I just finished reading an outstanding book that makes me want to puke about how the residents of the US are fed such crappy and unhealthy food. There is no oversight and it all seems like the large food providers have no problems in selling to consumers food that not only does not taste good, is not nutritious but in some cases down right unhealthy for you to eat. I strongly recommend that you buy the book and read it, it opened my eyes more than they already were. You can find it on Amazon.
One thing that you can do is to find real foods that are protected by Protected Designation of Origin, which certifies that the production of the food occurred
Here are the Acronyms to Know from the appendix of the book “Real Food/Fake Food”.
AOC: France has the most elaborate system for grading the quality of place-based production of food and wine products. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (Controlled Designation of Origin) indicates that products with this seal were made in places known for making it well, such as Roquefort cheese from Roquefort or Charade from Champagne.
AVAs: American Viticultural Areas are regions legally designated as producing high-quality grapes in the United States, and wines made mostly of grapes from those regions can carry the AVA designation and the name of the particular AVA on their label. An example would be Pass Rubles, California.
BAP: The Glolal Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices is considered the best national third-party certifying body for the quality of farmed fish.
COOC CERTIFIED EXTRA VIRGIN: The California Olive Oil Council offers use of this label to producers in the state using California grown olives and meeting higher testing standards for extra-virgin olive oil than those used by the United States and European Union.
DOCG: Denominezione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Controlled Designation of Origin Guaranteed) is the highest of three grades given by the Italian government to its country’s best-quality wines (many lesser wines receive no designation at all). It indicates that the wine was made under strict roles governing allowable grape varietals, aging, and so on and that the wine uses only grapes from a particular area whose vineyards have been designated as excellent. The next two grades ere DOC Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or Controlled Designation of Origin) and DO (Denominazione di Origine, or Designation of Origin).
DOOR: The Database of Origin and Registration is a searchable online database of all fourteen-hundred-plus products either awarded or under review fur PDO, PGI, or TGI status. See GIs.
EVA: The Extra Virgin Alliance offers use of this label term to producers worldwide whose oils meet higher testing standards for extra-virgin olive nil than those used by the United States and European Union.
EVOO: Common shorthand fur Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the higher of two grades for virgin olive oils.
GIs: Geographic indications is the catch-all term for foods from anywhere in the world whose very names include a specific place and assure a level of quality. An example would be Prosciutto di Parma, protected under both U.S. and EU law as a particular type of ham made under strict regulations and quality control only in Italy’s Parma region. The European Union has adopted a three-tiered grading system for GIs from all around the world, not just Europe. These terms, each with a specific seal/logo, can appear on foods to designate higher quality.
PDO. Protected Designation of Origin is the highest grade and certifies that production of the food occurred in a particular place and with an exceptional level of quality.
PGI; Protected Geographic Indication is the second tier of the EU system for grading outstanding geographically indicated products. It guarantees the product was made in a particular place well known for producing that product in a notable way.
TGI: Traditional Specialties Guaranteed is the third tier of the EU system for grading outstanding geographically indicated products. It designates the food was made in a manner considered traditional, and must have been made and sold in this way for a minimum of 3o years.
IOC: The International Olive Council is the main regulatory body of olive oil in the world, setting the standards and definitions used in Europe, the United States, and most other places.
MSC: The Marine Stewardship Council is considered the best national third-party certifying body for the accuracy of wild-caught fish. Its logo on food labels is a blue fish in the shape of a check mark.
OLIVE OIL GRADES: All virgin olive oil must be entirely from the mechanical crushing or spinning of whole olives, nothing else. There are just two edible grades, extra virgin, which meets a number of laboratory and sensory testing standards, and virgin, which scores lower on these tests (though, in practice, both labels ere widely misused). Below the virgin grades is simply olive oil, which has been chemically refined and/or distilled to remove impurities and may also contain oil from non-whole-olive by-products. While fit for human consumption, olive oil is considered inferior to virgin olive oils for purposes of both taste and health. Light olive oil falls under this category, as does most oil labeled as “premium,” “super,” “blend,” or “pure.”
UNAPPOL/100% QUALITA ITALIANA: UNAPROL is a trade association of Italian olive growers who make oil from their own domestically grown olives (most olive oil from Italy is made with oils imported from other countries). Its label for extra-virgin olive oil, “1oo% Quatita Italiana,” certifies that all the olives used were grown in Italy and that the grading standards are higher than those required under Italian law or those used by the United States or European Union.
USDA BEEF GRADES: All beef sold to consumers in the United States can carry one (or none) of three grading claims reflecting its quality. USDA inspectors inspect each carcass and assign it a grade. The highest is USDA Prime, followed by USDA Choice, then USDA Select, while some beef does not carry any grade designation. USDA Prime represents about 2 percent of the beef sold in the country. Ungraded beef is typically of lower quality than USDA Select, but some small farmers opt out of grading altogether because of the cost, while others may do so because for some styles of beef production, such as grass-fed or exotic breeds, USDA grading may not accurately reflect quality.