Beware Of Organic Cafes That Lie To Us

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Posted June 18, 2013

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I learnt a valuable lesson this week – always take responsibility for the food you eat, even when you’re eating at a cafe that claims to be organic. I hate to admit how naive I’ve been when it comes to this, but from now on I will always question every organic establishment I eat at.

Something happened while I was at Byron Bay last weekend that really pissed me off. We were in town one day searching for somewhere to eat lunch when we came across a cafe with a sign out the front that said it was vegan, raw and organic – so I clapped my hands together with excitement and we went in and got a table. The menu was just as impressive, and there was even a big veggie burger with this description: “This burger is cancer fighting rather than cancer causing.” I was craving a burger, so that’s what I ordered, along with a juice.

I was so impressed with this burger that I posted a picture on Instagram (the one above) of me devouring it. Someone in the know in Byron saw the pic and left a comment saying that they didn’t think the food at that cafe was all organic and that I should double check.

The next day I called the cafe and asked if their food is organic. “No, not all of it,” was their reply. Then I asked if the veggie burger is organic. “No, not all of it,” was their reply again. And then I asked if the juice was organic. “No, not totally. Actually we don’t have anything on our menu that is completely organic.”

I felt dirty. I felt like I needed to give my insides about 10 showers. I was so shocked that I just hung up the phone, but I wish I’d told her that her since her “cancer fighting” burger contains pesticides it is actually cancer causing.

Ever since that incident, I’ve been hearing about other respected organic cafes who aren’t always totally organic. If they can’t source an organic ingredient, they will just replace it with a conventional one. This is so wrong. If a cafe claims to be organic and charge prices that reflect this, we should be able to trust that what they’re serving us is just that. Otherwise, it’s false advertising and on par with green washing. I understand that not everyone eats 100% organic, but many people do. Many people have to, and it’s exciting when we have the opportunity to eat out and feel safe doing so. I definitely wouldn’t have eaten at Manna Haven if I’d known that what I was eating wasn’t organic. “Organic” isn’t just a pretty word – it means something, and that meaning really needs to be lived up to. Luckily, there are amazing cafes who won’t compromise.

So, what can we do? Whenever you eat at an organic cafe, ask the question: “Is everything on your menu certified organic?” This is my plan from now on. As angry as I was, it’s my responsibility to know what I’m eating and the only way to be sure is to always ask questions.

Rant over.

Have come across a café claiming to be organic when they serve conventional food? If so, tell me about it in the comments below.

UPDATE:

I just want to address a couple of comments who thought I was a bit harsh, and that I shouldn’t have been so hard on the cafe in this post. I just want to say that it wasn’t my intention to harm their business. I take complete responsibility for not asking the question: “Is this all organic?” when ordering my meal. However, I feel like it’s my responsibility to share the mistake I made with those who may make the same one.

I know that not everyone cares whether they eat organic food 100% of the time, but for some of us we don’t have the luxury of being complacent. Organic food is our medicine, and if we can’t eat organic we go without. The word “organic” is the green light that tells us it’s safe to eat. It doesn’t matter if some of the ingredients are organic – if they’re mixed with conventional ingredients the whole dish is rendered poisonous to those of us who have to be so pedantic for the sake of our health and lives.

My intention wasn’t malice – it was  to draw attention to an issue that is occurring far too much in the “organic” world, and to highlight the fact that as consumers we need to be super diligent and ask questions when it’s important to us that we know the quality of everything we eat.

I want to publicly apologise for any harm that my blog may have caused Manna Haven this week. Although I still believe that the loose use of the word “organic” is a massive issue in the health world, I can see with hindsight that my rant could have been handled better. I can tell that the people who run this cafe are lovely and their intention wasn’t to mislead. The real message of my blog was to alert people that we need to ask questions about our food everywhere we eat, even if the sign says organic. However, my anger at my own naivety definitely tainted the graciousness with which the message should have been delivered. I’ve spoken with the cafe this week, and they’re clearing up their signage and I’m excited to hear that they now plan to develop a fully organic menu! Byron needs safe places for organic foodies to eat, and I want to support their mission in making that happen.

 

Positive affirmation for the day: I take full responsibility for my life.



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Jenni says:

I’ve always known that even “organic” restaurants aren’t 100% organic, but I still frequent them because most conventional restaurants don’t have ANYTHING (or hardly anything) organic, and some is better than none. I also trust that organic restaurants at least care more than other places do about what the term organic means, and will probably have mostly organic ingredients. Maybe even this is foolish, but I at least expect all the produce to be organic. Though I suppose it might not be. This dilemma is kind of like packaged organic food…it can be labeled organic if it meets a certain percentage (which is not 100%) of organic ingredients. Don’t worry about your mishap, lovely. These things happen sometimes. We do the best we can.

Sophie says:

I have come across “organic” restaurants but I usually don’t get so worked up over it – after all a vegan veggie burger with vegetables is still much healthier than any regular fast food item. I agree if they’re don’t have any items that are organic, they probably shouldn’t call themselves organic. But as a customer, I wouldn’t worry so much, especially when a restaurant is at least trying and offering healthy options. Not everyone eats 100% organic and that’s ok too!

Kate says:

I think the issue is more the complete false advertising. As some one whom only eats 100% organic I too would be furious to find out I had been tricked like that. When restaurants and cafe’s make these kinds of claims they need to back them up because simply trying just isn’t good enough. If you can’t serve what you are promising the consumer then you shouldn’t be serving any thing!

Cass says:

Since Jess eats all organic to maintain a cancer free body she has every right to get so worked up about it.

Jessie says:

I 100% agree with Cass.

Andrea says:

It is much much worse for those eating organic as a healthy way of life to be mislead as to which product is tainted. Every time you drink a juice of concentrated vegetables/fruit – you are also getting a concentrated dose of herbicides & pesticides. for a cancer sufferer it is a BIG deal. Huge no-no in Gerson therapy – all vegetables are not equal.

Then there is the blatant disregard for Australian fair trading rules relating to misleading and deceptive conduct, which is a component of all consumer law in every state in Australia.

If I were Jess I would make a complaint to the NSW dept of fair trading.

It is the responsibility of organic farmers to maintain the standards required for certification. It is the responsibility of restaurants to allow their customers to make informed choices about what they put into their body.
I’ll more than bet that this restaurant was happy to chaarge elevated organic prices…

narelle says:

Unless people know the cafe and have seen the sign, we are going by Jess’s advice. It may be splitting hairs, but if the sign said ‘Organic’ rather than ‘100% Organic’ I don’t think it’s false advertising or that the business should be flamed. It’s also a person’s choice to eat out, especially if they have special requirements.

I don’t approve of slamming a business, Jess, as I’m sure you don’t enjoy your own business copping a bad rap. The cafe answered your questions, they didn’t palm them off, although they weren’t answers you preferred

Sunshine says:

Hey Jess! I have only recently found your blog but it’s been a huge inspiration for me as I’m currently in the transition of changing my life style for my health so thankyou very much :)

At the moment I’m looking into eating organic food but one thing I’m really worried about is how do I know if it’s really organic? What certifications do I need to look out for?

Would you ever concider doing an artical on trustable stores and markets all around Australia that only sell 100% organic food? If that’s not to much to ask of you I think it would be great.

I’m aware of the “Green Washing” that goes on in the cosmetic industry and I can’t belive there are no proper regulations it’s shocking. Now reading about what happend to you at this cafe has reinforced my worries about finding a good source of food I never thought it would be this confusing! :)

Bot says:

Hello there :) look for Certified Organic produce with a logo and a processor or producer number. Trusted Aussie ones are NASAA, bfa, oga, demeter. I’m sure there are others just as trustworthy, but beware of companies who use their own logo to say they are organic. Ask the growers at your local farmers market. Growers are proud to show their certification.

