GMO Food | Things to Ask Before Eating Out

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Did you March Against Monsanto, yet eat GMO every day? Genetically modified organisms (food), abbreviated as GMO, are destroying our environment and our health. We must put a stop to the mega-food companies that promote the destruction of our health and our planet.

It is time to stand up and walk the talk. A recent meal while dining out highlight’s the problems we face.

Michael’s Genuine is a restaurant in Miami. We dined there several times over the years. Why do we hit the same spot? The name says it all. Genuine. Michael’s billed itself as using local ingredients, authentic, and being thoughtful. In fact, those are the words of the owner, Michael Schwartz.

“I think being — and it sounds stupid — but being genuine. When we opened really that word became the measuring stick for everything that we did, and so whenever we talked about anything, it was always in the context of you know, “Is that genuine? Does it feel right? Is it authentic? Is it sincere? Is it thoughtful?” I think that is what has maintained the simplicity throughout the restaurant.”

https://miami.eater.com/2017/3/13/14909166/michael-schwartz-ten-years-anniversary-interview

Before we visit any restaurant, we thoroughly interview the restaurant about their food and ask questions such as whether they serve wild vs farm-raised seafood, 100% grass-fed meats vs GMO corn fed, and if they serve organic and local produce.  Michael’s had assured us of this in the past which is why we had returned multiple times.

Sadly, on our third time around, we found that Michael’s was anything but genuine, authentic, sincere, and thoughtful.  We made the mistake of not confirming how genuine they are before going this time. Our family went to dine at Michael’s Genuine. We were so excited for a meal consisting of the best ingredients and the grass-fed steak ADVERTISED on the menu.

After all, when a restaurant goes through the trouble to write grass-fed on the menu, you expect grass-fed. But not that night (or likely any night). When asked, the chef told us the animal is finished off on grain (feed lots) and agreed that the grain was likely GMO feed.

To us, this line on the menu was false advertising. To be “genuine”, why not write on the menu “grass-fed at some point and then fed GMO feed such as GMO corn and GMO soy”.

When asked about many other items on the menu, most contained canola oil, sourced from Sysco, and likely 100% GMO.

I was excited to try the kimchi, until I learned the appetizer contained soy, again from Sysco, and again, likely GMO.

If canola, soy, and corn are not organic or certified NON-GMO, they are GMO.

As a special treat, we allowed our boys to order the garlic mashed potatoes. Certainly, we could not eat the fries, as they are fried in the GMO canola oil, cross-contaminated with other GMO food and gluten-containing items. But alas, we had to rescind our garlic mash order, as the dairy used in the product was also from Sysco, and likely from a tortured cow fed GMO grain.

You may ask, why do The Wolfson’s even go out for dinner at all? The question is valid and we ask ourselves the same thing. But like you, we enjoy an evening out, especially while traveling. MANY restaurants do it right. You just have to search them out.

It is not easy for us, but we walk the talk. The good news is that there ARE places that do it right. Not many, but there are some, and the more we support only those restaurants, more will open. This will provide choice and competition.

We will never go to Michael’s again (For the record, the staff that night was very apologetic and embarrassed about the restaurant).

Here are some things to ask BEFORE you go to a restaurant. You will need to speak to the owner, manager, or chef.

  • Where do you get your produce? To us, it does not have to be certified organic. If the restaurant gets the veggies from a local farm that does not use pesticides, we are good to go.
  • What cooking oil do you use? Is it organic or non-GMO? Be very careful about soy and canola oil. Rice bran oil and peanut oil are usually safe, unless you have an allergy to peanuts.
  • Is your seafood wild?
  • Is your beef 100% grass-fed and 100% grass-finished, pasture raised? Organic chicken?
  • Do you have gluten-free menu items?
  • I like ketchup…does yours have high-fructose corn syrup?
  • Is your olive oil 100% pure or do you cut it with canola oil?
  • Is your water filtered? Do you have bottled water?

We understand how difficult it is for the above. After asking these questions, you are not going to have many options. We would love for you to #BeTheChange. The more we ask these questions, the restaurants will wake up to our demands.

As another tip, google farm to table in the city you are in for the local spot that is genuine.

If you find restaurants in your town that pass the test, PLEASE email us with the name so we can include it in our database of restaurants who do it right!