Real Food/Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Real Food/Fake Food

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. Fake foods are in our supermarkets, our restaurants, and our kitchen cabinets. Award-winning food journalist and travel writer Larry Olmsted exposes this pervasive and dangerous fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting Americans.     Real Food/Fake Food brings readers into the unregulated food industry, re...

Details Real Food/Fake Food

TitleReal Food/Fake Food
Release DateJul 12th, 2016
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Health, Cookbooks, Nutrition, Cooking

Reviews Real Food/Fake Food

  • Rebecca
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, via Librarything, in exchange for an honest review. I had a love/hate relationship with this book. The chapters on seafood and olive oil were terrifying. The rest of the book really irked me. I absolutely understand the regional pride behind things like Champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano. Many people have the means to get these "real" foods from their producers overseas. Many people do not ha...
  • Billie
    This book was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors ("principal" instead of "principle" and—the one that almost made me stop reading—"Columbia" for the country of "Colombia") and presents information that should be common knowledge to most of the audience for whom this book is intended. There is a lot (a lot) of repetition and the most interesting parts—when the author speaks with the producers of the genuine foodstuffs and others in...
  • Jessica
    5 Mind-Blowing-Stars! ☆☆☆☆☆Everyone need to read this book. Its insane finding out the truth about what we put in our mouths, thinking we are eating healthy. Worst part is, the people, & organizations like the FDA & USDA , who are supposed to be protecting us, don't. Not even half. Congress doesnt want to pass laws to monitor where our food comes from or what is in it. And even worse, some companies lie to you, pushing fake labels, pret...
  • Ken Dowell
    Several years ago I was vacationing in Puerto Rico and while driving along the south coast of the island, stopped at a seaside restaurant. Sitting on a dining deck overlooking the Caribbean, I ordered red snapper and thought that it was possibly the best fish fillet I’d ever tasted. I ordered red snapper again while I was in Puerto Rico and the result was the same. But when I came back to the continental U.S., every time I ordered red snapper I...
  • Crystal Starr Light
    Bullet Review:Wavering between 2 and 3 stars - yes, I will be returning this on Audible!!I've read more than a couple of these types of books, Fast Food Nation, Omnivore's Dilemma, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I must say, this one was the least interesting of the bunch.It's hard to be motivated to care about things like Kobe beef and Champagne - when the book talked about things like vine-ripened tomatoes, honey, coffee and tea, it was stronge...
  • Eric
    If I ever wanted to lose weight, I think reading nonfiction food books is a good start. Real Food/Fake Food is the second book in a row generally referencing food, nutrition, health, etc. The first was The Big Fat Surprise. Real Food/Fake Food (RF/FF) is a confusing, informative and disturbing book on identifying the food I might think I am eating vs. what the food might actually be. Crazy right? It really is...There are so many qualifiers on wha...
  • Marsha
    Larry Olmsted has an engaging and anecdotal style of writing that makes his book compulsively easy to read and it is oh so informative. I am on a quest now to find real and fresh parma-reggianno cheese and authentic and fresh olive oil. I am glad to know why ordering red snapper in a restaurant is a bad idea and why one should never ever dine in a sushi restaurant. It surprised me to read why Costco, Walmart and some of the other big-box stores a...
  • s
    I broke my "no pop science" rule and once again mildly regret it. The book examines a handful of "real" foods and their fake counterparts: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Champagne, seafood, coffee, olive oil, and truffle oil are a few examples. All have a long, venerable history and exacting standards; all are widely imitated and sold as fraudulent “fake foods”. Like most pop-science books, the writing leaves a lot to be desired. The chapters are laid ...
  • Annie
    If you know me, you know I love food politics. I love reading about it, I love thinking about it. I love thinking about the ethics of what we eat, about the victims of our consumption, about the many, many ways the FDA and food companies fail consumers, about the health consequences of those failures, and about the complete lack of transparency. But this book isn’t… quite… that. It’s not a book for people interested in food politics so mu...
  • Kim Berkshire
    Parts were really interesting, but I agree with reviewer who thought how nice for the author to be able to travel the world eating things most of us will only ever see at Whole Foods or the farmer's market (if that farmer's market is in, say, Napa). Would like to have seen more American foods put under the microscope. But the olive oil, fish and wine sections were illuminating.But how seriously can you take a book with so many misspellings? I saw...
  • Heidi
    Of the many "food expose" books I've read, this is probably the least interesting. It's not because it's not well written (it's actually very well research and the clarity of writing is excellent). Rather, it's because the food he writes about isn't the food of the masses. It's the food of the wealthy, and I guess that just doesn't pertain to my food budget.
  • Jane
    So repetitive and really not very well-written or edited.
