Blog

  • The Best Gluten Free Non GMO Bread

    After many years of searching, I finally found an amazing Non GMO Gluten Free bread that I love.  Happy Campers Gluten Free bread is 100% Non GMO and mostly organic.  They sell to restaurants, and they carry a variety of flavors and even buns. The buns are great options for those great grass fed burger places, or for a veggie burger.  So few restaurants are carrying gluten free breads and buns, I would like to see more restaurants add this to their menu.  The restaurants where I have seen gluten free bread almost always carry Udi's which is not Non GMO and is not organic.  You can also order and have it delivered to your house too, it makes the best toast ever.  

  • Super Duper Burgers is using GMO fed Niman Ranch Meat

    Super Duper Burger is using GMO fed meat provided by Niman Ranch.  So many people believe that Niman Ranch is 100% natural and grass fed and even organic, not TRUE!  Niman Ranch uses GMO feed to feed their cows and they do not disclose it on their website. You can see the facebook post below where they openly admit to this. I also have a couple of emails from Niman Ranch directly admitting that they are totally fine with their farmers using GMO feed, which totally contradicts what they have on their website and seems very dishonest to me.  I have a post about Niman Ranch using GMOs here and the info on their website. I went to Super Duper in the city and was told by the manager that their burgers are 100% grass fed, this is NOT TRUE, and I find this kind of misinformation and greenwashing really frustrating.  If you want to use regular "all natural" beef which is another way of saying GMO fed meat, then by all means do it, but you should not be saying your meat is grass fed in your advertising and your employees should understand the difference between grass fed, and just regular "all natural" meat, which again is not really "all natural" because the animals are eating GMOs, and GMOs are anything but natural. If you want to learn more about the "all natural" scam, you can read more about it in this article. Please Email Super Duper Burger and let them know you don't want to eat GMO fed meat. There are plenty of other meat producers that really are grass fed or organic and are not using GMO feed.  Super Duper Burger is using Strauss Organic ice cream for their shakes which I think is one of the best dairy companies out there, Strauss is Organic and Non GMO verified. The chicken on the Super Duper Burger menu I assume is GMO fed because every chicken producer that is not organic is now using GMO feed. I think they also fry the french fries in rice bran oil, not GMO canola oil, at least when I asked that is what I was told. I am not sure about the rest of the condiments and sauces and the GMO status of those, but I will email the company to find out and post results here.  Update two months later: Never heard back from the company on my questions. 

  • Chipotle is headed in the right direction with GMOs.

    Chipotle has taken a bold stand againist factory farming, it's the only fast food chain that I know of that has done this. Even though it is still very difficult to get a non gmo meal there, they are at least revealing which food ingredients have GMOs in them, and they are striving to eventually reduce or eliminate GMOs in their menu, but it will take some time. I have a lot of appreciation and respect for a company that is willing to be honest and up front about their ingredients with full disclosure. Not many companies are willing to do this.  For now you can look at their menu ingredients to see what is GMO.  Be sure to read their comments under GMOs on the right hand side on the bottom.  I love this company and the honesty they have demonstrated by giving full disclosure to their customers. I heard recently that they are in the process of switching out their soybean oil for their fryer and cooking oils, but only some locations have implemented this.  Also, keep in mind, the meat is currently fed GMOs, but is not factory farmed. They recently released a statement acknowledging this and that they are looking into the issue of trying to get more Non GMO ingredients including the meat. But I imagine this will take quite awhile given that there is hardly any animal feed that is not GMO anymore, unless it is certified organic. 

    I am very moved by their videos they have done to shed light on the horrors of factory farming. Check out the Chipotle scarecrow video above and back to the start video. If you are going to eat fast food this is the place to do it, even though they are not Non GMO YET, they at least care about animal welfare and their ingredients and do NOT support facotry farming, and they are working on going Non GMO.  What other fast food chains can say that?  Email Chipotle and tell them you want Non GMO food and meat and that you care about these issues and are willing to pay a litlte more in prices to not eat GMOs.  I still won't eat at Chipotle right now because of all the GMOs, but I will become one of their most loyal customers once they have some Non GMO meal options on their menu. 

    I recently found this great article which was just released in October 2013 with more current information on Chipotle and GMOs. Love what Chipotle is doing, they are setting such a great example of integrity in fast food! 

