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Nutrition News

Food Fraud: Labels on What We Eat Often Mislead

Frozen food in Burgos.

Frozen food on sale in Burgos.

Photograph by Cesar Manso, AFP/Getty Images

Catherine Zuckerman

National Geographic

Published July 12, 2013

 Part of our weekly “In Focus” series—stepping back, looking closer.

The farm-to-table trend is cooking. Urban gardening is on the rise. And high-end chefs are riding the locavore wave, promising superior, sustainable ingredients that can be traced back to their fields and pastures, which are often just a few miles down the road.

It feels as though a new age of food transparency has dawned.

But has it really?

As shown by Europe’s recent horsemeat scandal—in which scores of products labeled as “beef” were found to contain up to 100 percent horsemeat—and arrests last spring of Chinese traders who were allegedly peddling rat meat as lamb, there’s still considerable mystery around where a lot of our food comes from.

In many cases, that mystery extends to exactly what it is we’re eating.

“Unfortunately, controlling the amount of fraud that occurs daily in the food industry is next to impossible,” said Michael Roberts, a professor of food law and policy at UCLA and director of the Center for Food Law and Policy.

“Almost anything can be adulterated in some way,” he added, “either to persuade consumers to buy something for their health, or by diluting it to save money on the supplier end.”

It’s a problem that spans the globe.

A recent study found that in South Africa, nearly 80 percent of products labeled “game” actually contained varying amounts of nongame animals, including giraffe, waterbuck, and kangaroo. The most egregious filler: mountain zebra, a species that is “red listed“—meaning it’s at risk for extinction—by theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130712-food-fraud-science-economic-adulteration-seafood-honey-juice/

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About Elaine Sirt -Hastings, RD. Nutrition, Energy & Human Performance Expert

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Elaine Sirt-Hastings, RD, LD/N, CSSD is the Founder of Associates in Nutrition and Sports Specialty and President of. Elaine Hastings and Associates, experts in Nutrition, Energy and Human Performance, a leader in the health, wellness, fitness and sports nutrition industries. Elaine is an engaging and informed Supplement, Performance and Energy Expert. Elaine is a go-to media source both nationally and internationally, with extensive knowledge in every aspect of nutrition. She has been a multimedia content contribute and media resource for some 20 years. Elaine specializes in human performance, wellness, energy, nutrition, fitness, eating disorders, sports and team nutrition. She is a highly sought after educator, author and spokesperson with excellent cross-cultural awareness. Being a former athlete and model Elaine knows how to help you Stay in Your Game! Stay in Your Game™ Eat and move for Top Performance in YOUR Life! …work. fitness. corporate. teams. athletes. kids.

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