What I found interesting are some of the seemingly innocuous ingredients listed on the packages. The loose thread for me, was "cellulose powder," found in Kraft parmesan cheese. Why would a product made of wood be in my cheese?
In Real Food, Fake Food Larry Olmsted uncovers the fakery and shenanigans that happen daily in the food industry.
What I liked about the book is that it wasn't a one-sided affair that leaves the reader in despair. Instead, after exposing the fakery he gives us the tools to find the better quality foods but he does not stop there. Being a foodie himself he then describes the sublime experience of finding the products in their traditional and whole forms.
I can't wait to experience real extra virgin olive oil and to taste Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy. Instead of making me feel that there is no hope left and I should just give up, Olmstead has whispered in my ear about treasures to be found around the world and in my own city, if I just make the effort to seek it out.
I only wish other exposés would be so balanced. It's one thing to expose the truth but it serves the world better to offer solutions and to show alternatives. Olmstead has done this in a way that just makes me feel better informed. One negative impact the book has had is to make me so skeptical of labels that I often don't know what to believe.
In any case this is a terrific book and I highly recommend it.
The official website to the book - http://www.realfoodfakefood.com/index.html