Organic Consumers Association

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The Myth of Natural

Real Food vs. Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating

When you go to the restaurant or grocery store, food fraud is probably the last thing on your mind. In his fantastic book, "Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do About It," Larry Olmsted, an investigative journalist and food critic, sheds much needed light on this important topic.

It's loaded with solid information revealing just how prevalent food fraud actually is — and offers helpful guidance on how to make sure you're actually getting what you're paying for.

"I've been writing about food and travel for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines around the world for over 20 years," he says. "In my travels or whenever I go someplace, I try to eat what the locals eat, whatever the specialties are.

I came upon a few cases ... where I would come back and try to replicate those foods either on my own or in restaurants in the United States, and it never really tasted right or looked right.

Particularly, in the case of Kobe beef. I did a little research into why I couldn't get any good Kobe beef here. I learned quickly there's no [real] Kobe beef here. All the restaurants pretending to serve Japanese Kobe beef were lying; every single one in the country.

I wrote a story about that for Forbes. It got a phenomenal response and I ended up just continuing to research this topic and it evolved into this book."

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