We're all suckers for nostalgia. We fantasize of good times past, when life was simpler, people happier and the food was better. In all honesty, we're dreaming of a time that probably never existed, but it doesn't even matter. Our faded memory has turned it into a reality we're desperately trying to get back. This nostalgic love is our achilles heel and it has made advertisers' jobs easier than taking candy from a baby. All they have to do is slap the words "authentic" and "artisanal" onto a product and we. are. sold.
This is how the advertising world and fast food companies have come to butcher the meaning of the word artisanal. Once used to describe the practice of making things by hand in a traditional fashion, it now generally refers to a ciabatta-type bread (that was probably made by a high-tech, high-powered machine). There's no denying we live in a time of food fraud -- are you aware of fake baby carrots and rampant fish mislabeling? -- and here are the worst offenders.