Philippa Sutcliffe says:

I agree Jenni, we have to do the best we can. I remember those words from my time at the Gawler Foundation. I haven’t travelled NZ looking for Organic cafes but we have found some pretty good places to eat where we know we are doing the best we can. It is hard but in NZ and especially Rotorua it is a reality. If anyone out there can recommend organic vegan places to eat around NZ please let me know. Take care Jess x

Kelly says:

Don’t worry Jess, if we worried about 100% organic, 100% of the time, we would be wellness worriers, not wellness warriors!
I would love to know organic / vegan places around NZ too.

Rebecca says:

Hi There,

I know of a great one called Wise Cicada in New Market, Auckland. The food is Organic, Vegan and vegetarian, with a great store connected to it. :)

Little Bird in Auckland is all raw/vegan. Cafe Eutopia in Kawakawa [between Auckland and Whangarei] is mostly organic but not vegan – I’ve been there and asked, and they said they substitute with local/sustainable as much as poss. Great vibe with an awesomely trippy abode, too.

Emma says:

Just back from Auckland, and I can happily say the salads at Wise Cicada are absolutely delicious. Fabulous food! Sampled treats from Little Bird. Yum!
Looking forward to my next visit .
Emma

Michele says:

Little Bird is just like Ground Cafe in buderim that Jess goes too. It’s absolutely lovely and such a nice vibe.

Natalia says:

Mimosa cafe in Takapuna, Auckland – organic, fair trade and largely organic :)

Natalia says:

Oops, I meant to say “and largely vegetarian!”

Buffy Gill says:

Thanks Jess, this is such a relevant post right now. There are so many food and beauty brands that claim to be natural and organic, trying to ride the wave of popularity that the organic movement is having (which is a great sign though let’s just say). It is a shame, but just a case of business in general and people wanting to profit from whatever’s popular. Onus is on us to keep these businesses real and keep asking the tough questions (which Jess does on a daily basis). That way businesses will slowly learn that no we don’t want Nivea’s “pure and natural” products when they’re tested on animals. Or products labelled organic when there’s only one ingredient in them that’s remotely organic and the rest are chemicals. I love certification, and it’s a great third party confirmation that a product meets a certain level of organic ingredients. Problem is, certification is quite a costly and time consuming process (can take up to 3 years to achieve), so for small family businesses it’s often not feasible for them to obtain. Then you get other instances where a “certified organic” product may only have 75% organic ingredients, while a non certified organic product from a small family business who can’t afford certification may in fact be made with 100% certified organic ingredients. Confusing i know! This is one of the conundrums which led me to start my own organic store (begoodorganics.com), to be that trustworthy source people could go to and know I had done the research for them on whether a product was truly organic. We then classify our products as either “certified organic” or “contains organic ingredients”, to cater for those small businesses who can’t afford full certification, but their intention and every meaning is organic. When we started I had these ideals that we would hard line only stock certified organic products dam it, but then realised I would be leaving so many beautiful ethical honest truly organic small businesses by the wayside if we did so. So instead, we put in the hours to research research and research some more, get to know the business owners themselves, and if they meet all our (pretty strict) criteria, (oh and we love the product as well), then they get the green light. I am so grateful that we’re all having this conversation, it means people care, and they do want things to be truly organic! If we as consumers can make incremental buying decisions to support organic, then slowly demand/supply will do its thing, and businesses will come to the party. Thanks Jess for starting up such an awesome conversation. X Buffy

Emily says:

Yes! I once worked at a bed and breakfast that boasted all organic full English breakfasts, locally sourced. I worked in the kitchen and saw that the bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, etc. were all Sainsbury’s Basics (the lowest quality/price available) yet were being served to happy guests believing they were eating fully local organic breakfasts. Terrible!

Liz says:

Oh no – you’re kidding right? I was in Byron for a week about the same time you were and we literally lived at Manna Haven. I can’t believe we didn’t ask the question and just assumed that it was all organic. I feel very cheated – hopefully you let them know you weren’t impressed Jess. Very disappointing, especially considering we waited at least 45 minutes to have our meals arrive…

Maybe you (and others) should also take it up with management if you’ve been affected. H

best place in Byron for Organic, made on the premises gorgeous food is Naked Treaties. Beautiful people and food <3

amanda says:

Just saying that Naked Treaties in Byron is also a place that you need to ask the question! Not always 100% Organic I know first hand after I asked the question! :(

Kate says:

I know first hand that Naked Treaties works first hand with local growers and always uses local and spray free and definitely organic unless it’s absolutely impossible due to flooding etc.
They are always more than happy to inform their customers if there happens to be an ingredient that isn’t organic and they are really big on supporting local farmers that are going through the certification process rather than shipping organic ingredients in from interstate.
Their super foods and nuts are all definitely organic and fair trade.
The most important thing I think is for businesses to be transparent and integrity is the key. They are, in my opinion, the most ethical business in town. I eat there every day. :-)

amanda says:

Just my experiance there Kate. I had been drinking the juices there for awhile then decided to ask the question & was informed that elements of my juice were not organic & felt upset that I wouldnt have know unless I asked the question that day. Also just asked the question again recently after being offered a Cleanse with my yoga and again told mostly 100% Organic but they will substitute if organic is not available which made me really question how often this happens?? Just feel like if I’m paying for an Organic price it’s what I expect to get when not otherwise informed.

Back in my uni days, I used to work in a cafe that made some cakes on the premises that they called ‘gluten free’, except they weren’t. Very low gluten, yes. But not gluten free. The owners used their gluten intolerant son as their yardstick: he could eat these muffins and cakes and not react, therefore they were fine. This blew my mind! There are people out there who react severely when their gluten-free food has merely been cut with a knife that had also been used to slice normal bread! Let alone that was actually made with things that had small amounts of gluten in them (like icing ‘mixture’, as opposed to icing sugar)… It really opened my eyes to the fact that some people just don’t care…!
I hope you’re over your distress now, Jess. It must have felt like a betrayal and a manipulation. I think if it was me in your situation, I would have been tempted to surreptitiously graffiti all their street signage, inserting the word ‘occasionally’ before the word ‘organic’!!!
And PS, that photo of you munging down is gold!!! XX

It is so fantastic you have highlighted this Jess and, it is really unfortunately it is such a common occurrence! And to Jess (Sparrow + Sea) thank you for sharing this also, this is something I constantly face being someone with Coeliac Disease. We recently spent some time on the south coast and received so many recommendations for a particular whole foods cafe, I was really looking forward to enjoying a great meal (or two!) there and when we arrived it had big signs advertising organic and gluten-free meals. When I went to order I checked how they prepare their food, the manager confessed that they cross contaminate all of their food so it’s not really gluten free and actually told me “we made a lady very sick the other day…” I was shocked, if I hadn’t checked I would have been one very sick lady too! I hope they took my complaint and concern for the wellbeing of others onboard and have changed their methods. I get so frustrated with the question “How allergic are you?”. If it’s not gluten-free, organic or whatever else it may be that is important to the health and wellbeing of the consumer, don’t advertise it as such. I look forward to the day where I can enjoy a meal out without worry!

lauren says:

Jess that is terrible!! Lucky you have the extensive knowledge needed in order to clean out the pesticides from your body. I wish I could have taken that bullet for you, because you try so hard! Sending you all my love and light to clear the toxins out of your system!! XXXXXX

Maybe there should be a category “100% Organic” or “Totally Organic”
For those cafe’s that are truly dedicated.

Sarah says:

Man I hate hearing this! I am a little crazy about this and I always call and ask about 100 questions trying to figure out if places are really organic. Its such a shame that they can advertise that and not hold true. But each time we ask for it and dine at place that only serve organic, we are voting. Eventually they will come around. So Sorry and that burger looked so tasty;(

Kirsty says:

Hi Jess, I’ve come to realise that if we haven’t seen it grown and made with our own eyes then how do we REALLY know a) what’s in it b) how it was processed and c) the ethical status of the products origin. Tolerance has to be paramount here. Being an ‘organic’ hairdresser, I make my clients aware that it isnt possible to have a completely certified organic hair product, but that my supplier is always striving to use the most natural and organic ingredients possible and that their good intentions are there. Unless its made in front of them I cannot guarantee anything! The use of the word organic has been bastardised and we need to try before we but as much as possible. Still, at the end of the day, you learnt something, shared it with us and can now move on with another wisdom under your belt. Breathe…..

