Are You Eating Fake Blueberries?

Few foods boast such a delightful indigo hue and a juicy sweetness as blueberries. They grow on perennial bushes that are native to North America. These bushes typically fruit throughout the summer months depending on the region.

Blueberries are a delightful addition to pies, muffins, cobblers, and an array of other sweet, fruity desserts or breakfast foods. They can also be used to make delicious jams and jellies that can be jarred and last long after the blueberry season has passed. Fresh blueberries can easily be frozen and saved to use in smoothies or in any recipe that calls for fresh blueberries. Blueberries are a wonderful, versatile fruit to have in the freezer when a craving for something sweet hits.

An equal or perhaps more important characteristic to blueberries, other than their delicious taste and versatility, is their ORAC value. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. In other words, how well the food protects the body from free radicals when eaten. Blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables, contain phytochemicals that protect them from pests, fungus, and diseases.

Therefore, when humans consume these foods their bodies receive the protection that the plant has already cultivated for itself and convert that into antioxidants to fight against the damaging effect of free radicals. The ORAC value is a measurement of how much protection a plant can provide from free radicals and blueberries are towards the top of the list. So, eating blueberries not only satisfies cravings for sweet, juicy fruits, but also provides the immune system with defenses to keep the body functioning well and protecting against disease and aging.

Yet, these benefits are only possible when one is consuming REAL blueberries. That may sound like an odd statement, but there are many products on the market that are touting blueberries as an ingredient and when investigated more closely, there are little to no blueberries in these products…

This leads one to the question: If the blueberry muffins on the shelf do not, in fact, contain real blueberries, then what is the blueberry-like imposter in the muffins?

Many of the products claiming to have blueberries as part of their ingredients have ingredients called “blueberry bits” or “blueberry crunchlets”  which are usually a combination of unhealthy and artificial ingredients such as sugar, corn cereal, modified food starch, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and artificial flavors and colorings.

These imitation ingredients mimic the look and sweetness of blueberries but they could not be farther on the nutritional spectrum from real blueberries. There is no ORAC rating for blueberry bits and it is becoming evident that such highly processed foods are actually contributing to the epidemic of disease and obesity in the U.S.

Many of the most popular foods on the shelves at the grocery store have fake blueberries, such as cereals, pop-tarts, bagels, muffin mixes, and pancake and waffle mixes. Because of deceptive pictures on the fronts of the packages, they appear to have blueberries but there are very few whole blueberries, if any. Quaker blueberries and cream flavored instant oatmeal lists “blueberry flavored fruit pieces” as the blueberry component which is made from dried figs, corn syrup solids dried, food starch modified, other miscellaneous ingredients, and blueberry concentrate for flavor.

Some of the most popular brands that deceptively market their products with blueberries (and other fruit imposters) are Quaker multigrain fiber crisps, Kellogg’s cereals and pop-tarts, General Mills Brand cereals, Aunt Jemima’s blueberry waffles, Jimmy Dean’s pancake on a stick, Jiffy blueberry muffin mix, and Welch’s blueberry fruit n yogurt snacks. Some of these products say on the front label that they are made with artificial or imitation blueberries, but the pictures show real blueberries. People often make decisions on what they purchase at the grocery store based on the picture of the finished product rather than the list of ingredients.In today’s market, this may wreak havoc on their waistlines as well as their health.

Why Do Food Companies Use Fake Blueberries?

Regardless of the ill effects that these foods have on people’s health, companies have found loopholes in order to promote their products as having blueberries even when they are not an actual ingredient. This kind of deceptive marketing has been happening for many years because the global food industry has a large amount of power over policies regarding food and it has profit as its number one priority.

Using real blueberries is too costly when there are chemicals and processed sugars that can be used to mimic actual fruit. The limited season that blueberries produce fruit makes them a more expensive option for manufacturers.

The popularity blueberries have found for being touted as a “superfood,”because of their high antioxidant properties, has increased their demand and thereby increased their cost. Yet, there are organic companies that are paying the higher prices in order to maintain the integrity of their products and not use chemical blueberry imposters.

Even though many of the organic food producers are using real blueberries, people often avoid organic products because they find them to be too expensive. And yet, the big food companies are charging a higher price for their products and increasing their profit marginbecause they are pretending that their products have real blueberries.

Another important factor is that because of the large amounts of sugar and sugar derivatives in these processed foods, consumers become addicted to them. Through faulty advertising, deceptive marketing, and the use of cheap ingredients that addict and trick people into buying these products, the food industry has fooled people into spending their hard earned money on these fake, unhealthy, and dangerous foods.

