Eating Lies

9781616204211_66c42Lobster rolls with no lobster, tuna that is not tuna, olive oil that has only a passing relationship to olives are the subject of a book arriving today that has been rising quickly on Amazon’s sales rankings, Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample).

The rise coincides with strong media attention across a variety of outlets including the New York Post, Town and Country, Forbes, Outside, and several NPR programs including The Leonard Lopate Show, The Diane Rehm Show, and All Things Considered.

Outside says Olmsted shows “readers how to navigate an increasingly complex food system” unveiling the ugly, and harmful, truth about the unregulated food scene, which he calls in his book “a massive industry of bait and switch.”

Kobe beef, for instance, which sells for astronomical prices in the US comes from a breed of cow that lives and is slaughtered in a specific area of Japan and that is fed a diet produced in that same region. A Kobe beef steak sells for triple digits in the US. The rub? Kobe beef is not allowed to be imported into the US by the USDA.

Even worse, as Olmsted reveals in Town and Country, fakes may contain ingredients few would knowingly choose to consume. Such as truffle oil, “The most common source of ‘natural truffle’ flavor in the oil” he says, “is a chemically altered form of formaldehyde.”

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