Jennifer says:

Where is your salon, Kirsty?

Teigh says:

If a restaurant/café claims to be organic and the prices are in accordance with the high cost of organic foods then I expect/demand that I am served what I am paying for….organic food, not something that they are trying to be, this is not good enough. As per the article above, manna is actually false advertising in my view. Am in process of moving onto my 5 acres with a 1/4 acre fenced off for large vegie patch….once established, my food will be organic and there will be no room for be to be deceived by people like these restaurants taking money from trusting people.

Julie says:

It’s fraudulent advertising and they are profiting from it. They’re actually breaking a law and since it’s food and making health claims, a far more serious. Report them to the ACCC. Here’s the link:
http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/misleading-claims-advertising/false-or-misleading-claims

Helena says:

A more local, state based point of contact may be:
http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/

Julie says:

I checked the Qld Fair Trading website before initially posting. They have no legal power unlike the ACCC.

Tess says:

The amount of stress this situation has caused you (worrying) is likely to cause more havoc on your body than the fact that your lettuce on the bun was not 100% organic..

ME says:

Everyone should post a link to this post on their Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/mannahaven :)

Jessica Lowe says:

Hi Jess, I’m so glad you wrote this. I am constantly surprised at how many ‘organic’ establishments arent completely open about the truth behind their products. In fact, I think many people who work in these stores are blindly unaware of the story behind their food. Often when I ask questions about the truth behind their products, I am often confronted with attitude; as if I’M the one who is inconveniencing them by opening up such questions; or that I am being a Nazi about my food.
But when it comes to the food I put into my body, I DO expect to know exactly what it is I’m consuming. Especially when you are paying ‘organic prices’ for cheap, mass produced, non organic produce.
It always disappoints me when organic cafes drop the ball when it comes to this stuff. For example, I have an awesome organic cafe I go to to buy smoothies. They used to make their own organic almond milk with soaked almonds, but now they have swapped to using the ‘macro organic’ version of long life almond milk that is full of sweeteners and questionable additives, and which for some reason has a purple tinge to it. I don’t buy these smoothies anymore. It makes me very upset! GRRR! lol.
I have a wonderful butcher who actually puts signs infront of his different products on display, some will say ‘no preservatives added, 100% grass fed and finished meat’, and others will say ‘preservative 220 added’. I LOVE this honesty. I think it takes a business person of great integrity to display the nasty truths, as well as all the good ones.
I called woolworths the other week regarding their butter, because I wanted to know if their organic butter was grass fed and finished, because I dont want to eat any animal product that is fed grains. The lady on the phone called the supplier, and simply told me ‘the cows eat grass’. Well, duh! All cows eat grass, but I wanted to know if they were given grains. I was unable to get a straight answer on this, so to me; that reveals the lack of integrity behind the product, so I dont buy it anymore.
It’s so hard to find the truth behind our food!

Heather says:

We are organic dairy farmers in the UK and although we try to feed only grass to our cows, there are times of the year such as this spring when we had heavy snow for a week at the very end of March when we have to buy in some organic grain for them. However we do not produce any milk at all in the winter months of December and January – we could not operate a grassfed system if we did. The shops still need milk during these months, some organic farmers produce it then and of course they will have to feed grain for this part of the year. There are other farmers who have more upland farms and therefore a shorter grass growing season who would need to feed corn for longer. There are very few places in the world where grass grows all year round (or enough growth for a dairy cow to eat). We do as much as we can to extend the grass growing season for our cows by doing things like leaving a standing crop in the field in the autumn so that the cows can start eating this before we get any real grass growth in the spring. Our milk gets picked up by a milk tanker that would collect milk from maybe five other organic farms in our area so I guess this is a very long winded way of saying that I can see why it would be very difficult for someone to say whether their butter was made from entirely grass fed milk.

My other point is that in the rural part of the UK where we live there is unfortunately no such thing as an organic cafe so we would never eat out at all if we set the high standards that some of you can. After reading all the wonderful articles on this site about health also being a state of mind I think sometimes you have to just go with the flow eat well at home, take picnics when you can and just choose the thing you believe will be healthiest for you when you do eat out. I think worrying about what you will be able to eat on the menu when eating out or worrying about offending friends or family if someone is entertaining can be more detrimental to health than occasionally eating something which is less than ideal.

Jo says:

I agree with the wellness worrier comment…feeling cheated would make me super angry too…my friends are too scared to ask me over for dinner now – as I don’t eat GM food, eat sustainably, vegetarian (only eat eggs from my friends chickens, and true vegetarian cheese) food with ANY palm oil, or from big brands (like Nestle evil dogs – who own lots of small indy brands now)…I tell them “listen don’t worry – you have made this food with love” and I just make my like Buddha and enjoy it with love and thanks….unless you’re making it yourself, you really can’t guarantee where it’s from. And unless you’re growing it yourself or know the farmer – the same applies..everyone is on the “organic, healthy” wagon..there is a lot of money to be made, and not everyone is transparent with what they do.

linda says:

well said

Karen AnTara says:

Thank you for this great article Jess. I wonder if Manna Haven has a FB page – I wouldn’t mind sharing this article for them to read… and consider what they’re next conscious or should I say conscience step should be…

Fiona says:

I frequent Wray Organic in Ipswich almost daily – I love that I do not have to ask the question, as the market & cafe are certified organic. I shouldn’t have to ask if the sign says organic, but what I have learnt to look for one of the 8 certifier symbols, as I have found many products in large supermarket chains claim to be organic, when the word ‘organic’ is just being used as a marketing tool. This website lists the 8 symbols, along with contact info for the certifiers – http://www.ofa.org.au/pages/Organic-Certifiers.html.

Claudia says:

I’m so frequently disappointed with the quality of food at restaurants/cafes whether they are advertising ‘organic’ or not that it honestly doesn’t surprise me. It is most certainly false advertising and deceiving and won’t do well for their business since people like you and I are probably their target market and they’ve already lost us! But legally I’m pretty sure all their food doesn’t have to be 100% organic for them to advertise that on their sign…its like someone can advertise that on a grocery item but it doesn’t mean in any way shape or form that that food product is 100% organic.

My philosophy has become: eat as much as you can at home, with food that you have prepared from ingredients that you have sourced. Then you can control the quality of what you are eating (obviously Jess already does this!) and its fun to cook/uncook!

If I go out to eat, I pretty much accept that the meal is going to be half decent. Even where I live in Sydney, one is pretty hard-pressed to get something tantalisingly healthy (earthtotable excepted). There are some places which come under the sustainability label but then you still have to be careful. I’m always disappointed paying for an average meal and reaping the consequences of it – bloating and gas usually – but thats life! Part of socialising is eating out.

Thanks Jess great post!

Catherine says:

i know they’re so stupid — it’s the same here in NYC. What makes it worse sometimes is the staff who, often more than not, have NO idea of what’s on the menu or how it’s made!!!!! OUT-RA-GEOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Michelle says:

Hi Catherine
I am coming to NYC in a few weeks. Any recommendations for good organic vegan places to eat?

Cindy says:

I am behind this one 100%, what is stated to draw in customers needs to be TRUE, I have given up conventional, processed foods for a very serious (Triple Negative Breast Cancer) reason. I don’t want to find out later that what I have put into my body may in fact be a known carcinogen!!! All items should be listed either Organic,Conventional or GMO so that the customer can make an informed decision to consume.

Sylvie Sills says:

Hi Jessica and everyone,

Claiming to be “Vegan, Raw and Organic” and NOT being organic most of the time is called lying. There’s no two ways about it! I don’t know if there are laws about that (false advertisement) in Australia? (I’m in Canada).

