3 TOTALLY FAKE Foods in Just About Everybody’s Kitchen

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Americans are eating fake foods. It’s sad but true that many American staples are fraudulent. Going to the grocery store and searching for whole, nutritious foods is like running a gauntlet of lies.

The American food system is as fake as a toupée. I remember an Eastern European female basketball player being on Jay Leno and going on and on about how fake American food tasted. She even compared our fruit to wax fruit displays. That’s actually astute considering that a lot of produce is covered in wax to protect it for longer periods on store shelves. Since then, I’ve heard other foreigners bemoan American food for its fakery. Waxy tasting chocolate, bland produce, neon-colored party snacks that sent them running to the nearest bathroom.

Did you ever see a martini menu but discovered that it was actually blue-colored vodka and think to yourself, hey, that’s not a real martini; James Bond would never drink that. That’s because you knew it was a counterfeit offering.

Many of the “foods” that line our store shelves are as fake as a toupée-wearing man at a free lunch, sipping a pink vodka-martini with lots of zeros in his bank account. He then pays with a $3 dollar bill and hops on the hoverboard from Back to the Future.

Without further ado, here are 3 fake foods:

I’m not just talking genetically engineered monstrosities or wheat and oats sprayed in Roundup weedkiller. Nope. While those food-like entities are certainly adulterated and contain poison that is linked to cancer, the foods I’m unveiling here are not real, in the sense that their ingredients or makeup resemble nothing of the original food.

Fake Olive Oil

Did you know that most – seriously, most – of your olive oil is totally and unequivocally fake. F-A-K-E. Nothing Extra Virgin about it. “More than two-thirds of common brands of extra-virgin olive oil found in California grocery stores aren’t what they claim to be, according to a report published by researchers at UC Davis.”

Most olive oil is adulterated with cheap, low-end oils like canola and soybean oil. Sometimes the oils are cut with lampante (“lamp oil”) which is made from fallen, spoiled olives and not fit for consumption. Real olive oil has a green hue and a distinctive taste. That’s why the people cutting it also add flavors and colors to the fake olive oil in some cases. And who are the ones making the big bucks by cutting this high-demand product before it reaches the store shelves??

None other than the MOB! 

Turns out, the olive oil empire (worth $1.5 billion annually) can be much more lucrative to the mafia, less risky and more “above board” than going all Scarface on a powdery pile of blow.

If all of this is still not enough to outrage you, consider this: canola oil is like battery acid to the heart. At least it is if you listen to cardiology researchers. Unfortunately, this information has not reached the doctor’s office yet. If you are being extra careful to avoid heart-ripping, GMO canola oil – but then pouring it over your salads in the form of fake olive oil – then what good is that? I hate spending money on high-end products only to find out they are harming my family’s health.

Which oils should you avoid?

These 9 brands are as fake as the afore-mentioned 3 dollar bill. (source)

  • Bertolli
  • Santa Sabina
  • Primadonna
  • Antica Badia
  • Eurospin
  • Carapelli
  • Coricelli
  • Sasso

Which oils are ACTUALLY OLIVE OIL:

  • California Olive Ranch
  • Kirkland Organic (Costco)
  • Corto Olive
  • Ottavio
  • Omaggio
  • Bariani Olive Oil
  • Lucini, Lucero
  • Olea Estates
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
  • Cobram Estate

Learn more about the shocking truth about olive oil in Tom Mueller’s book  Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.

Fake Parmesan Cheese

What kind of cow produces Parmesan cheese? Well, it’s not so much about the cow as the place.

Many Americans think variations of the names Parmigiano or Reggiano are brand names but there is actually a specific region in Italy called Parmigiano-Reggiano. And as fantastical as it sounds, this entire region has been seriously dedicated to the painstaking work of crafting aged Parmesan rounds for over 800 years. This cheese is called the “King of Cheeses.” It’s also the fattiest cheese and who doesn’t love real Parmesan crumbles?

The problem is, it’s unlikely many of us know the real pleasure of Parmesan crumbles. That is, if you’re buying your cheese from green bottles that look like the cleaner you have under your sink.