What Can You Do to Avoid Fake Blueberries?

Fortunately, there is hope. By knowing what ingredients to look for on a label, you can leave fake blueberries on the shelf. In this case, it is important to look for blueberries as an ingredient if you want to enjoy the high antioxidants of this fruit in a cereal or granola. Many organic cereal companies have organic blueberries in their products.

Another option to avoid fake blueberries is to buy fresh blueberries and add them to your cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. You can also add blueberries into baking recipes to make your own real blueberry muffins, pancakes, or waffles.

Blueberries are available in summer months at farmer’s markets in many U.S. towns, so you can stock up during these months and freeze your blueberries to use later.By having and utilizing this information about blueberries, you can receive the wonderful benefits of this fruit without adding processed blueberry bits into your diet.

About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

Which wonderful friends in your life would appreciate this information about Fake Blueberries? Are they buying these blueberries products?

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29 responses to “Are You Eating Fake Blueberries?”

  1. Charles Avatar

    I was shocked, years ago to find that Jiffy blueberry muffin mix had flavored apple pieces substituting for the actual blueberry. Stopped using that mix.

  2. Marcia Avatar

    I live in downeast Blueberry land, acres and acres of wild blueberries. BUT, they are sprayed, sprayed, sprayed. They have a huge market, here and overseas but have been so distorted. Only in the ealry 70’s did they stop using DDT, which I know is in our water system here. It’s a huge business. I try and get organic or go find my own wild patches but everything is so contaminated. But guess it’s better than the ‘fake’ones. I know here they sell to General Mills so those are ‘real’.

    1. lucille greenlee Avatar
      lucille greenlee

      Where do you live?? we had wild ones in Ma. where i grew up and picked them by the quart. We froze them to use in the Winter. they don’t grow wild here where i live in Ca. and i miss them a lot. I pay a big price for them when they are available in the store. I think they are farm raised, maybe sprayed. I also miss Concord grapes which were wild at home.


  3. Anthony Jones Avatar
    Anthony Jones

    I really love blueberries and they have been a part of my diet for years. However, there are a variety of blueberries on the supermarket shelves. My question is are there whole blueberries that are fake in terms of level of antioxidents?


  4. Julia Pratt Avatar
    Julia Pratt

    I bought a blueberry bush for myself 2 years ago, and keep it in a pot in an ideal sunny position in my front garden. They are sweeter this year than last, and I’m loving them. Only get 2 or 3 every couple of days, but it’s quality not quantity I’m after. I’ve decided to buy one each for my children and their children for Christmas presents this year.

    1. Kelley McNeill Avatar
      Kelley McNeill

      Hi Julia,

      I have always wanted blueberry bushes! Can you tell me how large of a pot you use and what type of soil or other nutrients your blueberry bush requires? Did you buy the bush from a local farmer or from a plant store? Thanks!

    2. Brandon Avatar

      Just a heads up, but blueberries are not self reproduction. So if you have no other blueberry within pollen reach, the blueberries won’t produce. So make sure your children have a secondary pollen source, or your present may be for naught.

  5. John Helsel Avatar
    John Helsel

    I realized this fact a few years ago, and I have been buying frozen blueberries at the wholesale clubs (regular size and Main small blueberries) ever since, using them in my oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. By using frozen blueberries, I can enjoy them year-round! Of course I partially defrost them before putting them in these items, but they really make a difference – real blueberry flavor !!!


  6. Sandra Hester Avatar
    Sandra Hester

    Emma, I am so glad I get your information delivered to my inbox. I took the “How acidic is your body” test a while ago and now I receive these wonderful healthful and helpful emails from you. Keep them coming. Love Ya!

  7. Lana Hamilton Avatar
    Lana Hamilton

    Thanks Emma, i just which the now genration would listen and take heed

  8. Nancy Haberstich Avatar

    I just bought “fresh frozen ” blueberries this morning for my oatmeal now that blueberries are find fresh (in the winter). Any problems with fresh frozen?

  9. Lisa Ferrusi Avatar
    Lisa Ferrusi

    What about frozen blueberries that I buy from the grocery store freezer? Are any good?

  10. Nishi Avatar

    Hi I want to knw how to take or use turmeric.Pls let me knw in details pls.I will really appreciate.Thnx,Nishi.

