Happy Thursday! I hope you have gotten a chance to listen to Episode 5 | Monsanto & the Food Supply from a few weeks back on the @bejewelledpod podcast. The condition of our food supply is a very serious topic and I wanted to keep the conversation open on a more personal level via the blog. As always, I’d love to hear from you and feel free to comment back here or on the YouTube post. You’ve already heard from me on the issues that are at hand so I would like to share portions of an article from the New York Post that resonated with me. I hope that they resonate with you too!
“Among the many things New Yorkers pride ourselves on is food: making it, selling it and consuming only the best, from single-slice pizza to four-star sushi. We have fish markets, Shake Shacks and, as of this year, 74 Michelin-starred restaurants.
Yet most everything we eat is fraudulent.
In his new book, ‘Real Food Fake Food,’ author Larry Olmsted exposes the breadth of counterfeit foods we’re unknowingly eating. After reading it, you’ll want to be fed intravenously for the rest of your life.
Think you’re getting Kobe steak when you order the $350 “Kobe steak” off the menu at Old Homestead? Nope — Japan sells its rare Kobe beef to just three restaurants in the United States, and 212 Steakhouse is the only one in New York. That Kobe is probably Wagyu, a cheaper, passable cut, Olmsted says.
Fraudulence spans from haute cuisine to fast food: A February 2016 report by Inside Edition found that Red Lobster’s lobster bisque contained a non-lobster meat called langostino. In a statement to The Post, Red Lobster maintains that langostino is lobster meat and said that in the wake of the IE report, ‘We amended the menu description of the lobster bisque to note the multiple kinds of lobster that are contained within.’
Moving on: That extra-virgin olive oil you use on salads has probably been cut with soybean or sunflower oil, plus a bunch of chemicals. The 100 percent grass-fed beef you just bought is no such thing — it’s very possible that cow was still pumped full of drugs and raised in a cramped feedlot.
The food industry isn’t just guilty of perpetrating a massive health and economic fraud: It’s cheating us out of pleasure. These fake foods produce shallow, flat, one-dimensional tastes, while the real things are akin to discovering other galaxies, other universes — taste levels most of us have never experienced.
One of the simplest things we can do, Olmsted writes, is to look for products named after their geographical location.
Grated Parmesan cheese is almost always fake, and earlier this year, the FDA said its testing discovered that some dairy products labeled ‘100% Parmesan’ contained polymers and wood pulp. That’s all the FDA did: You can still buy your woody cheese at the supermarket.
Parmigiano-Reggiano, however, derives its name from Parma, the region in Italy that’s produced this cheese for over 400 years. If you buy it with that label, it’s real.
As for our own lax labeling standards, Olmsted is outraged. Ninety-one percent of American seafood is imported, but the FDA is responsible for inspecting just 2 percent of those imports. And in 2013, the agency inspected less than half of that 2 percent.
‘The bar is so low,’ he says. ‘Congress could not have given them less to do, and they still fail. They’re not clueless. They know. They’re actually deciding not to do it. They say they don’t have the budget.’”
Thank you for a great article, Maureen. More fake food and additives being pumped into us one crab cake at a time, folks! How can you combat all of this craziness? We all lead busy lives, some of us do not have space or time to grow our own or house cattle. What can you do when you’re constricted? In everything in life, knowledge is most certainly power. Research the brands you see at the supermarket. Find out where their products come from, how they are produced, etc. The company owes it to you to provide those answers, and if it’s not readily available on their website, E-MAIL THEM! Do not be afraid to ask when knowledge isn’t put out in plain sight. You may be the catalyst for a corporation to choose transparency regarding their products.