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Real Food/Fake Food

Real Food/Fake Food

Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do About It

eBook - 2016
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"Olmsted makes you insanely hungry and steaming mad—a must-read for anyone who cares deeply about the safety of our food and the welfare of our planet." —Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue! Bible series
"The world is full of delicious, lovingly crafted foods that embody the terrain, weather, and culture of their origins. Unfortunately, it's also full of brazen impostors. In this entertaining and important book, Olmsted helps us fall in love with the real stuff and steer clear of the fraudsters." —Kirk Kardashian, author of Milk Money: Cash, Cows, and the Death of the American Dairy Farm
You've seen the headlines: Parmesan cheese made from wood pulp. Lobster rolls containing no lobster at all. Extra-virgin olive oil that isn't. So many fake foods are in our supermarkets, our restaurants, and our kitchen cabinets that it's hard to know what we're eating anymore. In Real Food / Fake Food, award-winning journalist Larry Olmsted convinces us why real food matters and empowers consumers to make smarter choices.
Olmsted brings readers into the unregulated food industry, revealing the shocking deception that extends from high-end foods like olive oil, wine, and Kobe beef to everyday staples such as coffee, honey, juice, and cheese. It's a massive bait and switch in which counterfeiting is rampant and in which the consumer ultimately pays the price.
But Olmsted does more than show us what foods to avoid. A bona fide gourmand, he travels to the sources of the real stuff to help us recognize what to look for, eat, and savor: genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy, fresh-caught grouper from Florida, authentic port from Portugal. Real foods that are grown, raised, produced, and prepared with care by masters of their craft. Part cautionary tale, part culinary crusade, Real Food / Fake Food is addictively readable, mouthwateringly enjoyable, and utterly relevant.


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Mar 20, 2021

Hopefully, this will shed more light on the need for more government monitoring and inspections.

I felt while I was reading this book like someone was showing me his vacation slides; I don’t care how good a time you had, no one wants to see that crap. That’s what it was like as he described the delicious real food that he had the privileged of eating. The examples he gave of fake food were like honey is usually not real or fish is not the fish you see on the sign; that is pretty common knowledge.

May 17, 2018

In the age of highly packaged and processed foods, how do you know what's really in it and what you body does with it?

Apr 02, 2018

Loved this book. Yes, it made me hungry (wonderful descriptions of food) and angry at corruption involved with food. I learned interesting things. And if you liked this book you should also read The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Cynthia_N Feb 16, 2017

I really enjoyed this book! It definitely made me hungry while reading his descriptions of what foods should taste like! It's scary that you can watch what you eat, read labels, spend lots of money, and still not get what you think you are buying. He does give some tips that might help but don't ever expect to get red snapper.

Jan 29, 2017

This is an interesting book but not a revelatory book for me. The author convinces you that eating in many restaurants is a bad idea. You don't actually see the food you're going to eat. You just see something on a plate, maybe covered with a sauce or maybe breaded, that isn't what it's billed to be on the menu. He advocates cooking more at home so you can control what you eat. I've been happily doing that for decades, so no news there. The interesting parts describe what he considers "real food" to be, how it's made/grown, and where to get it. I thought a lot of this was sort of snobbish, but, at least, now I know exactly what Kobe beef is, how Parmisiana Reggiana is made and why it's so expensive, and what kind of pizza the author likes. (Hint: He requires you to go to Italy for it.)

Nov 22, 2016

A very interesting book that gives you a lot of insight into how things are made and what were actually eating.

dianabsmith Oct 18, 2016

This book truly blew my mind. Everyone should read it. At the end of each chapter, after scaring you with all the tales of Fake Food, the author gives helpful tips for how to find what he calls Real Food. His sumptuous descriptions of Real Food will make you hungry for the real thing!


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