  11. Lucia Avatar

    Thanks for the information. It is very useful tome Lucy

  12. Narendra Gadiparth Avatar
    Narendra Gadiparth

    Awesome article – “Are You Eating Fake Blueberries?” , I eat One full bowl of fresh blue berries, raspberries and blackberries early morning with my daily break fast for many years and have been continuing as a mandatory food in my diet even though they are expensive (I believe, “how much you spend for being healthy is nothing at all what you spend for being healthy”) , I’m little far away from the artificial flavors or mixes, very rare cases I buy blue berry muffins from Sam’s Club, but after reading this article, I cam to know a lot more healthful, wealthy and knowledgeable information. Thanks a million Emma.

  13. amy Avatar

    I never buy these muffins ,yoghurt and other stuffs but I always bought Kellogs cereals, I am shocked how these companies for their personal profits try to target the health of common people. The food policies in place needs to be revamped and put in favour of ordinary people and not business giants.

    This article is certainly informative.Thank You for sharing with all.

  14. Khabira Aazeem Avatar
    Khabira Aazeem

    Greetings, Emma,
    Your articles are very informative and they have encouraged me to read the food ingredients carefully. I am much more conscious in selecting a healthier diet.

    Thank you.

  15. Ron. C. Avatar

    I ALSO find the strawberries in Cornflakes taste like carboard i doubt that they are the real thing. also the strawberries that are used in cakes don’t taste real they have a slimmy feeling in your mouth when eating them and what you get in the bottom of your yogut is just sugar sweet Fake jelly and jams not real fruit ,seems like everything today is a scam.

  16. Karen C Avatar
    Karen C

    Add Panera Bread to the list! I was shocked about this, because I purchase their fresh breads (instead of supermarket variety) and it costs me the same or even less.

    However, my friend had a recent tea party and needed fresh scones made. She asked Panera to make her mini-scones with blueberries….and they were made of this fake junk!
    I couldn’t even eat one of them. I am totally against anything with white sugar, and have read food labels for over 20 years now. People have to wake up and read before they purchase, especially at a supermarket! Almost all of the “food” items are dangerous to your health in the middle aisles. Americans’ food rights are being trampled on by large conglomerates like Monsanto, who’s doing a great job of insuring all of our produce is turning into GMOs with no prior testing. Every senator up for reelection is letting them get their way…it’s all about the billions they’re making! Yet, in other countries, people are standing up to them. Americans just don’t seem to have the time. Pity.

  17. Chitra Avatar

    Emma, Thanks for sharing this very useful information.

  18. jeffrey hutton Avatar
    jeffrey hutton

    Yes Emma I 100% agree that people need to know about fake blueberries and Eating Heathy also the water we drink is very important that people also no how acidis drinkinking bottled water and sports drinks and what it is doing there health check out this not the opportunity but the alkaline water product you will be very happy that you did change your water change your life.

  19. ACHUT Avatar

    My sincere thanks to the author of this article on FAKE Blueberries.I would request her to write such articles on other FAKE substances like dried fruits/cocoa powder.
    Dr Achut

  20. Marvin L. Zinn Avatar
    Marvin L. Zinn

    This I have not heard about before, but there is no surprise. Most business exists only for profits, and customers want things cheap. Descriptions, especially advertisements, lie to us. I am very careful about understanding the ingredients on the list as the law requires, but they do all they can to allow misinterpretation just to sell the stuff.

  21. Cedar Avatar

    It’s time that advertising and packaging was truthful and was made so by law. Sometimes I wonder if the law-makers are being paid off to look the other way.

  22. marisa Avatar

    I recently bought yohurt berries which I thought were berries covered with yoghurt….when I examined the ingredients list closely I was shocked to find that there were no berries listed. Instead apple and apricot were listed…these are not berries. Went back to the place where I purchased them as this was incorrect labelling at the very least. But they just blamed who they purchased it from.

  23. Natasha Rosner Avatar
    Natasha Rosner

    Having read all he advice & seeing what others have to say,
    I cannot find fresh blueberries, so will only buy the frozen ones & hope to goodness they are the real McCoy! No more products claiming to have blueberries for me & mine!
    I will defrost & add the frozen ones to my cereal.
    Thanks for all the contributions.

  24. SK Avatar

    I remember finding out several years ago that the ‘apple’ in a lot of the apple pies, especially the fastfood outlet kind that comes to mind, is not always made with apple, but with potato that is saturated with sugar and flavouring.
    Read, read read the labels! If the ingredients sound a little strange – then don’t buy it ! Ultimately we can influence the market by where we choose to spend our money.

  25. B Avatar

    How can these big companies get away with this shit?? Some of us work and don’t have time to always cook from scratch.

  26. B Avatar

    And IMO some of the packaged items are sooo sweet that I quit buying them altogether and same goes for items with any kind of artificial sweeteners too.

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