Where's the Blueberry? New Report Exposes the Truth

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LarryB08
So healthful...and expensive.
Little. Blue. Packs a powerful punch.

No, we're not talking Viagra, we're referring to the blueberry. King on the list of "superfoods," blueberries are chock full of cancer cell inhibitors and anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, recent research has found the tiny fruit effective in lowering brain damage from stroke, preventing cell replication of the hepatitis C virus, lowering cholesterol, alleviating the symptoms of depression, and enhancing memory in older adults - the kind of hype that translates into marketing gold for major food manufacturers.

However, last week award-winning investigative journalist Mike Adams (also known as "The Food Ranger") released a report for Natural News's FoodInvestigations.com exposing the deceptive labeling practices employed by General Mills, Kellogg's, Betty Crocker, and Target brand foods in regards to their blueberry products. What he found? Most contained little to no blueberries at all.

What the hell? If those blue-colored bits floating around in our cereal and lurking in our muffins aren't blueberries, then what are they? According to Adams, many times what American consumers perceive as a blueberry is actually a combination of artificial colors derived from petrochemicals (most commonly Red #40, and Blue #1 or #2), hydrogenated oils, and sugars - ingredients more often associated with causing cancer than preventing it.

A few examples highlighted in the report:

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livestrong.com
Blueberry Bagels - Target
Made with "blueberry bits" comprised entirely of sugar, corn cereal, modified food starch, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial flavor, cellulose gum, salt and artificial colors (Blue #2, Red #40, Green #3 and Blue #1). We get it. "Cellulose Gum Bagels" just doesn't have the same sparkle.

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couponsurfer.blogspot.com
Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal - General Mills
Contains no actual blueberries or pomegranates (another food getting a lot of attention for its antioxidant properties). Found instead: red #40, blue #2, sucralose, sugar, corn syrup and brown sugar syrup. This kind of reminds me of the time I discovered the fine print recommending that I take not one, but two of my One-A-Day VitaCraves Gummy vitamins each day. Those bastards!

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Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry Muffin - Kellogg's
Fresh blueberries featured on the package - blueberry "crunchlets" on the label. WTF is a crunchlet? Apparently, it's a mixture of sugars, soybean oil, red #40 and blue #2.

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specialk.com
Special K Blueberry Fruit Crisps - Kellogg's
According to the website, the product is "made with real fruit and drizzled with vanilla icing." In this case, "real fruit" amounts to apple powder, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, fructose, sugar, artificial colors red #40 and blue #1, and a dash of blueberry puree concentrate.

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shinyshack.com
Blueberry Muffin Mix - Betty Crocker
There's blueberries in the name and on the package, but the truth is in the fine print: Does not contain actual blueberries. The items masquerading as berries in the mix are in reality a combination of dextrose, corn flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sugar, citric acid, artificial flavor, Blue #1, and Red #40. Mmmm...there's nothing like the smell of freshly baked food additives in the morning!

Why is this such a common practice in the food industry? Blueberries are expensive - food additives are not. In addition to advocating a nationwide boycott of General Mills, Natural News is asking consumers to contact the company and voice their opinions on the deceptive labeling on a number of their products. And if the fake blueberries hiding in popular American brands really chap your ass but you find yourself at a loss for words, there's even a pre-written letter of protest on the Natural News website, ready to be copied, pasted, and emailed to the faux berry peddler of your choice.


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27 comments
Rachelll
Rachelll

what about blueberry eggo waffles?

Kinzer13
Kinzer13

That's not the point you idiot (Muffinman). When a package is plastered with the word blueberry and there are pictures of actual blueberries, but inside there isn't even one honest-to-god "blueberry," that's bullshit. It's deceitful and dishonest, and if you're okay with those characteristics in a company or person - I think you're a little bit sleazy and a "lot bit" apathetic.

mark
mark

seriously? there is nothing wrong here. "blueberry" is also a flavor. Kind of like cherry coke, there was no cherries in it, and no one complained that coke was lying to us.

SirRon
SirRon

Seriously people. This points to a major problem with our society.

Not the fake blueberries.

The fact you think companies putting fake blueberries in things *affects your health*!

Food companies operate based on profit. If you don't understand this, then you are kicked out of class. When they choose to put low quality or unnatural (whatever that means) ingredients in foods to help their bottom line, it makes sense. When you choose to pick that product off the shelf and buy it, you reinforce their decision.

Want to affect *their* profits? Don't buy the product. Read labels. Stop pointing fingers at others.

Betty Crocker didn't make you buy those muffins. Betty Crocker didn't add water to the mix and put it in the muffin trays for you. Betty Crocker didn't shove 5 or 6 into your mouth. In fact, after you buy the product, I doubt Betty Crocker even cares if you eat it.

Sorry @Kristjanm, I'm going to pick on you and whoever "liked" you comment. Big food companies are not affecting your health. You are.

Kristjanm
Kristjanm

The big food companies are like the pharmaceutical companies, profit trumps everything, even peoples health!

