That's the title of an article in the New York Post. Here's an excerpt.
Think you’re getting Kobe steak when you order the $350 “Kobe steak” off the menu at Old Homestead? Nope — Japan sells its rare Kobe beef to just three restaurants in the United States, and 212 Steakhouse is the only one in New York. That Kobe is probably Wagyu, a cheaper, passable cut, Olmsted says. (Old Homestead declined The Post’s request for comment.)
Fraudulence spans from haute cuisine to fast food: A February 2016 report by Inside Edition found that Red Lobster’s lobster bisque contained a non-lobster meat called langostino. In a statement to The Post, Red Lobster maintains that langostino is lobster meat and said that in the wake of the IE report, “We amended the menu description of the lobster bisque to note the multiple kinds of lobster that are contained within.”
Moving on: That extra-virgin olive oil you use on salads has probably been cut with soybean or sunflower oil, plus a bunch of chemicals. The 100 percent grass-fed beef you just bought is no such thing — it’s very possible that cow was still pumped full of drugs and raised in a cramped feedlot.
Unless your go-to sushi joint is Masa or Nobu, you’re not getting the sushi you ordered, ever, anywhere, and that includes your regular sushi restaurant where you can’t imagine them doing such a thing, Olmsted says. Your salmon is probably fake and so is your red snapper. Your white tuna is something else altogether, probably escolar — known to experts as “the Ex-Lax fish” for the gastrointestinal havoc it wreaks.
Escolar is so toxic that it’s been banned in Japan for 40 years, but not in the US, where the profit motive dominates public safety. In fact, escolar is secretly one of the top-selling fish in America.
“Sushi in particular is really bad,” Olmsted says, and as a native New Yorker, he knows how much this one hurts. He writes that multiple recent studies “put the chances of your getting the white tuna you ordered in the typical New York sushi restaurant at zero — as in never.”
Fake food, Olmsted says, is a massive national problem, and the more educated the consumer, the more vulnerable to bait-and-switch: In 2014, the specialty-foods sector — gourmet meats, cheeses, booze, oils — generated over $1 billion in revenue in the US alone.
“This category is rife with scams,” Olmsted writes, and even when it comes to basics, none of us is leaving the grocery store without some product — coffee, rice or honey — being faked.
There's more at the link.
I've been angered and disgusted at some of the substitutions passed off to American consumers as the real thing. Coming from abroad as I do, I know the proper ingredients and methods of preparation - and how they should taste - for several dishes popular in Europe and the colonies. Almost without exception, the US versions served in restaurants are a pale shadow of the real thing in terms of taste, texture and ingredients. When I've raised the issue with the restaurants concerned, sometimes I've been met with arrogance ("Well, that's how we do it here!") to hostility ("If you dare make a fuss about it, we'll sue you!") to indifference ("So what?"). Needless to say, I haven't been back to the restaurants concerned, some of which were household names in the cities where they were located. (Hint: beware popular seafood restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles area, and a well-known one in Philadelphia. Many of them are not using the proper ingredients, even though their menus may claim that they are.)
Of course, it's not just food in restaurants that's a problem. We've mentioned the olive oil scandal in these pages before, as well as wood pulp in beef and craft whiskeys that aren't. Even Parmigiano cheese has been found to be adulterated. Where there's a fast buck to be made, far too many vendors are willing to turn a blind eye to substitutions and fakery - or perpetrate the frauds themselves.