Is your wasabi really coloured horseradish?
Are you paying wasabi prices for coloured horseradish?
Most "wasabi" found in your local retailers is just coloured Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) sometimes mixed with mustard. I have even seen "really hot wasabi" advertised that actually contains chilli powder.
So what, you ask!
Well, basically you are being ripped off!
The real question should be – Why do the suppliers do this?
The answer is really simple. To maximise their profits by duping the consumers.
In Japan, the original home of Wasabi – the manufacturer is allowed to call their mix of whatever "Wasabi" so long as it contains at least 5% of Wasabia japonica. The part that is normally used is the leaf which does not contain much potency or flavour.
The rest of the world has now followed this practice, except in most countries outside Japan there doesn't even need to be any Wasabi in the product at all.
What are you eating now?
If the label does not say 100% Pure Wasabia japonica then you can be sure that you are eating the following ingredients (even if they are not on the label).
- European Horseradish - Armoracia rusticana syn. Cochlearia armoracia. Sometimes grown in Japan (mostly China), but processed in Japan, thereby allowing the manufacturer to use the phrase "Japanese Horseradish". Sneeky, eh!
- FDA Colours – Yellow #5 & Blue #1
- Mustard powder
- Tumeric powder
- Chilli powder (sometimes).
Why does it matter?
1 - European horseradish does not have all the chemical ingredients in it that wasabi have that have been shown to be beneficial to the human body. For example 100% Pure wasabi has been found to kill cancer cells, reduce thrombosis, and even kill the bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) that has been found to cause peptic ulcers.
2 - FDA Yellow #5 - Tartrazine is a coal-tar derivative that is used to colour foods, cosmetics, and other products. It is literally industrial waste. Tartrazine is also reputed to be a catalyst in hyperactivity/ADD, other behavioral problems, asthma, migranes, thyroid cancer, and lupus ! It is alleged to cause allergies, thyroid tumors, lymphocytic lymphomas, chromosomal damage, and is banned in Norway. Yellow 5 has been shown to cause cancer not only when ingested, but also when applied to the skin. Some artificial coal tar colors contain heavy metal impurities, including arsenic and lead, which are carcinogenic.
So why would you want to eat anything containing this ingredient?
3 - FDA Blue #1 – Another coal-tar derivative that is used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. More industrial waste. Same problems as Yellow #5 with the added complication of causing chromosomal damage. It is banned in France and Finland.
So why would you eat something that shortens your life?
4 - Other ingredients, such as Turmeric, Mustard and chilli powders.
We have no idea what preservatives or other chemicals have been added to these fillers.
So why take a chance on your health?
100% Namida®Pure Wasabia japonica Powder contains:-
Why wouldn't you want the best?
If the package you bought your wasabi in does not say 100% Pure Wasabia japonica powder, then you can be sure that it will do you more harm than good.
Surely, when you buy a food you don't expect it to do you more harm than good - but then again that seems to be the norm these days.
Make sure that when you buy your next package of Wasabi, that it is the real thing by ensuring that it says 100% Pure Wasabia japonica. You will be doing your body a favour.
I originally published this article in 2006, but it is as relevant today as it was then. There are more wasabi products available now, but they are "faux" wasabi. Nothing changes.
Have a look at www.wasabireviews.com to see how your package of wasabi measures up.
The EU have started removing from supermarket shelves those items which claim to contain Wasabi and do not. At long last the authorities are taking our complaints seriously about false advertising, and the fraud being made on the consumer.
Namida Wasabia japonica has passed the EU testing regime and meets all the requirements of the EU labeling requirements. Buy Namida 100% Wasabia japonica powder with confidence.
Now Namida 100% Wasabia japonica powder has received Non-GMO certification in addition to meeting all DNA testing criteria to ensure it is exactly what the label states.