Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It
Written by Larry Olmsted
Real Food, Fake Food caught my attention because the food I work with and eat, is a subject I take very seriously. I want to know what I am eating and I also want to know what I am paying for! This book is about fake food and how what we think we are buying isn’t necessarily the food we are getting. Olmsted presents irrefutable evidence illustrating how we are being duped daily.
First, let me defend a small part of the food industry. I recently left a job working within the food industry selling spice and functional blends to various food manufacturing companies. Most of the companies I worked with were very concerned about the quality and the authenticity of the food they were producing for their consumers. Often dictating where the spice came from, how the individual spices were handled, and many sought organic and real food vs. “natural flavors”. Ingredients and labels were a constant discussion and scrutiny. These manufacturers wanted to be transparent, offering their consumers with a quality product.
Back to Real Food, Fake Food. I learned a ton by reading this book. Let’s start with Kobe (Fhobie) Beef. As a consumer, I always questioned the authenticity of the infamous Kobe Burger offered on numerous menus. One thing my food experience has taught me, no one in their right mind would take a superior product such as Kobe Beef and grind it into a burger and slather with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and pickles. I did, incorrectly, believe that there must be a small portion of Kobe beef in the grind. I was wrong. Unless you have eaten Kobe beef in one of about four restaurants in the United States, the pacific Rim or in Japan, you have been duped. If you are interested in reading the original article, and you should be, written by Olmsted, follow the link. Forbes Article, Kobe Beef
The issue is the well known “regional” names are not recognized or protected in the United States. This is true of many products using regional names, implying the food comes and is made in the way it has been done for centuries. Companies are selling food with a famous name, falsely leading consumers to believe they are buying Real Food. Think of products such as parmigiano reggiano, Champagne, Bordeaux wine, Olive oil, etc., the list is, sadly, long.
As a consumer and spending real money on Fake Food, this a serious issue and one I would personally like rectified. Maybe it will take something like China producing a Napa Wine to get the Real Food movement revved up.
If you take your food seriously read this book, it is eye opening. Thank you Larry Olmsted for bring this issue to my attention. No more truffle oil for me!
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