Larry Olmsted, the author of Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It writes:

As good as the cheese is, and as famous as it is, you rarely actually get to eat it – even when you think you are. The English translation of the cheese is Parmesan, and when you buy it in England you get Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s the law. The American translation is also Parmesan, but when you buy it here, you could be getting almost anything – except usually Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is allowed to contain only three very simple ingredients: milk (produced in the Parma/Reggio region and less than 20 hours from cow to cheese), salt, and rennet (a natural enzyme from calf intestine). Three other ingredients, Cellulose Powder, Potassium Sorbate, and Cheese Cultures are not found in Parmigiano-Reggiano – they are completely illegal in its production. Yet all three are in Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese…

Notice how you cannot tell if Kraft’s “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” means that it is 100% grated or 100% Parmesan. Probably the former. Either way, Kraft is no longer allowed to sell its product labeled as Parmesan in Europe. In the U.S., most people remain blissfully unaware that they are not eating a real food.

Some of these brands contain 0% Parmesan cheese.

  • Market Pantry brand
  • Always Save Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Best Choice 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese

It gets worse… One of those ingredients. Cellulose Powder? That’s actually wood pulp. AKA plant fibers.

Some people don’t seem to object to this, saying “it’s just a little more fiber in the diet,” but here’s why it should bother you to have sawdust in your food. Firstly, the price. You are paying high prices for a diluted product. This is one way that food manufacturers beat inflation by duping the shopper. Secondly, wood pulp is an anti-clumping agent to cover up the fact that to begin with, is a non-food product.

Bloomberg conducted independent tests on other Parmesans to see if any contained amounts of cellulose higher than the 2 percent to 4 percent recommended by the Center for Dairy Research. Their findings:

  • Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, from Jewel-Osco, had 8.8 percent
  • Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, by Wal-Mart Inc., had 7.8 percent
  • Kraft had 3.8 percent
  • Whole Foods 365 brand had only 0.3 percent but does not list cellulose as an ingredient  (source)

How to get actual Parmesan cheese.

Know that Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano and Amerian Parmesan cheese are two totally different things. If you want the real deal, be willing to shell out a little more to find the words “Parmigiano-Reggiano” stamped on the rind. It’s a legally protected term in Europe.

Try to buy the whole wheel and from specialty shops. If buying pre-grated cheese, Sartori and BelGioioso are brands that are probably okay.

Orange Juice

Think about the taste of orange juice. Now think about all the orange juice you’ve ever had. At your grandma’s house, at home, with a friend or at a restaurant (good grief it’s like $2.50 there and no free refills!)

Did you notice something about that orange juice? Every memory hosts the same flavor! But not every orange is the same. So how can every single carton, nay, every single brand of orange juice have that same explosive, tart flavor?

That’s easy. It’s not orange juice. At least not really.

As Gizmodo explained a while back:

Once the juice is squeezed and stored in gigantic vats, they start removing oxygen. Why? Because removing oxygen from the juice allows the liquid to keep for up to a year without spoiling. But! Removing that oxygen also removes the natural flavors of oranges. Yeah, it’s all backwards. So in order to have OJ actually taste like oranges, drink companies hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that make perfumes for Dior, to create these “flavor packs” to make juice taste like, well, juice again.

Indeed, the orange juice is not only pasteurized and deodorized by this process with artificial aroma added back in, but also some companies add pulp-dissolving enzymes.

If that’s not enough to creep you out, here’s an article with a picture of an orange juice plant that shows whole oranges sitting in the juice. Pesticides, much??

Check this list to see if your favorite juice uses flavor packs or pulp-dissolving enzymes. A few that do not use the artificial flavor or enzymes are:

  • Dole
  • Evolution Fresh (Starbucks)
  • Indian River
  • Kirkland Signature (Costco)
  • Lassonde Oasis Premium (Without-Pulp)
  • Panera Premium
  • Nudie
  • Safeway O Organics
  • Sainsbury’s (From Concentrate)
  • Trader Joe’s (Conventional and Organic)
  • Uncle Matt’s Organic
  • Wegmans Premium Orange Juice
  • Whole Foods 365 Brand (Conventional and Organic)

Now, the OJ beverage is becoming less popular because this kind of juice is basically just sugar water and no healthier than soda pop. The fakery doesn’t help either. Squeeze your own for the best benefits – add lemon or honey if you need to. “Slow” juicers are better than centrifugal for keeping the most benefits but hand-squeezing over a citrus dish also works.

