Mislabeling and food fraud are growing concerns for some Americans. Mislabeling can happen due to food fraud, or manufacturing errors. Food fraud is when food is mislabeled for the purpose of financial gain. Food fraud can be unsafe for those with allergies but can also cause problems for those following strict diets, including plant-based or vegan diets. It’s important to always check food labels to make sure you’re eating what you think you are.

Mislabeling is also called misbranding. Consumers can protect themselves by checking labels carefully, noting country of origin and make smart dietary choices. Rosalee Hellberg, told the Huffington Post that consumers, ” can teach themselves to read labels properly and learn how to protect themselves from food fraud. There are simple pointers that anyone can learn.”

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If you usually purchase a certain type of olive oil, a popularly mislabeled item, make sure you check the country of origin, check the ingredient list and check labels regularly for changes. If the taste or label changes, that could be a problem. Make sure you’re purchasing products from reputable and well-known companies. “Many companies have well-thought-out plans to verify and inspect ingredients from suppliers to be sure they are genuine,” Hellberg said. Be sure to take advantage of their robust systems.

Debra Topham is a compliance specialist who urged consumers to double-check labels and the FDA website for labeling guidelines. Topham told the Huffington Post, “The simplest thing is to make wise dietary choices. Look for lower-sodium and lower-fat foods when you have the option. Work with a nutritionist to help you learn what’s appropriate for you to eat.”

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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Here are some resources to get you started:

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