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
Number of pages318 pages
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Health, Cooking, Cookbooks, Nutrition

Reviews Real Food/Fake Food

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 guidelines for the half the foods on the store shelves. Congress doesnt want to pass laws to monitor where our food comes from or what is in it. And even wors...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • puppy
    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 ...
    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...
  • 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.
  • ❀ 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...
  • Jane
    So repetitive and really not very well-written or edited.
  • 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...
  • 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
  • kathleen
    Should have been an essay.
  • Rita Berk
    There is a lot of fake food around and the FDA does little about protecting consumers from it. To protect ourselves the author suggests that we cook ourselves, buy from trusted sources, and, if possible, grow our own food. Of course, we should read labels but we must keep in mind that labels can be misleading, lying, and/or incomplete. There is a lot of scary information in this book but also a lot of good information.
  • Jeimy
    Even though I was aware of some of these fakes (parmesan cheese and seafood) I was riveted by the tales of olive oil, wines, coffee, tea, and others.If you like reading about food and where it comes from, this is a must read.
  • Ann
    Interesting fake food facts. lots of facts. Not a lot of alternative solutions presented except for doing without unless you are going directly to the source for the original cheese, wine, beef, seafood or oils. Some may feel that regulations are bad, but without them the alternatives (and reality) are scary.
  • Beth Cato
    I received this through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.Olmstead presents a disturbing, thoughtful analysis of the proliferation of Fake Food in the American food industry. Many of these stories are ones that flickered through mainstream news headlines in recent years, such as Parmesan not really being the cheese it should be and the way grocery store beef is engineered to look better on the label. He gets deeply into the issue of terrio...
  • Dav
    This is a MUST READ BOOK. It scared the shit out of me. I mean seriously, I think I should just have McDonald's for the rest of my life because then I'd be paying for crap but at least I know I'm getting crap... as opposed to paying for the good stuff but still getting crap. And the worst part is, most of the stuff Olmsted is talking about I like to eat. Plus apparently China is THE worst offender when it comes to food (yes, I did actually alread...
  • Mosunflower
    All I can say is buyer beware. What we eat is important. This book serves as a reminder that it is a scary and complicated process when trying to make wise and informed choices.
  • Laura
    Interesting and depressing. Olmsted doesn't really want to tell us what to eat or even how unhealthy it might be for us. Instead, he wants us to understand how many of the things we eat are not actually what we think they are. Some are pale copies of the real thing, some are adulterated, and some are outright fakes. Much of this is a result of lax (and downright misleading) FDA "rules" that protect big businesses rather than food integrity and pu...
  • 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.
  • Kate
    This book is equal parts horrifying and fascinating. I wanted to highlight the entire thing and take it with me to the supermarket. It amazes me how little we know about the food we eat. I am vowing to be a more conscious consumer!
  • Kari Burgold fredrick
    If you care at all about what you feed yourself or your family, read this book. I'm shocked at the lack of oversight or accountability of the worthless FDA. Our tax dollars doing nothing but fattening the pockets of lobbyists with that group. It's infuriating!
  • John
    Essential reading for all Americans.
  • Tasha
    Learned a lot! Some of the stuff is common knowledge (and common sense) but a lot of it isn't.