WHAT IS REAL FOOD? WHAT IS FAKE FOOD?
Real Food is just what it sounds like – when you buy it or eat it, you get exactly what you think you are getting. It’s the Real Thing – the food it says it is.
Consider the Maine lobster: buy it or order it whole and you are never going to be let down. You can look at it and tell it is a lobster, and a North Atlantic lobster rather than a less desirable clawless warm water version. You can expect it to be reliably delicious. But what if you order lobster bisque? Or lobster ravioli? Or lobster roll or lobster salad? Recent studies have shown that many restaurants, including the biggest national seafood chains, cut the lobster with cheaper seafood – or never use any lobster at all. Lobster is a Real Food that is often faked.
Some Real Foods are less obvious than lobster. There are many foods associated with one specific place, where that food has been made under strict legal supervision and held to high standards of quality and purity, often for hundreds of years. Sweet onions from Vidalia, Georgia. Maple syrup from Vermont. Alaska Salmon. Champagne is the most obvious example. The rules and quality control for real Champagne, from France’s Champagne region, are so strict and carefully enforced that there is literally no such thing as bad Champagne. The way it is produced assures consumers of an exceptional product every time. But in the U.S. it is legal to make wine and label it CHAMPAGNE, and it doesn’t have to be good - or even sparkling. In fact, it is usually of very poor quality.