In any way, you feeling upset is justifiable! But telling the World, and then letting go of it, is the best solution for keeping your “interior peace” :)

Thanks for all that you share, by the way. It’s precious.
Love and Light (to all)!
Sylvie

Steph says:

There are so many things these days that are advertised as 100% organic. I went away with a friend recently and she was showing me this 100% organic shampoo and conditioner she had bought. I was suspect because of how cheap it was and sure enough, I turn over and look at the ingredients. Half I couldn’t even pronounce and there was an asterix next to a couple of ingredients. The asterix at the bottom said 100% organic ingredient. They were calling the product 100% organic because it had a couple of ingredients that were!

Sumner says:

This is the ‘WholeFoods Effect’, at least in North America where organic has been replaced with natural and both are represented on the shelves and in the advertising as totally equal. At WholeFoods you have to hunt out the organic and almost all prepared food is ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’, which we are being conditioned to believe is equal to organic.

Joanne says:

If these restaurants truly care about promoting an organic menu then why can’t they have the certification stamped on their menus?

Mad says:

Hey Jess,
I was just on the Manna Haven website and had a look at their menus. While their logo does have the word organic in it, nothing on the menu says it is certified organic. If I were to go to this cafe, I would then assume that while they do have some things on the menu that are organic they would also include conventional produce as well. I know this is really misleading however I have always been under the impression that the word organic can be used somewhat freely. Organic for example can be used to describe something ‘derived from living matter’ not merely the lack of pesticides.
I am from Sydney and there is one cafe I go to that has the certified organic logo on their menu. In this case, I would hope that everything in the meal is 100% organic.
Jess, I don’t completely know you’re experience at the restaurant but from what I’ve gathered, the menu/ burger you ordered does not have the words certified organic and when you did call them they were open to the fact that they were not 100% organic. I totally agree with you in that restaurants and cafes should not falsely advertise and I am so sorry that you felt cheated however I would have thought that with your extensive experience sourcing the freshest, cleanest produce that you would know to always question ‘green words’ such as organic and natural.
My concern with your post Jess is that Manna Haven are a not for profit business and I can’t help but to feel that your article may have a real negative impact on their business.
Jess you are amazing and have had such a profound impact on my own health journey. This post will surely make people second guess health claims and make more informed health choices!

Prue says:

I have to agree with Sam! It sucks that you got the wrong impression and compromised your wellness rules because of that but I think that it’s a bit naive and unfair to take this out solely on Manna. I have never eaten there so may not have the full story but from what I can ascertain they have never claimed to be 100% certified organic. I think that you will find that very few establishments are able to maintain 100% certified organic status 100% of the time since it is so hard to source constant supplies. They should of course be honest about this, but it sounds like Manna was when you did take the time to question them. I think you should also bear in mind that they are a new business and are probably still having some teething issues. I’m sure that most places that are trying to provide healthier, more holistic items were not able to offer it 100% as soon as they opened but rather had to build up to it. I feel like this issue represents the precipice the health food industry is on – it’s so great that people are jumping on board and voting for organics with their purchases, but this inherently means that big business is going to spot this emerging market and attempt to tap into it in the most efficient way – which means greenwashing will continue to rise. If cafes are advertising using “organic” as a buzz word when all they really care about is their bottom line then I have no sympathy for them. But if we write off smaller places like Manna that are trying to embrace this shift towards healthier products for us and the environment alike then we are excluding some really exciting prospects for the future whilst big business continues to “trick” people in the mean time. I think your post will scare alot of people off, making them think ‘why bother’ – places that advertise organic arent really anyway so i’ll just head to maccas anyway – same diff – when going to Manna would be a more healthy and ethical choice all round.

Prue says:

Oops that’s supposed to say Mad not Sam!

Robyn says:

Having just being diagnosed with cancer 4 weeks ago it is all learning for me. So thankyou to everyone for wanting to give. I have always thought being naive was a beautiful quality because for me it means honest. I had thought, until tonight reading all your comments, that organic meant organic, like Jess. So, being organic, does not need my questioning, as if a deception is being played. But everyone is learning, the restaurant that is the new business, now it hopefully will pick up the 100% certified organic statement or put it next to the items that are or find a way to learn too. I learnt from the UK cattle farmers producing milk their difficulties, so maybe I will change my diet to work in with the seasons. Thanks for all your gifts so I can learn to find my way to live as long as possible with happiness.
Robyn

Wow that is so disappointing. Good on you for ringing to check with them. Appalling that they are deceiving the public in this way and playing on the increasing awareness around healthy nutrition. Hopefully this bad publicity for them will encourage them to lift their game and turn this into a positive. It’s great that you’ve brought this issue to light.

Barbara says:

All the “organic cafes” I know in Sydney are the same too. They say they have organic where possible. Buyer beware. I eat mostly from home so I know what I’m eating and where it comes from.

Lauren says:

Hi, I’ve experienced something similar but with claims of cafes being gluten free, or at least the items on their menu. Three places I’ve been to recently have stated clearly on their menu that a certain item is gluten free. Like you, I got so excited because it is a really nice feeling to know you can safely eat something. The first time, the plate got to me it was covered in cous cous. Gluten free people, particularly coeliacs like me cannot eat cous cous, it isn’t gluten free at all. The chef had nothing to say when I confronted him and as politely as I could described exactly what happens to me if my food is contaminated with gluten.
The other times have been similar. It’s very frustrating.

Thank you Jess for bringing this to the public’s attention. Organic is used too loosely and is very deceptive. Here at Wray Organic Toowoomba everything we make in our cafe is with 100% certified organic ingredients. Hence the price been a little more expensive. We feel a little cheated when other cafes claim to be organic and charge less leading the public to believe that they offer better value. When in fact they may use ONE organic ingredient which isn’t even certified ! Helping people to be more informed is the only answer And you do that so beautifully ! :)

Jess, Thank You for sharing. I can hear your pain. I also feel for the passionate and dedicated cafes such as the beautiful James & Monique at Ground (and others) that advertising is a form is disrespect. Focussing on the positive and embracing your resilience, I wish you well in your cleansing process from this experience and know that by sharing your story for us empowers and spreads the education abroad. Take care, Kylie:-)

Kat Rea says:

This is another example of how deceptive our society has become and we should be able to speak out and let them know it is not acceptable. Maybe they are doing the best they can but when your life depends on it, they should be upfront and completely transparent. It’s like saying it has no nuts but then it may have been contaminated through cooking and not telling anyone! Thank you for all you do and have shared Jess, your website has literally saved my life! See you at Utopia!:)

Leila Lei Illustrations says:

Jess, I completely feel your anger! I hate when they do that! Completely dishonest! Don t worry though, as far as health goes: u eat really well daily, u meditate, u take care of your mind/soul/body so your immune system is so very strong, and that burger won’t hurt u not even a bit! Oh, and I shared your article on Manna Haven Cafe’s fb page (I hope they won t delete it and I really hope this will make them convert to 200% Organic). Much love, health and beautiful energy from the States. Leila Lei

Shelley says:

Thank you so much for this rant! Wow, I can completely feel your disappointment and can relate. I am in Canada and yes, the progressive mind set of eating completely organic is taken advantage of. It is so sad that I hardly eat out and when I do I am concerned that foods are being prepared in aluminum or teflon cooking ware. More questions being demanded by those seeking clean food from those serving it is key. Thank you for bringing light to this issue and Bless you on your health journey.

Stephanie says:

Hi Jess…I understand you completely! I also did the Gerson Therapy (modified version), and eat organic not for the name, but because it is clean and real food! Right now I live in Tulum Mexico, but am from Montreal, Quebec. There´s a super popular vegan resto in Montreal called Aux Vivres. The front menu says Organic, and there is not one meal that is completely organic. Most ingredients are actually non-organic, with a few like brown rice being organic. Here in Mexico the word is used very very lightly…. I agree its not fair, especially to those of us who desire or need to eat clean, non toxic food. I love your site, found you early on in my Gerson journey, and it was wonderful to have some inspiration and ¨virtual¨contact with another gerson person….hahaha..(that rhymes…) Infinite Blessings!

