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12 Fake Foods You've Definitely Been Fooled By

Updated October 13, 2018 12 items

By now you know there's a lot of fake food out there. From "pink slime" chicken nuggets to spray cheese from a can, you'd think it would be pretty easy to spot an over-processed, chemical-full snack. Right? Not really. In addition to your normal fast food fakeries, you're probably eating a bunch of other foods you didn't even know were fake.

The difficult thing about sussing out the fake foods on the market is that the food industry has gotten so good about swapping out genuine food for highly processed, artificial, lab-made "food." What makes it even harder is the fact that all these "foods" taste so darn good.

Even if you're a health nut who's trying to eat clean, the odds are stacked against you. For example, most of the white tuna in the U.S. is actually escolar - a fish that's been known to cause anal leakage. And if you think those "blueberries" in your muffin are actually made if fruit, it's time to get real. What's a hungry person to do? Knowledge is key. Check out this list of food that isn't real - so you can spot the fakers from here on out!


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  • Truffle Oil

    Truffle Oil
    Photo: Adhityo Wicaksono / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0
     According to The New York Times, the truffle oil that make your fries taste amazing is most likely made by mixing olive oil with lab-synthesized 2,4-dithiapentane, which is a petroleum-based chemical compound found naturally present in real truffles. So maybe don't get so high and mighty about your foodie choices. You're truffle fries are full of even more chemicals than regular ones.
  • Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

    Movie Theater Popcorn Butter
    Photo: jennie-o / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    Popcorn is arguably the best part of going to the movies. But that "butter" slathered all over the kernels is about as real as whatever superhero movie you paid to see. According to The Daily Meal it's actually called  “butter-flavored popcorn topping” and its main ingredients are partially hydrogenated soybean oil, beta carotene, buttery flavoring, TBHQ, and polydimethylsiloxane. Yum?
  • Tuna
    Photo: banditob / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0
    As was documented by The Atlantic, a study done by the nonprofit ocean protection group Oceana determined that "59% of the 'tuna' Americans eat  is not tuna." So what is it? "84% of fish samples labeled 'white tuna' were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage." 

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  • Green Tea

    Green Tea
    Photo: Or Reshef / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    You think you're doing a good thing for you body by drinking green tea. But if it comes in a bottle you bought at the store, chances are you're not doing as great a job as you thought. According to Fitness Magazine"bottled varieties of tea don't even come close to the antioxidant levels you'll find in home-brewed green tea."