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 and restaurants. In the first half of the program, food journalist and travel writer Larry Olmsted joined Lisa Garr to discuss this pervasive and dangerous fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting Americans. The fake food industry is a $50 billion a year industry, Olmsted explained, comparing it to the narcotics trade with its small- and large-scale players, and organized crime ties. Lack of rule enforcement and lapses in labeling standards have contributed to the pervasiveness of the problem.
"The FDA has intentionally and repeatedly chosen not to define the term 'natural,' so by not defining it there's no legal standard," Olmsted said. In addition, the same rules do not apply to restaurant menus. Kobe beef, for example, is on hundreds of restaurant menus yet its importation was banned by the USDA, he reported. According to Olmsted, seafood is the most fraud-ridden category since most people cannot tell one white fish from another. Less expensive tilapia is often substituted for more expensive red snapper, he revealed. In both restaurants and grocery stores, as much as a third of what is labeled wild caught salmon is actually farmed salmon, he noted.
During the second half of the show, former U.S Navy commanding officer Suzanne Giesemann shared how a personal family tragedy propelled her on a mystical journey, exploring dimensions of existence beyond the material world. Giesemann spoke about witnessing the horrors of 9/11 at the Pentagon and credited it with a paradigm shift that led to her changing her life. "That's the point that started me asking the deep spiritual questions that we all eventually ask," she said. The next major turning point in Giesemann's life was a family tragedy.
While on a sailing excursion with her husband, they received word their 27-year-old pregnant daughter had been killed in a freak lightning strike. Giesemann revealed how wanting to know if her daughter's spirit still existed led to the discovery that mediumship was real and she could communicate with the other side. Through her own exploration and the help of spirit guides Giesemann became an evidential medium—one who receives facts about people who have died which she could not otherwise know. According to Giesemann, obtaining information from the deceased that can be validated is absolute proof the spirit carries on.