Share this Story

Love Blueberries? Careful, They Might Be Fake

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

It turns out most blueberries in packaged foods aren't real berries at all

Of all the fruits commonly found at the grocery store, blueberries and breakfast just seem to go together. There are blueberry muffins, blueberry coffee cakes, blueberry pancakes — the list goes on and on. But it turns out that not all of the blueberry breakfasts you enjoy actually have blueberries in them — they're synthetic berries made from a mashup of sugars and dyes.

More: Dreamy, creamy blueberry and lemon pancake roll-ups

If you look at the ingredient list of your favorite breakfast treat and it doesn't say plain old "blueberries," chances are what you're eating is fake. Under names like "blueberry pieces," "blueberry powder" and "blueberry crunchlets" lurk what's usually just a combination of sugar, starch and blue dye. Um, yum? Yeah, not so much.

Then, there are the products that do contain real blueberries... along with a host of other ingredients. Kind Blueberry Pecan Bars lists "blueberry pieces" on their packaging, but the blueberry pieces also contain apple juice, vegetable glycerin, citrus pectin and sunflower oil. Last time I checked, blueberries had one ingredient: blueberries!

More: Why blueberries do wonders for your skin, plus 2 DIY face masks

So, what's the lesson here? I guess that, as usual, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Packaged foods just aren't the way to get your daily intake of fruit — you're better off making muffins, oatmeal and granola bars from scratch if you want real blueberries.

There's been some talk about the FDA investigating the prevalence of fake blueberry in foods and deciding whether or not it's legal to present them as real berries, but so far, nothing has come of it. In the meantime, read your ingredient labels carefully, and if a blueberry craving strikes, reach for the real thing.

More: Blueberry-lemon dessert shots are the best way to end a meal

Comments
Hot
New in Food & Recipes
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!

b h e a r d !

Welcome to the new SheKnows Community,

where you can share your stories, ideas

and CONNECT with millions of women.

Get Started