The Case of the Fake Fruit


Does it worry you?

I like to read the ingredients on food packets, and found an unexpected listing on a tub of Chobani blueberry yogurt.

Here is the list from the tub:

No fake fruit

No artificial flavors

No artificial sweeteners

No preservatives

No GMO ingredients

No gluten


I worry about fake presidents, fake news and fake videos, but rarely stew over fake fruit.

My sole experience with indeterminate foodstuffs was during my undergraduate days.

I bought (and ate) what was cheap: ramen noodles (10 for a dollar) and Jiffy muffin mixes for 25 cents.

Turns out ramen noodles are terrible for you: high in saturated fat and difficult for the gut to digest.

And the Jiffy blueberry muffin mix?

Turns out there are no blueberries in the package.

Here are the ingredients from the muffin packet:

Wheat flour, sugar, animal shortening (contains one or more of the following: lard, hydrogenated lard, partially hydrogenated lard), dextrose, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), contains less than 2% of each of the following: salt, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, fructose, food starch-modified, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid preservatives, blue 2 lake, red 40 lake, wheat starch, niacin, reduced iron, bht preservative, tricalcium phosphate, tocopherol preservative, bha preservative, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, riboflavin, folic acid, silicon dioxide.

Not one blueberry.

There are bluish bits that puff up in the cooked muffins, but no true berries.

I used to make waffles with the Jiffy mix, adding handfuls of fresh berries, and now just create waffles from scratch, which takes only a few more minutes than the instant.

We’re lucky because we live in a city that boasts a farmers’ market six-days-a-week, and we can find fresh berries in the summer, along with carrots, mushrooms, apples, peaches, plums, pears, asparagus and artichokes.

At home we grow tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, lettuces, chard, broccoli, potatoes, oca, peas and beans.

And, yes, blueberries, too.


jiffy package

26 May 2018







About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, cooking, fake. Bookmark the permalink.

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