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Keeping it real: Food authenticity

My latest HND piece is about food authenticity—not the most exciting topic in the world, but one that should appeal to more than just foodies. After all, most of the knock-offs are done by giant agribusiness, while the genuine items tend to come from smaller, often family-owned companies. Sadly, as current events have shown, our government has seen fit to prop up failed enterprises such as GM, and tends to run away from defending the legitimate claims of the little guy.

It might have something to do with political contributions and unions.

The French lead the way on regional authenticity with their oft-imitated Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), meaning controlled designation of origin. Naturally, the Eurocrats have expanded on this, and have come up with a Europe-wide designation Appellation d'Origine Protegée (AOP).

As you might expect, there have been all sorts of turf battles, and we cover one of the more recent skirmishes, dubbed the "Gruyère War." This one pitted France against Switzerland. Even though the Swiss are famously not members of the EU, they prevailed.

We also touch upon the formerly Golden state of California talking the talk, but not walking the walk on protecting its own food companies, and the importance of regional authenticity to the locavore movement.

Read the complete article.

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