Attention shoppers, we interrupt your trip down the grocery store aisle to bring you a very important announcement: That cereal with blueberries you are about to put in your cart doesn’t actually contain blueberries. In fact, those blue chunks are actually a “concoction shaped into balls and dyed to look like real berries,” according to a new report that exposed what’s really in the “fruit” many companies are selling us.
On the Today show this morning, their National Investigative Correspondent, Jeff Rossen, disclosed something most packaged food companies don’t want you to know: that so-called fruit in your food is a big fat fake. Yep, those “blueberries” in your cereal, your waffles and your yogurt…fake, fake and fake.
When Rossen looked at a box of Special K Fruit and Yogurt cereal, for example, and pulled out a “blueberry”, here’s the conversation he had with Michael Jacobson, who runs the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer watchdog group:
This looks like a real berry to me.
But it ain’t.
So are there any actual berries in here?
No berries whatsoever.
OK, that’s just wrong. And deceitful. Here we thought we were doing something healthy by choosing foods that clearly say they contain fruit, and they don’t. If you, like us, are wondering how the heck these companies get away with that, it’s pretty simple: The label may say their product is “made with real blueberries,” and in reality, they are–very tiny bits of the fruit. The rest? Crap.
It’s “mostly sugar and soybean oil, then little bits of real blueberry that’s been artificially colored,” explains Jacobson to Today.
Yep, that “fruit” is nothing but “blue chunks are actually that concoction shaped into balls and dyed to look like real berries.”
It’s not just those cereals either, says Jacobson.
Check out those blueberry Eggos, Aunt Jemima’s Blueberry Pancakes and blueberry cereal bars or fruit granola bars. Even fruit yogurt is suspect.
Your best bet? Stick with plain whole grain versions of these foods and top with your own fresh berries. Then, at least, you know what you’re getting!