I personally don’t find this surprising, but the Consumer Wellness Center reported last week that an investigation revealed fake blueberries galore in popular products. That’s right—those blueberries in your cereal or bagel may actually be a mix of sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and artificial food dyes blue No. 2 and red No. 40. Some products contained “bits” of real blueberries with a bunch of fakes mixed in.
Honestly, I’ve never had particularly high expectations for manufacturers like Kellogg’s or Betty Crocker (who are on the list of offenders), so I’m not all that scandalized. Is anyone else not surprised that General Mills’ Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal contains no real blueberries or pomegranate? Some flavorist probably made bank on the development, though. While it is disappointing, it’s not all that shocking to hear of food companies trying to evoke a sense of blueberry richness to products totally devoid of actual berries.
Still, if you want to make sure you’re getting real bits of fruit, check the label—if you see blue No. 2 and red No. 40 on the ingredients list, you might be dealing with some impostors. Better yet, why not just—wait for it—eat real blueberries! Even frozen are better than fake.
You can learn more about “blueberry deception” here.