Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

An Organized Raid Against Organized Crime

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

During the 1930s, artichokes were at the center of a sting operation in New York City.

Agro-mafia operations
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database, owned and operated by Decernis, a Food Safety Tech advertiser. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

History has its fascinating stories on food rackets and food fraud. In the 1930s, the American artichoke market was controlled by the Sicilian mafia, since the artichoke was a highly popular and priced vegetable. New York City’s mayor targeted the corrupt artichoke trade with a brave sting operation. Agro-mafia operations often fly under the radar and target everyday goods such as produce, olive oil, alcoholic beverages and more. Many of these activities involve fraudulent products.


  1. Hay, M. (January 17, 2020). “In 1930s New York, the Mayor Took on the Mafia by Banning Artichokes”. Atlas Obscura.

About The Author

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.