Maineluva
Maineluva

Go buy some Maine blueberries! Duh! 95% of the world's blueberries are from Maine and they sure as heck are dried bits of grossness in cereal....they are beautiful blue cancer-fighting berries!

Kd1141
Kd1141

Fake blueberries aren't the only fake items in our foods. Read the labels before you buy! You will be amazed and disgusted. Watch the video of the Feingold Association, parent support organization helping families avoid artificial additives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Markey
Markey

Fake blueberries aren't the only fake items in our foods. Read the labels before you buy! You will be amazed and disgusted. Watch the video of the Feingold Association, parent support organization helping families avoid artificial additives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Damn. Maybe this chuckleheaded tea bag Congress will pass a law removing labeling requirements from food. After all, you would have never known about this if it weren't for those pesky laws requiring manufacturers to publish what they are poisoning us with. Makes you wonder if there's real tea in those bags, or some sort of toxic, mind altering drug that causes people to babble nonsense. I suspect the latter.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Sorry, but I'm only reminded of the "you forgot blueberries" girl. As to actual blueberries? Good to know. I'll have to go out and buy some. And that is pretty crappy of these companies. If you're going to state a fruit in the food's name, at least put something resembling it. They must've been inspired by grape nuts.

Enjoy the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

foodscientist
foodscientist

If you all want real blueberries, be prepared to pay for real blueberries. Everyone bitches about how much something costs, well blueberries are one of the most expensive fruits there are. As food product developers, we'd be more than happy to be able to use real blueberries, but non of you consumers would buy it because it would cost "too much".

SirRon
SirRon

It is me, or does the box of muffin mix shown above have a white circle that says "Real Blueberries" on it? Surely it doesn't say "real blueberries" on the front and "does not contain actual blueberries on the back." Eh?

Muffinman
Muffinman

If you want to eat blueberries, go buy blueberries.

Joanna
Joanna

Good lord, this is terrifying. Not surprising, but terrifying.

meow
meow

coke does not claim to be a natural product in any way so it's hard to fault them for being mostly chemicals and sugar.

Robb
Robb

What successful business isn't in business for profit? If it weren't profitable to ease your pain, cure your ills and feed your family, you would be a substance farmer with a life expectancy of 35.

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Horsehockey. Food manufacturers use fake ingredients because they are trying to scam the public. Try marketing them as "flavor bit muffins" and see what happens. In the words of a notorious Congressman, "You lie!"

trisch
trisch

Totally agree with TQro. I happily pay for real blueberries. No complaints here. In fact, I just bought my own blueberry bushes at the fruit tree sale so I can have real homegrown blueberries (a huge commitment, given that my super power is being the human Agent Orange). Your argument illustrates the toilet bowl that our food supply is today -- people can't afford blueberries? paint some sugar puffs blue and call them blueberries! people are fat? blueberries are healthy, encourage them to eat blueberries! they can't afford blueberries? give them some sugar puffs painted blue! etc. etc.

TQro
TQro

Lie! Not EVERYONE bitches about the price of things. I happen to bitch when my kids ingest anything other than real food.

Lauren Marmaduke
Lauren Marmaduke

You are correct - from this moment forth you shall be known as Sir Hawkeye. Ff that were the case it would truly be outrageous.

Directly transcribed from the food investigations report: "At least Betty Crocker's Blueberry Muffin Mix admits it contains no real blueberries. Well, if you read the fine print, that is. It's ingredients reveal "Artificial blueberry flavor bits" which are made from dextrose, Corn Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Sugar, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, and of course the obligatory Blue #1 and Red #40."

Perhaps the image I found or the packaging cited by Adams has since been updated?

Kinzer13
Kinzer13

That's not the point you idiot (Muffinman). When a package is plastered with the word blueberry and there are pictures of actual blueberries, but inside there isn't even one honest-to-god "blueberry," that's bullshit. It's deceitful and dishonest, and if you're okay with those characteristics in a company or person - I think you're a little bit sleazy and a "lot bit" apathetic.

SirRon
SirRon

Define "real food"

wendy
wendy

I thought there was a version of Betty Crocker blueberry muffins that does contain the real thing. I remember the berries coming a tin. Unless the berries in the tin are fake- then that really does blow my mind.

Robb
Robb

and it says "Does not contain actual blueberries". Pay attention to what your buying. I second Muffinman, "If you want to eat blueberries, go buy blueberries." Apathy is throwing the pretty package in your shopping cart without knowing what your buying. Be informed as a consumer and as a voter and you won't waste energy being outraged because your kitchen if full of "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" that no body warned you about.

SirRon
SirRon

I believe they market it as "Wild Blueberry" Muffin Mix. The only reason I questioned the info above (and noticed the picture in this article says "real blueberries" on the box) is because I buy it all the time to make with my kids. Sometimes I even get some in the oven before they eat all the batter.

And you are correct, the blueberries come in a little tin. If they are fake, then that will blow my mind too.

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