Sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date when we add amazing, healthy restaurants near you.
Deception for Profit – Don’t Get Me Started
Since the inception of Clean Foodie, it has always been my intent to never talk badly about another restaurant or purveyor and to only recognize those who are putting the eﬀort into providing us with clean food. My thoughts were that putting negative information out there was bad energy, and I just didn’t want to be ‘that’ person. I wanted the website – and anything Clean Foodie – to be a site full of positive recognition, good karma, and all around good juju’s! The roots of the Clean Foodie concept was to lift up and promote those doing good things in the clean eating world, to create more awareness about the importance of eating clean, and to lead other seekers – such as you – to it.
Unfortunately, that fairy tale dream of only saying good things has to come to an end and it’s time to face reality.
Traveling & Discovering
During my travels around the country, when I come across a superior restaurant or market that serves clean, unadulterated food, It feels like I’ve discovered a secret and I genuinely ﬁll up with elated excitement. And I’m not kidding you, I truly feel like a child on Christmas morning, or a football player who has just made an interception, or scored a touchdown. I know what you’re thinking, but what can I say? It ﬁres me up!
So what happens when I come across a place that is, without a doubt, deceiving us? Well, nothing short of flames spewing from my ears! The blatant deception and misrepresentation out there is all too prevalent.
In July 2016, the state of Florida started the “Truth in Menu” initiative which warns restaurants they could be ﬁned for inaccurately claiming to be local, natural, or organic. However, I am ﬁnding inaccuracies on a weekly – and sometimes daily – basis throughout the state.
In December of 2017 The Orlando Sentinel reported the following:
“As restaurants and consumers have embraced the farm-to-table movement, farmers and state regulators are reporting a rise in the number of eateries falsely advertising premium ingredients and local sourcing on menus.” “State health inspectors have cited restaurants 68 times so far in 2017 in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties for mislabeling, the most in the last ﬁve years and more than ﬁve times the number cited in 2013.”
“The Art of Pleasing is the Art of Deception.” ~ Marquis De Vauvenargues
Those Who Hustle While many clean restaurants are busting their backs and providing us with the real deal, the frauds are telling us half-truths and/or pushing creative marketing to its limits. There are so many restaurants out there giving a misleading impression that clean food is being served, but in reality, it is not. This is deceiving to the public and totally unacceptable. What’s also amusing is that the slippery scheming is allowed in this day in age. We shouldn’t have to wonder what we are eating. After all, items such as our gasoline is explicitly labeled at the pumps, grocery foods with labels have strict guidelines to follow, as well as cosmetics, laundry detergent, materials used in our clothing, you name it. But, when it comes to eating out, restaurants are not held responsible. From menus, to chalkboards listing specific farms from which ingredients are sourced, the bogus deception is more prevalent than not. In fact, most of the staff at the majority of restaurants, including managers, waiters and yes, even chefs are spewing false and conflicting information when questioned about the cleanliness and sourcing of their ingredients. And somehow, this is ok?
Nope, Sorry, It’s Not Ok!
Eventually, eating poor quality food will affect us in a negative way… you know the sayings, “with every bite we take we are either fighting disease or feeding it,” and “pay now, or pay later.” However, when it comes to those of us whose immune systems are compromised, sometimes the effects of eating poor quality food, laden with chemicals and/or an assortment of other things such as GMO’s, antibiotics, and hormones, can be felt soon after consumption. To be led to believe the food we are eating is clean by a restaurant, server, menu or marketing materials, when in fact we are not, is indeed…deception for profit. And this my friends, is so not ok, on any level.
CleanFoodie Minimum Requirements
If you are wondering exactly what our minimum requirements are, take a look at our ratings explanation on the “How We Rate” tab located under the clean avocado rating posted for each restaurant at http://cleanfoodie.com/. You will also find an “apply” page on our site which is a good example of the questions we ask. From there, we decipher who qualiﬁes and who does not, as well as our clean and yummy ratings. The bare minimum is at least 50% clean ingredients and mostly scratch made – that’s a good example of our 1 avocado clean rating. Of course, lots of questions should be asked once you have a menu in hand as to what is, or is not, clean at any rated restaurant, not just a ‘1-avo’. For the most part, you should be able to ﬁnd a clean meal at a ‘1-avo’, although it might be piecemealed together… no pun intended.
Those that advertise they serve organic, or organically grown food, but in reality are only serving organic greens, are not going to make the Clean Foodie cut. The same goes for those with the word organic, local, farm, etc… verbiage in their restaurant name (for which there are many) that don’t have the ingredients to back it up. And if an establishment advertises a certain farm as a supplier, it had best be a current supplier from which they purchased more than a cucumber…just sayin’. For those of us that care about eating clean, playing detective is a must when eating out. Hopefully, someday this will change. For now, cleanfoodie.com is committed to deciphering the honest from those who stretch the truth. Help us out; if you happen to know of a clean restaurant or establishment that is not listed on cleanfoodie.com, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly check them out. Happy eating y’all!