Hello Jess. Thank you for this post. You reported what is a common thing happening today. The point is, we all should be for real and tell the truth about what we promote or sell. especially in business and politics. it is hard to do the right thing today because there are so many mechanisms established to prevent us from doing what is right. For example; I was a raw milk milkman starting a farm fresh home delivery service in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Manhattan. The farmers are prevented from bottling raw milk or at lest restricted. And processed pasteurized industrialized dairy and milk are promoted. Why? because the big corporations are in control. They have lobbyists in Washington all day. They are fed enough money to sit at the bar and rub elbows and go to bed with politicians and others who play the game. Your food is also victim to such games.

There are a few real raw foodists out here who stand by their mission; to give consumers access to fresh raw foods, organic food, and the Slow Food Movement they support. Others are sometimes forced to take what they can get or they could lose business of be shut off from any supply. Even the local Health Departments can be in on the games. I am not saying that all government is bad, but when they are bad, they are bad. And this has to stop now.

I lost my business and years of savings and years of my life because others played games. I could no longer be a raw milk milkman. But somehow the mission carried on. Today I am a raw coconut water man. No kidding.

We owe it to ourselves and our children, all nature, and to God; that we help save the planet now before it is too late.

Thank you for all the good work you do. when you are in New York, or Connecticut, or the Hamptons this Summer, please call me. I will make sure you get the real thing, the real deal. Fresh raw live coconut water! Unprocessed.

May health and happiness be yours in abundance,

“Coconut Ed”

Stephanie says:

Hi Jess,
I understand you completely. I also did the Gerson therapy (modified version) and eat organic, not for the name, but because I choose to eat clean, real food. I am living now in Tulum Mexico, but am from Montreal, Quebec. There is a super popular vegan resto in Montreal, called Aux Vivres. On the menu it says organic, but not one meal is organic. When I asked, the only organic ingredient was brown rice! Here in Mexico, the word organic is used very very lightly. I love your website, it was a wonderful find when I was on the gerson, to have some inspiration and ¨virtual¨contact with another gerson person….hahaha (that ryhymes.) Infinite Blessings!!

Emily W says:

I noticed when reading the labels of some organic products lately in the fine print it says things like “98% of ingredients from natural origin, 52% certified organic” – should we as a consumer be worried about the other ingredients (almost half) which are non organic? I find this really confusing. The organic products become contaminated by the conventional? I was also watching a documentary recently about organic farming where this was mentioned “Rotenone has been widely used in the US as an organic pesticide for decades 3. Because it is natural in origin, occurring in the roots and stems of a small number of subtropical plants, it has been considered “safe” as well as “organic“. However, research has shown that rotenone is highly dangerous because it kills by attacking mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of all living cells.” – Argghhh!!! I want to live the most natural life possible yet feel like it’s become a waste of time and money. People need to take a chilli pill and remember the word balance. It has been proven that many organic ways of farming (organic pesticides) are actually more toxic than conventional methods. Eating the odd non-organic thing is not going to kill you or dramatically shorten your life. Many studies have even proven that conventional and organic food have no difference in nutritional value! Yes – it is totally wrong that things can be labeled “organic” when they are not..but no need to stress – stress causes disease and cancer!

Shannon says:

Oh wow, this is so disappointing! Perhaps there needs to be a law in place where cafes, restaurants etc who claim to be organic must be officially certified so, just like the organic produce they (claim to) serve.

Kathy says:

This makes me so angry. It is false advertising. As a consumer, it is MY choice where I want to spend my hard earned dollars, and what I wish to consume. If they say its organic, it had better be organic. They need to be honest. Let me decide if I want to take a chance on your food or not.

This same sloppy behavior is also dangerous for someone with an allergy, or gluten intolerance, or even to a diabetic. Saying something is nut free, wheat free or sugar free when its not can be instantly life threatening.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they take shortcuts in the kitchen sanitary wise either. Complete and total disregard for the consumer.

Jo says:

Go check out the ‘organic’ skin care at Adore Beauty. They’re using the term loosely too. In my own store I go so far as to mark products as ‘certified organic’ and ‘contains some organic ingredients’ to be perfectly clear.

I look for certification symbols. I don’t eat 100% organic, but I understand why you do and you’re 100% right, it’s just not acceptible. They need to be honest and clear about what is and what isn’t certified organic.

Joanne McPhee says:

Jess would you please do a post to follow this up on Organic cafe’s/restaurants in Australia that are fully complaint. I think this would be appreciated by many. I don’t eat out much myself and I’ve learnt to relax a fair bit about everything needing to be organic ( I used to work in the organics industry) but I still like to support those establishments that support healthy environmental practices.

I only know of one 100% certified organic restaurant in Sydney and that’s Agape. I understand how hard it is to make all your products 100% organic but if it’s not 100% they should never claim to be. Disappointing Jess!

Sally says:

Hi Jess, you won’t want to hear this, but a certified “organic farmer” near my dad’s (organic in principal) farm has a big drum of Monsanto’s Round up in his shed, covered up with a tarp…. If restaurants are doing it, so are some farmers….

Liz says:

Hi Jess,
I’ve been following your blog for a while now and love it. This issue that you raise regarding organic integrity flows much deeper than just cafes, as you know. In Australia there is no legal deinition of the term “organic”, it simply means “containing carbon” which is vertually everything excpet synthetic materials. This allows companies to call anything organic.
I first learned this lesson using “OrganicCare” shampoo on my babies and was infuriated when I realised what was going on.
Organic is the new buzzword and money hungry marketers know this and pray on people. I have been so moved to investigate this that I have left my career as a detective for 8 years to find out the truth and put it in a simple format for people and save them the thousands of hours I have spent breaking down legislation and examining the infrustructure of this industry. I will be writing about the imporatation and standards of foreign countries and why you should be mindful when consuming these products. I hope this can be useful and help people make better decisions. The site will be launching in a month http://www.organictruth.com.au. Liz xxx

Liz says:

^virtually! :)

Alicia says:

I would absolutely feel cheated too… in my books its as fundamentally wrong as calling a dish vegan or veggo and making it with meat or dairy, or comparable to claiming something is nut free when it’s really not – if that happened there would be uproar.
They should stipulate on the menu which bits are organic and which bits are not and allow their customers to make an informed choice.

Kay says:

It’s sad that it’s not 100% organic – but truly I don’t think saying organic on their sign means everything is organic (what a dream), just like not everything is raw. I think the best way to make their menu work is to have 100% organic options. I haven’t been to Manna Haven, but I’ve been really looking forward to it until… well, now.

That’s dreadful – total misrepresentation! I would not be a happy camper if I found out. So sorry for you – and yay for the BB tipper! Hx

Ames Starr says:

Ohhh my lordy, I hear ya! This makes my blood boil. I had a raw cafe last year on the Sunshine Coast, and if I couldn’t source an organic ingredient, then I would either leave that ingredient out, or make something else. (Aside from young coconuts, but I made sure people knew that, and we had the ones that aren’t treated on the way over here). Simple, really. Organic food changes with the seasons, and any food in any ‘organic’ cafe should reflect this. You just can’t get everything all year round. It still astounds me that people didn’t question another ‘organic’ cafe in town that had the same stuff all the time, plus some ingredients that are well known that you cannot actually obtain organically. Crazy! As a business, if you say you’re organic, then damn it, BE organic! Not just a few, easy to get, ingredients – but god damn everything – that means your oils, your spices, freaking everything!! And if you can’t, fair enough, just don’t fucking claim to be something you’re not. It makes me so mad that people throw the word around so loosely, when it is so, so important – totally akin to greenwashing.

