Stop coloured horseradish being called Wasabi!
Since 1945 the Western world has been systematically been conned about the “wasabi” they have been eating.
Now though, with all the Consumer protection and labeling laws I still don’t understand how the coloured horseradish manufacturers are getting away with lying about their product. After all, if you called a product Chocolate, and it didn’t contain Cocoa Butter, then you would be explaining why to a Judge pretty quick. So why, is it any different with Wasabi?
As more and more scientific studies are showing that the consumption of True Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) has many health benefits that the coloured horseradish products do not have, it is now, more than ever, important that the consumer knows what they are eating and the products are named correctly.
Even in Japan, the original home of Wasabia japonica, European horseradish is now being sold in the vegetable section of the supermarket as “wasabi”.
Now is the time to call coloured horseradish what it actually is, and not allow it to masquerade as True Wasabi anymore.
The reason why I suspect that nothing has been done is because not enough people have complained about it. Wasabi is a niche market with only small amounts (compared to other foods) being sold in any one country. Therefore, the Government departments are probably looking at the cost – return ratio to figure out if it is worth their while.
I believe that now is the time when we should start complaining to all and sundry about this con, and try and get the certainty into the marketplace about what is contained in this “faux Wasabi”.
It is now possible to purchase even cheaper “faux faux wasabi” where copies of the original “faux Wasabi” are appearing on the supermarket shelves. These are manufactured in places other than those shown on the packages and are likely to contain different ingredients than those shown on the package. It really has started to become a Russian roulette scenario these days just buying a package of Wasabi off the supermarket shelves.
The really annoying thing is that the public have been told continually that wasabi is expensive, and the “faux Wasabi” has been priced accordingly. When you buy this “faux Wasabi” you are paying True Wasabi prices for coloured horseradish (if you are lucky).
Can we stop this six decade long con? Of course we can, we just need to be organized and complain to the authorities who are supposed to ensure that what we eat is safe and true to label.
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