Are you surprised that these foods are fake?

So there you have it, three beloved American foods that are uber fake. If you were having an Italian dinner with a mimosa then I’ve just totally ruined it for you.

Don’t even get me started on Champagne! (for another time)

What was the most shocking food on the list? Did you know about these edible imposters? Now that you know will you use the tips above to avoid them in the future?

Comment and let us know below!

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Meadow Clark

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  • Americans trying to eat healthily have my sympathy. As a Canadian, I try to avoid eating in the U.S.

    Recently, I ordered a sandwich at a family-owned restaurant in Minnesota and asked what the bread choices were. The waitress said, “white, brown and rye.” I avoid white because it contains three ‘white deaths’ being refined, bleached flour, salt, and sugar so I asked if the brown was whole wheat. She said, “No, it’s white that’s dyed brown” so I asked for the rye.

    When I got my sandwich, the so-called rye was just marbled white and brown. In other words, I had a choice between white garbage, brown garbage or marbled garbage. I ate it, but I never went back.

    • GEROLD: Totally understand your dilemma! When I travel I bring ICe chests, a small stove (camping type) and of course cooking supplies! I really avoid restaurants. You can always go to supermarkets and buy what you will eat and wash them in the stores bathroom! Go to a park to eat or prepare your meal and will find a different world out there! Blessings to you!

  • I did know about the phony olive oil scam. For years now I have bought olive oil online, from only 2 sources, Tropical Traditions and Life Extension Institute. The Tropical Traditions oil is from an estate in Chile and has a buttery taste. (I also buy coconut oil from TT). The Life Extension oil is from Calif and is very high in phenols and has a grassy taste with peppery finish. I didn’t know about the Parmesan cheese. I stopped drinking fruit juice a long time ago because of the sugar content, but it was depressed to read how adulterated it is. This is the ugly side of capitalism; companies allowed to poison our food and drink for profit.

    • MAggie: Be aware that DDT went from the USA to CHILE!!! They did not destroy all that chemical do you think! We get fruit and veggies in our winter months because of CHILE! Though I am grateful we get this produce, I have avoided Chilean products since I married myChilean wife in 1989! BTW: The common slogan in South American countries is : “When you lose the street, you lose everything”! It means when you do NOT protest and argue with politicians you already have acquiesced to whatever THEIR agenda is!!!Thank you!

    • It’s not a scam. There are several grades of olive oil based on when it is extracted, and bottles are clearly labeled. There is not some great conspiracy by the mafia to poison you with industrial oil in your bottle of olive oil

  • Excellent expose’ again Daisy! I would ask for an expose’ on HONEY also! I understand the only way we should buy honey is when it is cloudy, very thick and if having been analyzed, would show much protein molecules from the pollinators!!! I must know! Thank you Daisy, you are THE BEST!

    • I agree that this would be a great topic. But in brief:

      Honey sold commercially is disturbingly adulterated. Even if the honey is labelled “100% American Honey” or similar, the “chain of custody” of the honey is usually very questionable, often leading back to China or India. Both Chinese and Indian sources contain huge amounts of antibiotics and are usually cut by at least 50% with “honey analog”, a substance that is chemically indifferentiable from honey. Initially the honey from those sources was tested for pollen spores, but pollen is now added to get around even that testing.

      Even “Local” honey often available in small shops contains this adulterated honey. A honey producer (note: I’m NOT using the term beekeeper here!) will buy bulk honey, often adding local pollen to it so it tests as “local”, then bottle it for local distribution.

      Your best bet is to buy from a local beekeeper, preferable one you have a chance to actually speak to. Search the internet for your local beekeepers association or club. They’ll usually have a list of their members who have honey available. Those members will usually be more than happy to discuss their apiary, what, if any, chemical treatments they use (most use some due to the influx of the Varroa mite, diseases like Nosema, etc.), and how they process. Many would happily show you the hives! Caution: We are a chatty bunch, beekeepers, so expect a lengthy conversation about our bees!

      Cloudiness is not a test of pure honey, BTW. The honey winning the local county fair honey show will likely not be cloudy!