Such a well timed post for me, thanks Jess! I had an experience in Brisbane last week that I had to walk away from, partly that and partly some whoooole other crazy issue. Thanks for the opportunity to vent! Gaaah! Much love and white light to your insides after that dirty burger! x

Wow- thank you so much for bringing this to our attention Jess, it’s all so disappointing. I know exactly which cafe you’re talking about in Byron, and unfortunately, I’m sure they’re not the only ones in this industry who are claiming to be something they’re not. It would just be refreshing as a consumer for companies to be totally clear and upfront with their customers- it’s ok, we can take it.

Would be so great to see a follow-up post on this. Thank you Jess! x

Anita says:

Hi there, as apart of management at Manna, just feel the need to set things straight. Manna Haven in Byron Bay never claims to be 100% organic! The options on the sign are just options, there is no false advertising. Just as all the food served is not raw and all the food served is not vegan obviously all the food is not organic. Manna’s aim is to provide options for people, healthy options, options for people with special dietary needs, options that are also affordable for some people who do not have much to spend. I think it is important before people get to upset to ensure they have not made a mistake in assuming or misunderstanding things. At Manna menu options are dependant on produced sourced and cooked on the day. For any inconvenience we may have caused we appologise

Yvonne says:

Can someone tell me of a 100% organic restaurant/cafe in Brisbane??

Donna says:

Great story Jess,
It’s happing everywhere and as unfortunate as it was for you, as a result of that dreadfull lunch, you have now exposed that cafe and many more out there.
It really is miss leading and we have the right to know where our food comes from.

Desleigh says:

good lesson for us all Jess….we need to be aware and ask questions as you say….so over people who claim to be something (all for the dollars) and they are not!!! Thanks for this as we are heading to Byron soon and won’t be eating at this establishment……cheers x

Miriam says:

I totally agree with you Jess, its just as bad with skin care etc. too just because one ingredient is organic doesn’t give them the right to say its all organic. I have definitely learnt to look for the Certified Organic logo, maybe cafe’s need to show the logo too.

Robby says:

I cringed when you said you had a burger there, as in January, I almost made the same mistake at the same place. But asked the questions needed. I was passed on to the senor waitsperson who ummed & arred, then had to go ask in kitchen. They came back with an unsatisfactory answer, so I asked some more questions even though I felt they were a bit flustered by me. In the end, I said it was “a matter of life or death” and told them of my tumor (something I didn’t want to particularly say, but felt the need to get a truthful reply unfortunatly) the reply finally came, “no, not all the ingredients are organic”! So I thought, well maybe I could have a burger with the non-organic foods omitted. I felt they were getting really annoyed by me know. Sadly, a couple of lettuce leave and a slice of tomato basically, don’t make a burger! I walked away annoyed at the misleading info that first got me excited or should I say, ecstatic, when I too saw the words “organic” that drew me in. It’s not only wrong Jess, I feel its like attempted murder, particularly for people like you and I ! And I genuinely believe the law should reflect such obvious disregard for our lives!

Please tell of any cafes that you have found to be fully organic, especially between here on the Sunny Coast down to Brissy, the Gold Coast down to that Byron region.

Perhaps an organic directory that mentions where to buy organic food, either cafes, stores and markets, would be awesome for the hole of Australia or even beyond. So people like us can plan a holiday or even a simple weekend away. I currently know I’m blessed to have the will to win over my dis-ease, but I feel a bit imprisoned by my lack of freedom to venture from home without my own pure rain water and organic food, and then having to return home when that runs out.

I’m very low-tech, so I’m handing the idea of such a web site over to you babe, to do with it what you will, but would be happ
y to contribute all that I could.

Love your heart & soul ! (Ha, now that would he a great name for an organic cafe). Xo

Gosh what a sham – that is so unfair to everyone. Good on you Jess for pointing it out – if we let the bar slip then where do we stop. It doesn’t need to be certified but it certainly needs to be what it says it is. Bravo.

Anita says:

I agree that some businesses may be ‘all about the dollar’ haha I guess that is why they are businesses, however Manna is managed by volunteers and is not a business to make money for itself but rather funnels any earnings into charitable projects. So the reason for the misunderstanding is not one of deceit but one of misreading. Manna is going to have an extra ‘All Organic menu’ soon. We are actually just in the process of sourcing produce from local farms and liaising with local gardens to provide affordable produce, thus keeping costs down for our customers. Until then be sure to read the codes on the menu or check with one of the friendly staff as to which options suit your needs. Again we appologise for any upset

Michelle says:

There is no legal meaning to the word organic. As long as they are using literal food, they can claim it is organic and they’d be right – according to science. It is up to each person to ask questions and find out of their meaning of ‘organic’ corresponds with what is being presented.

Kristen says:

I agree with you Jess. It is false advertising. I understand that not everyone eats 100% organic but your right when you say that many do and many have to in order to heal illness or disease.

I was buying a freshly squeezed juice and one day asked if all the ingredients were freshly squeezed and I was shocked to hear them say no our apple juice is from the bottle.

Lucky we have coffee enemas and clay ;)

Sarah says:

I agree with the other comment, the amount of stress over this is more than the damage of the inorganic produce. I understand you are very careful about what you eat and it’s fair call after having cancer but this is just ridiculous and shouldn’t dictate your life to that extent. Surely inorganic vegetables every now and then isn’t the end of the world? Yes the cafe is wrong for false advertising but I wouldn’t trust anything unless you prepare it yourself

Nicole says:

Oh you are AWESOME for posting this! I’m sure it took a lot of guts to stand up and speak out so you should be proud of yourself. Hopefully this will be a lesson to all those out there who are trying to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes to line their own pockets. Well done x

Hi! We won’t compromise! So if you’re ever in North East Victoria, come and eat with us! Love

Ames Starr says:

This is why I love you, Hoff x

Melanie says:

I think it costs quite a bit of money (in the thousands) to be able to display the Certified Organic logo. I owned a restaurant once and we said “Organic where possible”, as we could only function with 70% organic ingredients for our dishes. It is very hard for small businesses to stay open with all the franchise competition… more additional fees for organic certification would make it far too tough. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

I never take the word “organic” as gospel, so I don’t mind that Manna Heaven use it as they do use organic ingredients BUT they absolutely need to state on their menus how much is certified organic for each dish. I don’t think they are trying to rip punters off, I think that maybe once they were completely organic but as times have become so tough had had to make adjustments, and haven’t informed their clientele of the changes. I sympathise BUT they need to be more upfront about how much they use!

linda says:

Hi Jess,
It’s a timely remimder to all of us to ask these questions and not take Cafes at face value. Btw Jess, in a post a week or two back you talked about joining a new gym, i have to tell you the amount of off gassing from all the new equipment / furnishings would be horrendous. Most people can process the amount of chemical off gassing and would be clueless to what they are inhaling because they wouldn’t experience any ‘noticeable’ outward effects. I have a chemical intollerance, and i’m like the carnary in the mine, my body will react to any offgassing and i don’t need to tell you the chemicals that would be in the carpet/rubber/paint etc. Give me an old gym/furniture any day

amanda says:

Always ask is the best policy no matter what the signage says!!!
Conscious Cafe was the only true organic cafe in Byron and so can’t wait for the day it opens it’s doors again!!!

ruth says:

The thing seems to be being upfront and honest no matter your situation. Some places use as much organic as they can, which is fine, if that what you promote. Likewise if you use none, or if you use all. Then people can make their own choice. I dont eat 100% organic 100% of the time, its my preference always unless I get stuck, in which case I make the best choice I can. But I would always choose a place that used as much as they could and were honest about it over somewhere that did none at all. I stopped working at a place which I took some hours at because they used ‘organic’ freely, even in their store slogan, but only 40-50% of their produce was. This only upset me because they werent upfront about it. Hide nothing then you have nothing to hide yay! xx

Hi Jess,
I’m really sorry that you had to have that experience and I hope it didn’t taint your image completely of beautiful Byron Bay, as this is where I live and also run my business.
It’s funny because Manna Haven hasn’t been around for that long and I’ve never actually tried it, but it was because of this yummy looking photo of yours last week that I finally went in their recently to check it out.

