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Real News on Fake Food

Updated on March 12, 2018
Which is real?
Which is real?
Real or fake?
Real or fake?
Real or fake?
Real or fake?

While there is fake news about what is fake news, fake food is real news to be wary of, especially, if eating in China or Africa. Fake food is present in all countries to some extent, but China and Africa have taken it to a serious new level.

Recent research from Tanzania has indicated that over 50% of African food sold is somehow tainted or fake. Lack of regulation in both countries has allowed rampant creations of fake food. In Nigeria, there is milk powder with no animal protein. In Kenya, there is vegetable oil made from recycled oil unfit for human consumption. In Ghana, the palm oil is laced with a food coloring called Sudan IV, a chemical known to cause cancer, while in Uganda, meats are preserved with formalin, an embalming agent. Rice is sometimes just rice chaff but sold as Grade A, or chili pepper containing Sudan IV.

The reason is to compete which cheaper imports, bad regulation and inspection, and lack of public awareness.

In China, authorities face a daunting explosion of fake foods since 2008. Infant milk was sold containing melamine, used to make plastic. Ingestion causes cancer or kidney failure. Many mothers unknowingly gave their kids an early death sentence. Since then, the fake food situation is worse because there is no strict regulation.

Amazing Fake Food

  • Eggs - unscrupulous companies in China were found to produce and make tons of money by selling fake eggs. These fake eggs are made of gelatin, artificial food coloring, water and encased in a wax egg shell and would bounce when dropped on the floor.
  • Plastic Rice - the rice is made by mixing potatoes with a synthetic industrial resin which can be deadly. It remains hard upon ingestion. Now, merchants test by pouring the rice into boiling oil or fire to see if there is a plastic smell.
  • Walnuts - from the outside, it is a real walnut but inside there is nothing buy cement. Since walnuts are sold by weight, heavier nuts mean more money.
  • Beef - Pork sold as beef by coloring it with a chemical that is toxic over a period of time causing death.
  • Lamb - that is really not lamb but rats, minks, and foxes. Chinese authorities arrested 900 people involved in creating 20,000 tons of it in three months.
  • Wine - Over 70% of Chinese wine is really a juice of some type doctored to taste like wine.
  • Honey - Created by combining water, sugar, alum, and coloring. If done well, a consumer is hard pressed to taste the difference. In some Chinese provinces, over 70% of the honey sold is fake.
  • Green Peas - these fake green peas that don’t soften when boiled and the water will turn an unnatural green color leached from the food coloring. They are usually soy or snow pea dyed green and the chemical, metabisulfite, used in bleach and a preservative.


In nearly all cases, the motive why there is fake food is for profit. Many times, it is faster and cheaper to create fake food. If fake food can be made for much less than real food costs, profit is the reason why it is done.


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