  • This is absolutely depressing, I am so angry. Why does our government allow this? President Trump should get this article.

    • Because this entire article is garbage propaganda.

      Cheese is determined by the mold and cultures used, not where it was made.

      Kraft is 100% paremsan with no fillers (as clearly stated on the container). The article authors know this, which is why they lie by avoiding saying so right out and instead say “probably not [real parmesan]”

      Removing oxygen keeps the orange juice from going rancid. Has nothing to do with preserving the “orange” flavor. Freshly peeled oranges have no oxygen in them.

  • Unfortunately, even many of the EVOOs on the “good” list were recently proven to be of very low quality, even though they may be 100% Olive Oil. Costco, especially.

    Now, I go by the approved list at this website. Companies have to voluntarily submit their oils to be tested for purity and graded. Approved oils get a badge that they can put on the label. Look who’s one of the best – ALDI. That’s the only EVOO I buy now and the taste is amazing!


  • Thanks for the article, most informative. One of the fakes I MOST object to is FAKE HONEY. Walmart sells this honey flavored corn syrup and people are actually buying it! Shocking! When you think of all the benefits of raw honey and even regular honey and imagine less informed moms mistakeningly feeding their kids sugar water, it’s disgusting. Victoria

  • Terrific Article! I’d like to see more articles like this where you expose the fake and unhealthy foods that are sold as “healthy choices.”

  • Just to add some prospective to these “fake foods”:

    1) Adulteration of olive oil is as old as the world. It is not an american exclusive and has been fought in Europe for decades. Note that the list of brands include several that are not american but are Italian brands.
    2) Fake Parmesan should be the one that does not contain Parmesan at all. And for Parmesan I mean any cheese that is similar on characteristic and flavor to the original Italian Parmesan. Saying that a cheese made in Wisconsin that look and taste like the one made in Italy is not Parmesan, is just a snobbish statement.
    3) The grated Parmesan cheese must contain some additive to avoid it to become a solid ball in the container and the additive of choice is cellulose which anyone consume in quantity every time he eats a lettuce leaf. It might be news to the author but the same apply to any other grated or shredded cheese and pretty much any other product that is cut, chopped, sliced or otherwise processed.
    4) Yes, fruit juices, not just orange juice, are mostly made from concentrate and added flavoring. It is always stated on the label. Anyone who has ever tried to make fruit juice understand that the shelf life is extremely limited. It would not be feasible to import juices from other countries or store it long term unless it is processed.

    Note to the author: there is no “region in Italy called Parmigiano-Reggiano.” The name of the cheese comes from the cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia, in the Emilia Romagna region. There have been long battles for the name of the cheese between those two towns and nearby localities that produced the same product. The battle concluded with the government granting the protected name of Parmiggiano Reggiano to the cheese produced in that area, while the cheese produced in other areas is called Grana Padano. The common people, who do not care about the names but are more interested in flavor, call them both grana (from the little grains in it) and let the advertisers (and lawyers) fight over names.

  • “Try to buy the whole wheel”?! Oy vey! There goes a months worth of prep money. I mean we’ll eat it but, oh my!

    • Man, I wish I could spend on prepping all those money. A wheel of Parmiggiano Reggiano is $900 at Costco so, probably way more anywhere else.

      The author of is article is definitely not a prepper, at least not one on a budget. The suggestion about buying the wheel of cheese and promising an article on champagne make me think of one of the Whole Food shopper, left voting, higher class person who redeem herself trying to save the world from itself that abound around here.

  • If you always wanted to know why people in the USA are so much `bigger`than in the rest of the world – here you find the answer: it is because of the artificial food and drinks they are take … adding all this into your body and it can not be metabolised in the proper way … so it will be deposited somewhere …

  • Thanks Daisy for the article. Read it once and will be re-reading it.

    From experience and common knowledge, authentic Olive Oil lowers bad cholesterol, LDL, by replacing it with good HDL cholesterol thereby helping lower arterial plaque and high blood pressure. And in my case, lower blood pressure, less pressure damaging the eye lining. Wholistic health. One ‘unbalanced’ body function will lead to other maladies.

    One way to be careful of what you eat is to take a page out of survival books on how to test if a plant is edible, poisonous, or not. Very slowly observe if there are any adverse effects from sampling a miniscule plant part (or, olive oil brand). Wait, then repeat the process with another dosage. Take note of any ill effects. It could take a day, days or more.