  • Haggo's Organic Non GMO Restaurant in San Diego

    Haggo's Organic Non GMO Restaurant in San Diego

    Amazing Organic Restaurant in San Diego - Haggo's Organic Taco

    We are so excited to have found another organic and 100% GMO free restaurant in San Diego. Hagoo's Organic Taco in Encinitas. This is our new favorite place to eat in San Diego. Adorable little quirky place on the coast, the food is absolutley delicious!  95% to 98% certified organic and 100% Non GMO.  The owner is super knowledgable about food and his sources and he investigates them thoroughly to avoid all GMOs. It is so inspiring to meet someone who is so passionate and cares so much about food and what he serves his customers. Meeting Haggo made our trip and gave us hope that some people really do care about the food they serve. Thank you for inspiring us Haggo, you have serious food integrity and we really appreciate it!  They use certified organic Mary's Chicken, and 100% grass fed beef from Grateful Harvest.  They have options for both vegetarians and meat eaters.  Almost all produce is certifeid organic except for limes. Uses organic saflower oil for cooking. Buys produce from Alberts Organics and Coral Tree Organic Farm, also has a small organic garden on property. All plates and forks are made with plant based non GMO materials. This place is the real deal!  They are only open for lunch right now 11 to 3, closed Mondays. 

  • New Organic Restaurant in Marin County, The Plant -Mill Valley, CA

    I am so thrilled that Plant Organic Cafe has opened up in Mill Valley. Marin County really didn't technically have a fully organic restaurant now that Cafe Gratitude closed in San Rafael this year. All of that has changed. The Plant Cafe is here and it's the real deal, they do not serve GMOs and almost everything is organic. There are a few non organic items which are listed on the menu, also some of their snack bags and bars by the counter are not organic and their gluten free bread is not organic. This is my favorite organic restaurant to eat at in San Francisco, so excited that they have finally come to Mill Valley/Marin County.  We really needed this! If you want to eat out at a restaurant and be sure you are getting pure, clean, local, organic, real GMO free food, this is THE place to go.  They serve organic meat and vegan/vegetarian food with gluten free options as well. There is something for everyone. 

    The nearly all organic restaurant menu items range from grains and pastas, house-made pastries and desserts, and soups, salads, sandwiches and more. almost everything is made from scratch in the kitchen. It also features fresh squeezed juice bar and smoothies, and special cleansing packages. Many items are seasonal, and almost everything is made from scratch in the kitchen. They also have free range certified organic poultry and sustainable seafood. They get most of their produce from the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market. 

    They just opened and don't yet have much info on the Plant Organic website.  The location is Suite 801 at 800 Redwood Highway in Strawberry Village in Mill Valley. 

  • Yes, Niman Ranch uses commercial GMO feed

    Yes, Niman Ranch uses commercial GMO feed

    Yes, Niman Ranch uses commercial GMO feed.

    I can't tell you how many times I have been told by restaurant servers, managers or chefs that Niman Ranch is "all natural, organic and/or pasture raised meat", not true! So much misinformation out there about Niman Ranch.  Some Niman Ranch ranchers and farms use commercial GMO feed for the animals and they are not organic and not 100% pasture raised and they do not segregate the animals based on what animals are receiving GMO feed.  I have confirmed this with Niman Ranch directly on two seperate occasions.  I have a problem with this because they make it seem like this is not the case in their advertising and on their website.  I find what they say on their website downright dishonest.  I asked them why they state on their website that they try to avoid GMOs when in fact they do not, and they never responded to that question. 

    Here is what their website says: 

    Does Niman Ranch use genetically modified (GMO) feeds or animals?

    Unfortunately, use of GMOs is now prevalent in the U.S., and cross-contamination of non-GMO fields due to wind drift from genetically modified crops does sometimes occur. Consequently, while we make every effort to keep GMO material out of our feeds, we cannot guarantee that our feeds are 100% free of GMOs.

    Here is their response to my email asking them if they use any GMO feed: 

    Thank you for contacting Niman Ranch. Although many of our farmers and ranchers do not use GMO feed there are some of our farmers and ranchers that do use GMOs in the feed. We do not segregate the animals based on this before processing.

    Kind Regards,

    Niman Ranch Customer Service

    Also, here is a facebook post where they admit to this as well. 

