Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

 

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

Larry Olmsted’s useful and frightening book manages to repeatedly stimulate and quell the reader’s appetite. He highlights some of the finest foods and drinks the world has to offer and explains why the average eater and drinker will probably not be provided what he or she is expecting.

In some cases the difference is obvious. Few people believe that Kraft Foods puts genuine imported Parmesan cheese in its green cardboard cans. It may come as a bit of a shock to find out that the can’s contents include very little that can be categorized as cheese, but the harm done is slight.

That may not be the case when someone buys what she thinks is extra virgin olive oil or seafood. Mr. Olmsted’s research reveals that the supermarket bottle that claims to contain fine Italian olive oil may hold a blend of oils that includes peanut oil, a deception that could put an allergic person’s life in jeopardy.

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