The state of food in the USA is one of the most covered up and most scandalous schemes around. Better yet - corporations who get rich from poisoning their customers are able to do so legally - thanks to lobbying and general unawareness. Michael Pollan, professor at the University of Berkeley, California, wonderfully highlighted key challenges and solutions to our "food problem" in his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. The Omnivore's Dilemma was named by the New York Times as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2006 while the James Beard Foundation names The Omnivore's Dilemma as the 2007 best book on food. But to this day, little has changed with our food sources. The first source is spreading the word to the general public, by reading and sharing with your friends and loved ones.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
When you think you are buying Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, there is a good chance that you are buying overpriced bottle of sunflower oil, vegetable oils and artificial coloring. To say that everything you don't know about Olive Oil could fill a book would be a fair statement. Try reading Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil which looks into the dark history and modern production of olive oil -written by Tom Mueller, who also covered the "Slippery Business" in an exposé in The New Yorker. Mr. Mueller cites an Italian producer who suggests that 50 percent of the olive oil sold in America is, to some degree, fraudulent. Further, found bottles out of ten that claim to be Italian Olive Oil are not made from Italian olives.
Who doesn't love sushi? A study done by nonprofit marine conservation group Oceana, took samples from New York sushi restaurants. What did they discover? 100 percent of them served mislabeled fish! Furthermore, when they traced the fish back to the original provider, 3 out of 5 served mislabeled fish. You can learn more about in Larry Olmsted's book, Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You Are Eating And What You Can Do About It.
While Japanese beef was once banned in the USA, the ban has now been lifted. That is the good news. The bad news? Only eight restaurants in the U.S. carry Kobe beef, according to Olmsted. Unless you are eating at one of those eight restaurants, you can bet that what you are eating isn't Kobe beef.
What if I told you that there are currently no standards determining what does and doesn't qualify as "honey." ? Honey can be sold diluted with cheap sweeteners, like high-fructose corn syrup, or illegal antibiotics and better yet, there is no penalty for deceiving us. You can learn more about in Larry Olmsted's book, Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You Are Eating And What You Can Do About It.
Truffle Oil tends to be used on just about everything as a status of nouveau cuisine. What you have actually been enjoying are chemicals which have been scientifically engineered to taste like truffles. Real truffle oil is simply too expensive for most restaurants. Larry Olmsted writes, "Almost no truffle oil is real," and that "Most chefs are fully aware that what they are selling is not a valuable fungi harvested by pigs in Alba but rather a cheap chemical cocktail from a laboratory. The truth about truffle oil, while kept from consumers, is well known in the restaurant business."