July 18, 2016

Larry Olmsted

Harvard Book Store welcomes food and travel writer LARRY OLMSTED for a discussion of his book Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do about It.


You’ve seen the headlines: Parmesan cheese made from sawdust. Lobster rolls containing no lobster at all. Extra-virgin olive oil that isn’t. Fake foods are in our supermarkets, our restaurants, and our kitchen cabinets. Award-winning food journalist and travel writer Larry Olmsted exposes this pervasive and dangerous fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting Americans.   

Real Food/Fake Food brings readers into the unregulated food industry, revealing that this shocking deception extends from high-end foods like olive oil, wine, and Kobe beef to everyday staples such as coffee, honey, juice, and cheese. It’s a massive bait and switch where counterfeiting is rampant and where the consumer ultimately pays the price.

But Olmsted does more than show us what foods to avoid. A bona fide gourmand, he travels to the sources of the real stuff, to help us recognize what to look for, eat, and savor: genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy, fresh-caught grouper from Florida, authentic port from Portugal. Real foods that are grown, raised, produced, and prepared with care by masters of their craft.  

Part cautionary tale, part culinary crusade, Real Food/Fake Food is addictively readable, mouth-wateringly enjoyable, and utterly relevant. Larry Olmsted convinces us why real food matters.

About Author(s)

Larry Olmsted writes the “Great American Bites” column for USA Today, and his column on travel and food, “The Great Life,” appears on Forbes.com. A contributing editor to TravelGolf.com, Olmsted was named one of the 10 Most Extreme U.S. Journalists by the Society of Professional Journalists, and his Forbes.com column was named one of the World’s Top 100 Travel Sites. A longtime member of the Society of American Travel Writers and Golf Writers Association of America, for over two decades he has written extensively on food, wine, and spirit topics, including regional food specialties, production, health, consumer issues, celebrity chefs, and restaurants worldwide. He frequently participates as an expert food panelist and regularly appears on national and locally syndicated radio shows, including NPR’s All Things Considered, as a food expert. Olmsted, who has visited more than forty countries around the globe, is the author of two books on golf and, most recently, Getting into Guinness (and in the process personally set or broke three world records). He and his wife live in Vermont.

Photo Credit: Allison Olmstead