Unlabeled genetically modified foods are literally everywhere across America’s grocery stores. The irony is, we have no idea what effects they have on our health, or on our environment.

It feels like this movement kind of happened over night, without any question or hesitation. When you think of your core goals for your restaurant, the bottom line and the main motivation is always centered around improving the guest experience. Thinking about guest experience in the most pure form, the quality food you are serving.

Guests are becoming more and more discerning when it comes to what they put into their bodies when they are cooking at home. Why would they not expect the same care to go on when they are dining out?

I’m sure you have heard of the foodie, right? We have really dug into what it really means to be a “foodie” and believe it or not, they are more than those 25-year-old iPhone using, brunch going folk. Most likely, you are also a foodie. You love food, and you love your body, so why would you want to put bad foods into your body, or your guests?

What are “GMOs?”

Today, more than 54 percent of American crops contain GMOs and roughly 70 percent of processed foods harbor at least one genetically modified ingredient, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit education and advocacy organization. Those are very hard numbers to hear and understand. Basically, almost everything meal that you prepare has one or more GMO.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest states that “Genetic engineering allows specific genes isolated from any organism (such as a bacterium) to be added to the genetic material of the same or a different organism (such as a corn plant).”

Instead of forcing you to read, and re-read that, here is what this means in layman’s terms.

  • The original purpose of creating GMO’s was to “end world hunger.” One way to do this, was to make farmers crops repellent to bugs, so they could yield more crops to feed our growing global population. This argument was very feasible when you think about just how much our population has risen over the past 100 years.
  • As bugs and diseases grew resistant to these types of pesticides, farmers in turn, would be forced to spray more and more. With more and more spray, our environment became damaged, as well as our bodies.
  • Flash forward to today, where everyone is asking for “locally sourced and organic” menu options or reminding their server that they have a food allergy.
  • This locally sourced and organic movement is new, mostly because it is a new market. 25 years ago, most food met the requirements of being organic. FARE, the Food Allergy Research & Education group, reported that in 2008, the Center for Disease Control noted an 18 percent increase in food allergies among children between 1997 and 2007. And yet, it rose again, to approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.

fresh fruit bowl body

Frankenfoods that Frankenstein would run from:

The term “frankenfood” has become a household term at this point. You check your inventory and see strawberries that are the size of your palm, and think, hm… that doesn’t look right. Well, your instincts are right, that is not natural. These are so new to our diets, we just are now seeing the impact. It is nearly impossible for your restaurant to avoid all types of GMO or processed foods. Don’t forget that GMO’s are not just in your fruits and veggies. We are talking the beans to make your oils may contain them, your meats, and milks.

Here is the “Dirty Dozen” of the produce that your restaurant (and home for that matter) should avoid at all costs!

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

As we are learning with you, we would love to hear if your restaurant has begun to implement a GMO free environment, and how much this change has cost you (thus far!)

You can reach us at @getupserve on Twitter and Upserve on Facebook.

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Hannah can be found riding the slopes of New Hampshire by winter and riding the waves of Rhode Island by summer. In order to satisfy a constant sweet tooth, you can find her bouncing between Ellie's Bakery and Pastiche, both in Providence, RI.