Breaking Down Food Authenticity

Larry Olmsted, author of "Real Food/Fake Food," shares tips on how to recognize if the food you are purchasing is the real deal.
5:05 | 08/25/16

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Transcript for Breaking Down Food Authenticity
That's cleared out and eat it right there for you very appropriate for our next segment which of course deals with food. In this case real food and fake food the big question is how do you tell the difference we spoke to the author of a new book to find out. What insight told you that the lobster roll your eating isn't actually lobster. More than tuna you have for lunch isn't tuna food and travel columnist Larry Olmstead exposes the issue in his new book real food fake. Food when I travel I try to ease the local cuisine wherever ago. And I had a few. Examples where I would come home. And try to have similar dishes and it just never tasted right Olmstead says a big reason is food regulations in the US especially for restaurants. Are significantly more lax than those in many other countries. And that means companies get away with using cheaper sometimes deceptive ingredients. According to one study an estimated eighty to 85%. Of what sold as pure olive oil in the State's is actually deluded with other oils. And that red snapper you ordered for debtor. It likely was a cheaper nutritionally inferior substitute because once you cut up a white fish they all look the same. Even supermarket labels can be deceiving. A lot of consumers like myself might say I want to eat naturally raised beef. Foreign pork or chicken but that's really hard to do when you go to the supermarket and everything says naturalize because natural has no definition for the Seacrest did beat their told. Chris for beef is better for you. But grass fed on the label doesn't mean that it's way I would call grass fed beef. But it's not hopeless Olmstead says the key is knowing what to look for that sometimes a simple as buying food. So for anything whether it's coffee you buy coffee beans you're gonna get. Coffee for sure you buy ground coffee you can't help its adulterated another tip. Look at the ingredient list on packaged goods the Food and Drug Administration is fairly lax about other labels but very strict about those. And they might be wondering how you can go out and tell the difference between the real food or the fate food. And so we can be harder than you think but Larry Olmstead is here to give us some tips on some of the more common things. You might see at a place the grocery store Larry thanks so much for being here thanks an olive oil is a big one tell us why. And there have been problems with oil being labeled extra virgin that doesn't meet the extra virgin standard it's very hard to tell just looking at the bottle. I recommend if you can buying at a store that actually lets you smell and taste the oil which says some gourmet stores do. Because when he tasted this reality and really tell the difference once you try crude oil. You'll know what it taste like. You can what's different from Tammy your standard run of the mill olive oil. And and then what do you look for on the bottle I would look for oppressed by pressed on or harvested on date. Not a use by date he's right data as it is kind of irrelevant she wanted to have been pressed are harvested within say six to nine months you look for that on the late inning and only good olive oil we'll have them label most bottles don't. Permit on chooses another big one. These look so similar. I wouldn't be able to tell a different title and mr. Wright and most people can't so but real parmesan Regina she's from Italy is a very purer product with. No drugs one of the most natural cheeses you can buy witches. Why it's a premium product. And the way you can tell is due the rind itself. Has the words parmesan Reggie Allen Boston always if you don't see that. On the Rhine did you know it's not from Italy and a push you can. Jason different that this is actually even a good demand this is one of the best domestic ones you could buy a pack. And that in fishing. Dishes and a big problem that constitution it is so. You would with fish in general it's better the more you can see our whole fish so. Injured in the new Geary sushi were it's prepared like this you get a better look at it and if you look at this crap for example almost what this is actual crab riot most sushi places you know it's a block of that sort of reconstituted crabs or I can see it so it would be harder to fake a cut of Sandra this is a wild Pacific salmon. Look at the color differences is supermarket. And you know how bright an aberrant that is. Eminem has the tether in May here's the real thing and there were other Timberlake gave his if you buy. Spot I like deal right this is an idea that everybody does but if you do that's a kind of thing it's not going to be think that's a less expensive product it's very recognizable so sometimes. When you go with the cheaper Fisher better off because they're not as widely counterfeit Easter getting what you're actually ordering. And it has the tuna work play fake. Tuna well there's a lot of substitutes for tuna ask who are as a fish that used to substitute units much cheaper. Flap B a has been used. A lot of times and rolls all you see is sort of pencil sized sliver of kind of grayish pink fish fish and you can't really tell by looking at what that is. All right so the more of the product you can see generally speaking the better yet. Lamb said the author of real food fake goods selling more examples in the book Larry thank you so much for being here this morning and for showing us really eye opening stuff thanks for having thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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