A New York Times Bestseller and Washington Post Bestseller
“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
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.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
- #5 in Food Additives
- #4 in Restaurant & Food Industry (Kindle Store)
- #9 in Gastronomy Essays (Kindle Store)
“Olmsted’s well-researched exposé reveals how often what we eat isn’t what it seems. (Parmesan cheese made of wood pulp or fake lobster rolls, anyone?) Eye-opening.” —PEOPLE magazine
“Olmsted boldly walks readers through a course in food authenticity that covers olive oil, cheese, Champagne, seafood, steak, coffee, and more. Readers will be inspired by his intensity and clarity, and floored by how far some counterfeiters go to fool consumers and some historic food institutions go to protect their products and their names. Olmsted’s research is impressive, and he lets no stone go unturned. He lets the terrifying facts speak for themselves, adding just a little humor . . . Olmsted’s sharp language will hopefully put fires under counterfeiters everywhere . . . With the guiding hand of a good friend and prose that keeps the reader’s eye moving, Olmsted insists that readers ‘shop better and cook more.’”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Equal parts foodie chronicle and investigative exposé . . . Real Food / Fake Food is less treatise than guidebook, showing readers how to navigate an increasingly complex food system.”
“Required reading for cooks who genuinely care about quality and health . . . a fascinating read that sheds light on our under-regulated food industry. The book also serves as a handy guide to what items consumers should avoid, and how to find and identify the real deal.”