday that its investigation found “blueberries” that were nothing more than a concoction of sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and — of course — artificial food dye blue No. 2 and red No. 40.”

I went to the grocery store and eyeballed the ingredients list on the packages of some common “blueberry” products. The following products had a very creative interpretation of what a blueberry is.

Examples of products that use blueberry substitutes.There are multiple reasons why it is so upsetting that it has become the norm in the food industry to replace blueberries with artificial junk such as “blueberry flavored crunchlettes,” but they all boil down to the fact that companies think that consumers are too ignorant to demand better. Despite the fact that blueberries are just a small fruit, the significance of their absence is not trivial. Companies are aware of consumer’s lazy attitudes when it comes to overall quality of food, and are capitalizing on it.

My discovery of fraudulent fruit is a warning to read the ingredients list before purchasing processed foods. Blueberries being replaced with sugars and food dyes is not as disgusting as it disappointing, however I am legitimately afraid to discover even more stomach-churning ingredients in food.

Blueberry Buchta (A Czech baked good containing real blueberries)

Most closely comparable to a blueberry coffee cake, this baked good and I go back to my childhood when I would visit my grandma in Europe. With simple but natural ingredients, this moist treat is a delicious way to say no to Kellog’s “blueberry flavored crunchletts.”

Buchta Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (no olive oil!)

1 cup of milk

2 eggs

2 cups of blueberries (or other fruit)

Crumble topping ingredients:

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

3 tbs butter

Directions:

1) Mix dry “buchta” ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet “buchta” ingredients in a separate bowl, and then combine and stir together into a nice batter.

2) Grease a large pan you would normally make brownies in by rubbing butter all over the bottom and sides and then dusting with flour.

3) Pour a one inch thick layer of batter onto the bottom of the pan.

4) After rinsing and drying your fabulous blueberries, sprinkle them generously on top of the batter.

5) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

6) To make the crumble topping, melt the butter on low heat in a small pan. Once melted, combine flour and sugar and stir until the butter is absorbed and it obtains a crumble texture.

7) Sprinkle crumble on top of the blueberries. Then bake for about 30 minutes.

 

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