    The problem I have with this is that they make it sound like the only GMOs in their feed is from cross contamination, this is NOT true. There is a big difference between .05% cross contaimination of GMOs versus using straight up commerical GMO feed which is 90% to 100%  pure GMO. They admit that some of their farmers are using straight up commercial GMO feed (which is almost pure GMO) and yet they advertise to consumers on their site that they only have GMOs because of "cross contamination." This is very deceptive to consumers.  Yes, there is cross contaimination of GMOs in micro amounts even in organics, but using this as an excuse to just not even try and go ahead and use full on commercial GMO feed while at the same time advertising that they have GMOs only because of cross contamination is not accurate. 

    They also say they make every effort to keep GMO material out of their feed, NOT true.  If they were making every effort, then they would require their ranchers to use organic feed or Non GMO feed, and/ or their animals would be 100% grassfed/ pasture raised and finished, that is what defines "making every effort," and there are a lot of meat ranchers doing just this, this is the only way to keep GMOs out of their feed.   I don't trust this company or their advertising and won't eat their meat. I hope consumers put pressure on them to remove this deceptive info from their website and advertising. I have no problem with them using GMO feed if that is what they want to do, but I do have a problem with them advertising that they are not and only have micro amounts due to cross contamination, when this is just totally false. 

    I understand that they are running a business and need to make a profit and many farmers are in a position of being stuck using GMO feed when they would strongly prefer to not use it. There is no Non GMO feed anymore, feed is now either GMO or it's organic.  Farmers are in a tough position because they need to raise their prices in order to not use GMOs and go organic, and customers want low prices. Customers need to be willing to pay higher prices to have the luxury of not eating GMOs and to demand that their restaurants and farmers take a stand on this and support them in raising prices. I empathize with farmers and restaurants who are struggling with this issue, at the same time, I do not appreciate being lied to and told that companies like Niman Ranch make all efforts to avoid GMOs when they do not. I also am frustrated when I go to a restaurant and am told the meat is Niman Ranch and it is organic, when it is far from it. This is just not right and I feel the need to speak up about it. I know there are a lot of people out there being told they are eating organic or pasture raised "sustainable" meat at restaurants when they in fact are not, so my intention is to help educate people. 

    Niman Ranch used to be all natural and grass fed when it was run by the original owner Bill Niman. It is now owned by Chicago's Natural Food Holdings LLC.  Bill Niman has stated that he will no longer eat their products. Here is an article about this.  Bill Niman is now the owner of BN Ranch and BN Ranch meat is truly sustainable, grass fed, and Non GMO. 

    Please email Niman Ranch customer service and let them know how you feel about GMOs and to encourage them to remove GMO feed from their products. Also let them know if you think they are being dishonest on their website by saying that they try to avoid GMOs, when in fact, they allow their farmers to use GMO commercial feed, this does not add up and is downright deceptive advertising in my opinion. 

    Please educate restaurants that serve Niman Ranch, most of them are innocently serving Niman Ranch products not knowing that they are fed GMOs.  Click here for some suggested farms/ purveyors sources for truly organic, 100% pasture raised / grass finished raised Non GMO meat. 

  • Alchemy Arts Center & Cafe - Santa Barbara

    Alchemy Arts Center & Cafe - Santa Barbara

    I recently discovered this beautiful cafe and center while passing through Santa Barbara.  It has now become my favorite place to eat in Santa Barbara.  They have a healing arts center and spa as well as a cafe.  This place has the best energy, I find myself not wanting to leave every time I go there. The vegetarian cafe is beautifully designed in a Moroccan style.  It is clean and simple, yet very luxurious at the same time.  The food is simple, delicious, and wholesome. You will leave here feeling good. The drink menu is extensive with refreshing and very creative options including fresh juice. I highly recommend the Alchemy cooler which is pineapple and coconut with basil. The food/ produce is about 75-80% organic depending on the season, they are always working towards 100% organic. They are aware of GMOs and actively try to avoid them. They use 100% olive oil, NO canola or veggie oils, no corn products or soy other than Tamari sauce which is only served on request on the side.   Their sugar is organic, they also use coconut crystals (my favorite sweetener), organic agave, organic maple syrup, dates or local raw honey. Things that are not organic that could potentially have GMOs are papayas, goat yogurt, and parmesan which are not certified organic. The eggs are not certified organic, but they said they are local and are not fed any GMO grains. They may try to source these things organically, if they do, I will update it here. 