I can’t put my finger on why but I had a little looksy and then walked out again. I dunno, nothing really grabbed me as being sooo amazing and I trusted my gut.

It sadly is the case though with misleading organic claims these days. I know this far too well as a Beauty Therapist myself who has always been passionate about using organic skin care lines. These days however with organic being the buzz word that it is, the truth is being stretched further and further and it’s hard to know when to just trust what you read.

So I feel you, and I hope you had a great time down here otherwise. There are so many passionate people down here trying to raise this issue into higher awareness and for the most part our community stands pretty strong.

So hopefully next visit you’ll have more luck in what you find.
Thanks for all the ongoing inspiration in everything that you do.

S says:

Hey Jess,
By the looks of it, nothing on their menu says certified organic. I would have thought that with all the research you do on the best and cleanest foods you would know never to trust the word organic unless its certified.

Jess you do amazing work and I love your blog so much but i can’t help but to feel sorry for Manna Haven. I just went on their facebook and quite a few people are drawing negative attention to their page. I know you feel cheated however perhaps discussing with them first how you feel, instead of just hanging up the phone would have been more effective. You have so much power in the wellness world and I feel your words are going to give a powerful blow to Manna Haven. Their website says they are ‘a non-profit organisation that exists to serve the local community’ and while everything on the menu in not 100% organic, and dont claim it is either, their hearts seem to be in the right place.

Rebecca says:

Bit disappointed with this post. Usually love your stuff but ripping into a cafe that never claimed to be 100% organic seems a bit mean. Needing to be gluten and dairy free I always ask questions and assume nothing. I would’ve thought you’d know to do the same. Before causing a not for profit cafe much grief you could have talked to them properly and politely to get there full story. Should we not be thankful for any place that presents healthier options for us? I would never assume a cafe that lists options of organic to be 100% organic unless so stated. Just sayin…

Robien says:

It’s very difficult, this situation. Some restaurant owners just don’t understand how important it is for some people to eat 100% organic; it’s not something we can lie about. I’m allergic for GMO foods, for me too it has a consequence when eat something wrong. Honesty….

Kelly says:

Not on! Good on you for confronting them.

Diara says:

Thankfully in Europe you can’t you that a product is organic if there is no certification to dimostrate it. I think that as an organic café you should tell what is organic in your menu and what is not. Again in Europe you have to tell consumer if something may be frozen. We have the right to know what we are paying for !
In my opinion Jess you should write to the cafe and tell them that it’s okay if not everything is oragnic but that they need to be clear and upfront about what is and what is not organic. If a lot of clients complain things may change.

Karen says:

Jess, look at it from a perspective of love. It’s annoying and frustrating but at least the cafe has one foot in the right direction. Maybe they just need some education on why it is important to be fully organic and how they can achieve that. I know it’s not your job to do this but being angry doesn’t help you or them. You’d probably get a better response by saying to them “that’s such a pity as I only eat 100% organic”. Maybe you should start an organic cafe endorsement program for those that are 100% organic. Again, I know this isn’t your job, but you do love food and wouldn’t it be fun :-) Peace and Love x

Annette says:

That’s terrible! Fair enough, it’s hard to have a constant supply of organic ingredients, but why are they calling themselves organic then? There’s no point in lying. Either that or make a statement about which ingredients are organic – even if they tried to only have the ‘dirty dozen’ as organic, I’d appreciate openness and honesty more.

Darlene says:

I agree Jess if it says it’s organic, it should be! They say you pay for what you get, you should also get what you pay for.

Leesa says:

hi.yes, i should also let you know … although i don’t live on the sunshine coast, i sometimes go there. one weekend i was there and i went to the big pineapple market because i heard that i could buy organic food from local farmers. there was one guy there, who also works at The Natural Food Store, and when i asked him … do you know what they spray on these tomatoes (because even organic food can be sprayed), he didn’t know. he assumed that the farmer didn’t use anything but i know often, they use such things are white oil (i personally don’t want to be eating that), pyrethrium (which recently had a substance banned in the organic pyrethrium spray called popural butoxide which makes the pyrethrium active for longer). other “natural” pesticides they can use are things like “entrust” made by Syngenta and dipel. another example is of organic grapes i bought this summer. because i only eat organic, normally i buy shitloads (20kg at a time of grapes). i normally buy robinvale biodynamic grapes because i drilled the owner and he minimises even his “organic” pesticides. but the wholesaler didn’t have any robinvale so they replaced them with organic grapes (can give you the brand if u email me). anyways, i started eating them and i could taste a metallic taste. i also started to get a headache about half an hour later. so i rang the grower. only three weeks before he had sprayed the grapes with sulphur (which impregnates the surface and can take up to 12 weeks to dissapate from teh fruit surface and is toxic to humans but is deemed an “organic” fungacide). anyways, he had also sprayed his grapes with zinc and copper. chemically produced zinc and copper hydroxide, which impregnates the skin of the grape so much that i can still taste it. not good. so now, unless i’ve grown the food myself, if i buy something like eggplant or tomato, even thought it’s “organic” from an “organic wholesaler”, i still peel these vegetables. and i don’t even bother buying “organic” capscium because i can’t peel off teh skin.
i am very sensitive to all chemicals so most people don’t have to be as anal as me about organic, but i just wanted to allude you guys to this issue. because even some of the guys at the natural foodstore that i’ve spoken to assume that if it’s organic, then it’s not sprayed with anything at all. but obviously eating organic is far better than eating conventional. i just hope i get well before i run out of money :-) because in australia, even wholesale organic is damb expensive if all you eat is fruit and vege like me and zillions of juices :-) that’s why i grow all my leafy greens. couldn’t afford not to and even if i bought “organic” leafy greens, they can spray them with the “organic” pesticides listed above. good luck to everybody suffering with illness.

linda says:

Hi Leesa,
Thanks for that post, really informative.

Kim Armstead says:

This might sound like whining, and it’s a little bit off subject, but I live in Texas and am unable to find a single, wholesale, bulk organic produce distributor that sells to the public in my area. I live in a major metropolitan area and have scoured the internet for a source UNSUCCESSFULLY!! How is this possible?

Grace says:

Hey Kim,
check this link out – This lady, Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram is pioneering a fully raw and 100% certified organic produce co-op in Texas, (im from Australia but Iv’e been following her with awe she is a raw goddess!!) I hope that helps! its located on 10222 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas. Here is the link:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13943887/the-fullyraw-juice-project-0

annette says:

some organic places cannot afford to use all ‘certified’ organic. it’s great to ask if all ingredients are organic. false advertising is wrong. however, some places use pesticide-free and certified organic. often organic places can get ingredients from pesticide free, but noncertified local farms. it’s great to be correctly informed. good post!

Fossil says:

I do love your website Jess, but this post is a bit over the top and unfair to Manna Haven. They have never claimed to be completely organic, or certified. I understand why eating organic is important to many (especially those, such as yourself, who have battled illness), but surely the stress that caused you to write this post is far worse than not eating 100% organic for every meal.

I’ve checked out their website and facebook, and it seems Manna’s heart is the in right place. They strike me as being quite genuine, despite their menu not being completely organic. It’s no surprise that an establishment (or product) that uses “organic” labelling is not 100% so, and I don’t believe it should be – that’s what independent certification is for.

suzanne says:

yes we also ate there, the food was great. we also ate there as we thought it was organic.

Jenny says:

To me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We all eat mislabeled, less-than-organic foods all of the time, and corporations and our governments have been very tricky about bending the rules. While it’s terrible that this cafe is misrepresenting itself, there are much grosser violations that affect our food supply.