    This book is scaring, even if it starts talking about Parma, which is one of the loveliest city I've ever lived (for 9 years) and where is possible to find the real Parmigiano Reggiano, and the real Prosciutto di Parma and so on. As an Italian person living in Europe (Berlin to be precise), I know how hard is to find the "real food", but at last it's easier compared to the difficulties and lies a U.S. citizen as to go trough. So I think it's good...
  • Sophia
    Highly recommended reading for anyone who truly cares about food and the food & beverage industry. As a life-long food appreciator, as someone who loves to travel, and as a person who feels strongly about shopping and eating locally, this book was exactly what I hoped it would be. Informative without being overwhelming, Olmsted marries his personal and professional experiences with research and industry-expert interviews to produce this excellent...
  • Nicole
    I like to think I’m a pretty savvy consumer (compulsive label-reader, ingredient-researcher, CSPI-supporter, etc), but the great many new things I learned from this book demonstrate the constant vigilance required to avoid poisoning yourself in America’s industrialized food wilderness. Chapters on olive oil, seafood, and meat were particularly illuminating, as was the last chapter’s round-up on honey, juice, coffee & tea, and spices. Pro-ti...
  • Matty-Swytla
    It's a good starter book for consumers who know little about the history and geography of the more expensive food on the market, considered to be one of the most delicious dishes on the planet, but there's less about the everyday stuff. The sections about seafood and wine are very good, but I was somewhat let down by the quick overview of the meat production, which is the most controversial part of the food industry on the whole. Yes, buy grass-f...
  • ❀ Susan G
    2017-03-02 Food, Fake Food was a very long book to listen to during my commutes. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and the first time that I borrowed it from the library and it was automatically returned. It was tempting to just give up at this point but I had invested so much time, that I put a hold on the book to finish listening to it. After 12 hours of listening, I have a list of food to reconsider, food to av...
  • Sydney (Сидни)
    This is a good start - definitely some useful tidbits in here - but, it's a bit more like a storybook with lots of detailed quips. I do recommend it for basics as far as understanding labeling - which seems to be the number one reason for "fake food" throughout the world. It's all in the advertising. I certainly learnt something.Shame we've come to this, actually.
  • kathleen
    Should have been an essay.
  • Amy
    IntriguingI don’t agree with the author on all points. In my humble opinion, he comes across as a food snob. I’m happy that he is able to travel the world to sample the best of the best when it comes to food and drink, but he is writing a book for the layperson. It would have been nice if he had focused his energy [strictly] on foods that the basic consumer has access to, instead of the handful of foods that appear as mostly higher end commod...
  • Jackballoon
    The book made me very glad that I am a vegetarian who doesn't drink, but it was much too long, and repetitive.
  • Jane
    This writing in this book seemed more emotional than scientific or informative. Many times in farming or animal husbandry decisions are made for improving production and lowering costs. I agree that natural products are better but the population size of the world at present doesnt allow for completely organic production. It s a luxury for those who can afford it. I know that Republican legislation in the US has allowed for a lot of deregulation i...
  • Leslie
    I loved this book it inspired me to be a better shopper and a better diner.After reading this book you will understand import facts about:Parmesan cheese - there can be only one everything else is fakeChampagne only comes from the champagne region of France and whyWhy American wines and French wines are differentWhy sushi in this country sucks - even at the best sushi restaurantsWhy you should probably never order fish or seafood at most restaura...
  • Emily
    It took me over a month to slog through this book. As a vegetarian, it confirmed many of my reasons for excluding meat, poultry, and especially seafood from my diet, but the author came off a bit holier-than-thou for his eating choices-- something I've always tried to avoid doing, even though I do think my dietary choices are "better" than other people's (there, I said it).This book has a lot of interesting facts and stats (see my Kindle Notes & ...
  • Wellington
    This is one depressing book. Larry Olmsted proceeds to rip open the curtain and show us readers that the food that we love is about as real as the great wizard of Oz. He takes us a stroll through real cheese and wine makers ... and through the fake world of "kobe beef", "champagne", "olive oil", "parmesan", and "sushi". This book makes me want to stop eating, especially out at restaurants.
  • Judy
    Holy cow! Or, perhaps holy pure, natural, grass-fed, 100% beef cow. There's an overwhelming amount of info here about what we're buying versus what we think we're actually buying. Meat, olive oil, cheese, seafood, honey, juice - even Scotch. Read this, weep, and become a bit smarter about what you eat.
  • Savannah
    this. was. FASCINATING.
  • Katy
    Really great audio book - but I'm never:Ordering sushiEating antibiotic-raised animalsBuying "champagne"Ordering ANY seafood
  • Kim
    It's a rare book to make me consider plowing under my yard in favor of becoming my own farmer, but this book has nearly done it. Larry Olmsted outlines a world of faux food, imported poisons, and scams available in supermarkets and restaurants near you, everything from cheeses to wines and on into non-foods sold as food.Olmsted begins by showing the painstaking craftsmanship behind some of the finest foods, opening with the creation of true Parmi...