    Add to the mix is that your body may have a tolerance up to a threshold until there is any effect. You can be immune to Poison Ivy up to middle age, then after walking in the countryside, blue skies, happy clouds, birds singing, the next day you resemble the Michelin Automotive Tire Man logo, open sores, water/plasma running out of your skin requiring a constant change of clothes, itch and fever. Then, your body’s own T-cells attacking your healthy cells. Great.

    The same goes for soda.

    The point, fall back and eat enough for a healthy body then gradually add different foods to your diet. Of course, during SHTF there’ll be a chance of just chasing down the first rat or fat person that comes across your sight, regardless.

    (The great movie critic Roger Ebert gave the British zombie movie “Twenty-Eight Days” two thumbs down. When asked why, he replied that the zombies ran too fast. Miss the guy.).

  • The amount we eat of these three foods is minor, compared to the big time fake food, sugar and fructose corn sweeteners. This one is making 50% of Americans obese and is killing us. We are a nation ready to pluck. Soft drinks are robbing us of a future for this nation. Programmed from youth to not drink water but soda. One of the reasons I am waiting for the RESET is to remove this stuff from our nation’s grocery shelves (no, it is whole aisles of the store). Go back to drinking fresh, clean, pure water.

  • I knew about the 3 American fake oil, cheese and OJ because I lived in Europe and Florida and had the real pure oil, cheese and oranges. But what I did not know was the high amount contaminates in the American versions. Just goes to show us that these mega corporations are nothing but greedy crooks.

  • Just as you don’t dress as if you are in the Yukon if you live in Florida, then why eat imported food that isn’t grown in your area. You are of the earth and sky where you stand, literally, and it is the balance between these two that you should be in tune with for health reasons.
    Why pay around twenty-five dollars for a bag of pink Himalayan salt, for example, when it’s trace minerals probably won’t be absorbed by your body if you don’t live in that type of envirnoment. Find out what PH balance is your body/envirnoment. Electrolytes, also.

    In other words support your local farmer’s markets since what they sell will be seasonal and in tune if it is summer/winter/hot/cold. If you live in a hot-humid climate you adjust to it and not fight against by constantly going in and out of an air-conditioned space since that will stress your body.

    Recently read about the Colonial New England Sugar-Rum-Slave Trade where sugar grown in the West Indies/Caribbean area by imported slaves was made into Rum around Rhode Island and then traded for slaves (human capital) along the West Africa coastline to grow sugar in the Carribean area in a vicious cycle of massive human suffering and profit for the few (who knew how to build ships probably from their experience pirating). It was their need for potassium that was lacking in their diet and was supplied by rum that may have started the cycle.

    You are what you eat.

    • For anyone similiar with Joseph P. Farrell’s website “GizaDeathStar” musings about asteroid-mining and the colonization of planets (Papal Bulls, da popa baptisting E.T.), does the above have a familiar ring?

      Moon Salt for twenty-five dollars an ounce, sic.

  • I have a bit of a problem here. You list Bertolli as being one of the “bad” brands and alterring their olive oil. Yet, Betolli is listed at the website


    as being tested and certified for both purity and quality. I checked into some of your sources for the article and found that it all seems to have started with a report published back in 2010. A report that was funded by 3 of the major California producers anxious for more market share. Also that some of the chemical tests that were done were not accepted by the industry as a whole. Before I go around tossing out my olive oil, I’d want more proof that it is actually bad for me, and not having it’s reputation ruined and smeared by some competitor. It seems to me that an outfit operating a “Not-For-Profit” group such as NAOOA is a much more trustworthy source than a study paid for by a special interest.

  • Good Article. Management at Monsanto & the FDA are interchangeable. Over past 25 years people have gone from Monsanto to Top Management in FDA & then back again. Definitely looks like pay to play & corruption to me. Research it & see Monsanto’s has bought up/out officials at FDA for years. FDA approves limits knowing full well they are dangerous. Monsanto’s only needs to buy out a few to create billions in profits. Many smaller countries in Asia & S/central America have banned Round-up. It does KILL, not only weeds but humans too.

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