Those Blueberries in Your Cereal Are Impostors!

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Ain't nothing like the real thing. Photo: Basheertome via Flickr

Obviously if you're stuffing your face every morning with Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies, or Cocoa anything and expecting great health benefits, you're sorely mistaken. But we've been told in the last few years to eat more blueberries, a super-fruit that fights belly fat, packs loads of free radical-destroying antioxidants, and helps you see through walls or whatever else. And as our demand for blueberries increased, naturally so did the lines of prepackaged food products purporting to carry them by the bushel. But now there's some depressing blueberry news!

That's right: Those blueberries in your muffin aren't actually blueberries! In a massive endorsement for why we should probably be shopping more at farmers' markets and eschewing packaged food, the L.A. Times reports the findings of an investigation by the Consumer Wellness Center. They discovered that companies like General Mills, Kellog's, and even sweet, honest-sounding Betty Crocker have only been stuffing their food not with actual blueberries, but with some crappy Frankenberry made of "sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and — of course — artificial food dye blue No. 2 and red No. 40." Yeck!

Target, proud trumpeters of a new food retail sector, has been putting a few real berries in their bagels, along with "berry bits," which as you can guess by now, are forgeries. Even Total, who convinced us they stood apart from other breakfast manufacturers in the eighties, got in on the act, including neither real blueberries nor real pomegranate in a cereal called Total Blueberry Pomegranate. Well, of course. Naming it Total Fake Shit probably wouldn't move a lot of product.

So what's the solution to avoid these fauxberries? To quote the RZA, "You gotta read the label, if you don't read the label you might get poisoned ... " Well, maybe not poisoned. But still.

Fake blueberries abound in food products [LAT]