Genetically Modified Organisms have been in development since the mid 1940's when it was discovered that DNA can be transferred between organisms. GMO's have been on the market since 1994 when a tomato called Flavr Savr was introduced. A gene was introduced into the tomato to slow it's ripening. There was controversy surrounding paste made from those tomatoes in England, the tomato itself was delicate and didn't transport well. It was not a commercial success and was off the market by 1997.
Basically there are two main routes for GMO introduction, either a resistance to disease or a resistance to herbicides. So far, and at this time, most of the GMO's in the general food supply are in highly refined foods. Yet another reason to avoid the Standard American Diet [SAD]. The corn for high fructose corn syrup, the soy for refined soy oil & soy fillers, sugar beets for cheap alternative sweeteners, low quality canola oil, etc. Most of what we eat in its natural state, even sweet corn and eda mame soy beans are not GMO. But be vigilant. In the summer of 2012, GMO sweet corn appeared in Walmart & even some farm stands across the country. If we're not careful, it won't be long before the phrase "Come and get it, Dinner's on the table" morphs into "Dinner is hot and round up ready too!"
Round Up Ready Corn
The best way to know that your produce is GMO free is to buy organic. If a product is organic, it cannot contain GMOs. Many soy products including tofu and miso are organic, and many others are clearly labeled 'Non GMO Soybeans.' Always be a label reader.
You can also look at the stickers on produce. Codes beginning w/ 3 or 4 are conventionally farmed produce. When the first number is 9, the produce is organic. When the code starts w/ 8, the product has been genetically modified.
We shouldn't freak out about GMO's. Surely there is some amazing science to come out of this research and development. BUT, we should educate ourselves and make our own informed decisions as consumers. And when labeling comes back on the ballot again in the future we should study the new propositions and make educated decisions on how we want to cast our vote.
Long before the debate on GMO labeling came about, we had a fine old adage to live by. Knowledge is power. True then, perhaps truer now.
At Avanti Cafe, our kitchen is free of GMOs -- To the best of our knowledge and as far as we know, and always has been ....... Since labeling isn't required, we can only make the firm statement that we make every effort to be well educated on the subject and to reject known GMO's in our ingredient and production list. We request product information pertaining to GMO's from our suppliers and expect full disclosure across the board. We make every effort to be as organic, natural and local as possible and to use as much locally grown organic produce as we can. We use all organic eggs, milk, cream and half and half. We make our own organic ricotta and feta cheeses.
We've said it before and we'll say it again, we have never used any high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners or frankenfood ingredients. It's not what we are all about.
Here are some links to help you continue your GMO education process.
What is GMO Food?
How to avoid GMOs
You'll find Avanti listed on the participating retailers list
NonGMO Participating Retailers
Here are the commitments to non GMO soy from the three fine sources of tofu products we use in the Avanti Kitchen
Mori Nu Tofu Non GMO
Nasoya non GMO, scroll down
Wildwood Natural Principles
Eating Healthy & Delicious is a Win Win Win Situation!
Eat Live & Party Well
As we say, eat w/ us several times a week and it’s likely you’ll become healthier than you already are! And your taste buds will love every minute of it too. How many restaurants can legitimately make that claim !?!
Blog Post by Chef Mark Cleveland
Chef / Owner Avanti Cafe