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" 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.
It’s official, prop 37 - requiring labeling of GMO food is on the ballot for November in California. Be sure to tell everyone you know to vote yes for it.
The Good Earth Natural Food Store in Fairfax - Have you been to the new Good Earth Health food store yet in Fairfax? They have a new all organic hot food bar stations with a wok station, pizza, and mexican food, as well as a vegetarian hot food bar, salad bar, organic juice and smoothie bar and ice cream. They serve grass fed meat, organic chicken, and wild fish in the cafe. The food is delicious. I love this place, they have tirelessly supported the local, organic, non gmo movement. They do not cut corners and they really walk their talk. This place is the real deal. I travel all over the world and there is nothing like the Good Earth. It is the true health food mecca.
This is very exciting. Let’s hope that more restaurants join soon!
In June 2012, Nature’s Express, a restaurant in Berkeley, California became the first restaurant in North America to offer menu items verified by the Non‐GMO Project. In the press release, Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non‐GMO Project notes, “People have a right to know what they’re eating, whether dining in or eating out, most of us don’t want experimental genetically engineered ingredients. Now that Nature’s Express has Non‐GMO Project Verified menu items, Berkeley residents will be the first in the nation to have a reliable non‐GMO restaurant option.”
Update 11/15/12 See our new San Diego options.
We just spent a week in San Diego and I am sorry to report that I could not find a single restaurant that did not serve GMOs, and could not find a single restaurant that served organic eggs, or 100% grass fed or organic non gmo meat. Not one. So discouraging. If you know of any, please let us know.
We found many restaurants that serve “all natural” food and “all natural” meat. But I have yet to find a food manufacturer of “natural meat” that does not use GMO feed for the animals. Almost all feed is now GMO, this includes all eggs as well, even pasture, free range eggs eat GMO feed. These “all natural” restaurants also serve GMO soy and Canola oil among other things.
The infamous Jimbos natural grocery store did not serve a single meat item at their deli case that was organic and non gmo. No organic eggs either. They did have a salad bar with some organic items but you have to look at a list and try to figure out which is organic and which isn’t. It took me a long time to figure it out. I wish they had and organic section and non organic section. Their juice bar had mostly organic vegetables.
Excited to add another Marin Restaurant to the “least likely” using GMO list!
Table Cafe - Larkspur, CA - This is a lovely restaurant in larkspur that serves simple california cuisine mixed with dosas. They make their own fresh dosas. Almost everything is organic and the owner buys produce from local farmers markets. They use rice oil and no gmos. Chicken and meat is certified organic.