  • Cafe De Luz - 100% organic, gluten free, non GMO restaurant in San Diego

    Cafe De Luz - 100% organic, gluten free, non GMO restaurant in San Diego

    So excited that we found a 100% organic, gluten free, and Non GMO restaurant in San Diego!  Cafe De Luz is the only 100% organic restaurant in San Diego.  They are macrobiotic and vegan.  It is a small menu, but if you want super clean food, and want to be sure you are not eating GMOs, then this is the only place to go. We ate here while in San Diego and the food was amazing. I love the restaurant itself too, very clean and modern. I wish there was one of these in my town. They also have an austin location. 

  • All Natural Meat, really?

    All Natural Meat, really?

    "All natural" is not all natural!  “All Natural” as well as “Hormone Free / Antibiotic Free/ Free Range / Vegetarian Fed” meat does NOT really mean what you think it means.  Please don’t be fooled by these green washing labels at restaurants or grocery stores.  In every single case that I have investigated, restaurants using these terms are using meat that is fed GMO feed. It's unfortunate, but our entire commerical feed crop for animals has been overtaken by GMOs.  I have yet to encounter a non organic feed that is not genetically modified. I don’t know about you, but last time I looked, Genetically Modified Organisms are not “All Natural”, far from it.  Companies and restaurants are getting away with using these terms because there are no laws or regulations around labeling GMOs.  So an animal can be raised it’s entire life on GMO feed and still be labeled “All Natural, Vegetarian Fed, Free Range, Hormone Free, Antibiotic Free”, even some grass fed meat is finished with GMO grain. GMO food can also be labeled as “All Natural”. “All Natural” products often contain GMOs.  Click here to see an article on a woman suing companies over GMO snacks being labeled as “All Natural”. 

    From talking to farmers and ranches, I have learned that they are not able to get a non GMO, non organic feed for animals, feed is now either organic, or it's GMO, there is nothing in between. There are some farms working on this issue in CA to try to produce a feed that is lower cost than organic, but is also not genetically modified, but this has not actually happened yet. This puts farmers in a really tough position because there are "natural" meat producers who would prefer to use a Non GMO feed, but it doesn't exist right now, and many farmers feel that if they switch to organic feed that they have to raise their prices to a point that customers and restaurants will not be willing to pay, so "natural" meat companies are forced into using GMO feed, they are running a business and they need to make a profit.  This will not change until customers start speaking up and there is a demand for Non GMO feed, or if customers are willing to pay more for eating organic. Right now, most people don't realize that all that "natural" meat they are eating has been raised entirely on GMO feed, hopefully once people understand this, things will change. 

    Right now, the only way to tell if a restaurant is really using non GMO fed meat is if it is certified organic or 100% pasture raised and grass finished. Unfortunately, this is quite rare, even among "organic / sustainable/ local" restaurants.  Please ask the chef directly.  95% of the time in restaurants, the servers think that “All Natural / Hormone Free” means organic.  It does not, ask for a general manager or the chef to get the correct info. I often get wrong info from Chefs and managers too, don't just ask if it is organic, ask what ranch or farm they get their meat from and look it up online or contact them yourself. Trust me, most of the time, I am given incorrect info in restaurants, you have to research the farm yourself of where they get the product from. Restaurants don't intentionally give you incorrect info, most people in the restaurant industry equate natural with organic, and this could not be further from the truth. You have to contact the farm directly to get the truth. If the farm is using commercial, non organic feed, then they are using GMOs, period.  If the chef tells you it is organic and you discover it is not, please send the restaurant this article if you can, and educate the restaurant. Some restaurants appreciate the info, and some get defensive, which I understand, I would be upset if I thought I was serving my customers "all natural" meat when really, the animal was raised on GMOs, people just don't know....yet. 

    Please see my post on Niman Ranch using GMO feed an a good example of this greenwashing issue. 

    Don’t be fooled into consuming GMOs with these green washing labels, let the restaurants you go to know that you want certified organic or 100% pasture raised and grass finished non GMO meat and non GMO ingredients in your food. They will not change this unless you voice your opinion.