Alisha says:

OMG that’s horrible!! I always wonder that as well when I am eating at the local organic cafe. What’s to stop them lying to you if you ask? Jess if you could recommend any trustworthy Organic Cafe’s in the Brisbane area I would much appreciate it :)

Kirsty says:

same goes with gluten free foods! Lots of places have gluten free dishes advertised on the menu, however due to unsafe food handling practices, gluten free dishes often become contaminated with gluten! I once asked someone about the gluten free chips they had on the menu. Turns out they cook them in oil with other products with gluten. The lady even yelled at me, saying the chips were gluten free when they go in the oil so she could advertise as gluten free, and if I was that sensitive to gluten I shouldn’t eat out anywhere! Rather frustrating for someone who has an allergy!! ok, so thats my rant ;)

Dahlia Graj says:

Jess,

I think it is so wrong for you to out a cafe on your website and bad mouth it. How would you like if someone did this to your website.

Andrea says:

I cannot believe anyone who has read of Jess’s journey could take offense at exposing a truth about any outlet using ‘marketing’ to make their product sound better than it actually is.

We would not expect to get gluten if we ordered from a gluten free menu – and for many of us this would be harmful.

So it is with organics. The entire point of eating organics is to say no to food that has been ‘added to’ for the profit of a manufacturer/chemical company

The very very least a cafe claiming to offer organics should have is some meal choices that are prepared using 100% organic produce.

Our laws say that we are entitled to know what we are eating and a cafe claiming to be organic but making it an ‘optional’ choice of their choosing robs the consumer of their choice.

It is simply dishonest …..as in well….it might be be pesticide free….but it might not…
That is the antithesis of healthy eating – more like russian roulette. Dangerous to those who are undergoing natural food regimes for various life threatening ailment.
Unethical. illegal AND self serving.

The old advertising adage “A complaint is a gift’ – then any restaurant that genuinely cares about what it serves to its customers would consider this discussion the best present ever!!!

narelle says:

Actually, Andrea, I and I imagine others here have been following Jess for some time. It doesn’t mean we agree on the method of ‘outing’ a business the way it was done here. With a readership as big as hers, it’s realistic to expect debate and as I read elsewhere, people to unfollow her because of the tone of her comments.

I rarely comment unless I really feel an online post is unprofessional or highly emotive purely to get others on board. After all Jess is a businesswoman and the cafe is also a business, the cafe’s menu is not a personal attack

Wardie Ward says:

The only way to ensure a diet of totally organic foods diet is to grow everything yourself. No other source of food is 100% reliable. Compromise is part of life in any society.
I will continue to eat at Manna occasionally because there are no better alternatives in Byron since the Conscious Cafe shut its doors.
Wanna whinge about something? NZ’s most enduring advertising campaign is “100% pure New Zealand”. What a joke! Pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilisers are used everywhere. At least New Zealand CAN claim to be using something like 77% renewable energy sources and to be Nuclear Free.

Dianne says:

I’m with you on this one Jess. We should NOT have to ask ‘Is your food organic?’ when this is what they are advertising & pricing to match. Shame, Shame, Shame!! Let everyone know. Can you make a list of the TRUE organic cafes you have eaten at? Please.

Lee says:

False advertising is just wrong.

Marg says:

Hey Jess. Love what you do. For me, BELIEF is everything. What you believe is what you see. As light beings, or beings of vibrant energy, we choose the vibrations that we carry in our bodies from moment to moment. In order to bring our bodies into vibrant health, it is then necessary to choose the highest vibrations in each moment. This dissolves the fear (lowered vibes) around our every experience, and fills our cells with light, and our bodies with health. By projecting love and light into all you eat and all you meet, you liberate them from fear and raise their vibes to meet your own. Shining your light is the answer…cast wide your field of grace. You have the power to change anything and everything through your own loving vibes. From The Heart. Marg

Grace says:

Wow,
thats so totally beautiful! im SO going to project love into every meal now.

Amy says:

Agreed! Marg that was a beautiful comment.

Nicolle says:

Hi Jess,
I just wanted to send you all the love in the world for writing this blog. Thank you! My situation is that for health reasons I 100% need to eat organic. Whilst at the moment I am on my path to wellness that does not see me venture out apart from time spent at the beach, so thank you for making me aware that when the day comes when I am out and about and eating, I now know not to just trust but to ask questions.

After reading a lot of the comments, the one that I think helps me to understand why people do this is the comment that talked about the people who were selling gluten free products which had small amounts in them but their son who was sensitive to gluten could tolerate them. I like to see the best in people and this can sometimes really see me hurt, confused and frustrated but I do try to remember that people are doing the best they can at any given moment. Knowledge is a funny thing, you only know what you know and when someone may be fortunate enough to be making a choice to go organic that is not for health reasons, I really get how this to them may seem something so very trivial but to someone whose body would be completely devastated by the non organic foods – I 100% get it!

First time comment-er, long time blog reader :) Love your work and keep spreading the love and knowledge no matter what! We have the choice to do what we will with the information you provide us with. For all the people and corporations who are choosing to do bad things in this world, I don’t believe that you deserve to be jumped on for providing important information to people that is aimed at helping them to improve their lives and choices.

Sally says:

This is wrong. It should be labelled as healthy food, but not organic. We pay through the nose for organic food we cook at home. Why should a restaurant buy non organic and then charge organic prices to its customers? I’m shocked and will be checking where I eat at Byron Bay next time. I don’t eat 100% organic but I don’t want to give extra money to a cafe that is pretending otherwise. I’d rather support the honest ones.

Alex says:

First World Problems

Martine says:

I agree 100% with you Jess. If any cafe or restaurant claims to serve organic food, it should be 100% organic and if their food proves to be the contrary, I would be as upset as you and would have also made a comment to them that they are doing false advertising. Truth is however: “How does one know that those who proclaim to sell certified organic food are really selling just that? What proof is there? it is still their words against our own judgement…

Ez says:

Jess, thanks for raising such an important topic. I totally feel ya – it’s EXHAUSTING for cancer patients and survivors to eat clean. As s bladder cancer survivor, I assess everything and many times have had to compromise my ideal diet. However, in reality, restaurants and cafes have to turn a profit to survive, they can’t withdraw items from their menu because an organic ingredient is unavailable. In reality a 100% certified organic restaurant that turns a profit is near impossible for everyday eating. The issue hear is more about false advertising. The only way we can guarantee 100% certified organic is to prepare our own meals.

Linda d says:

I support you Jess in speaking out,far too many businesses and products are jumping on the ‘organic’ & ‘natural’ bandwagon so they can charge more. I know we have a café that has a sign saying it is ‘organic’ and I have seen the owner buying conventional vegies from the supermarket. I just stopped going there and now don’t trust anyone. I don’t eat out anymore and spend more money on buying the food I love. Unless you are able to see receipts from the café’s purchases at markets etc how are you going to know for sure?

Wendy says:

Hey Jess – good to see you’ve recanted some of your comments. As such an astute foodie for so long I’m surprised that you would trust a board outside of a cafe in the first place. I sure wouldn’t and I’m nowhere near as strict as you. Without a picture of the board or menu it’s hard to tell how they advertised themselves. However you say they’re board also said RAW. Pretty sure your burger didn’t come with a raw bun now did it? And perhaps the patties wasn’t either. There is a place for common sense which was needed at this occasion. :)

Hi Wendy, yep I take total responsibility for not asking questions! I would definitely handle this situation differently if I did it again – both the blog post and the visit to the cafe. x

Andrea says:

I wonder what responsibility you feel the restaurant must bear …for knowing misleading the public. Surely we can’t all be expected to accept and become immune to businesses who need to mislead in order to get the business….

Heather says:

I think this is the post that will cause me to unsubscribe from your “tribe.” For being as health conscious as you are, and for good reason, I would think/hope you would do a bit more research on your medicine. If a doctor prescribed me medicine, I would ask questions about it. Food is your medicine, and when a café calls themselves vegetarian, vegan, organic, raw (like this café does) how can you expect it to be all those things without asking? And then to put them on blast all over the internet…it leaves an icky taste in my mouth and kind of tarnishes your message of positive energy, healing thoughts, nutrition etc. You ate 1 non-organic meal and then brought heaps of negative attention on a non-profit that helps the community…people that can’t afford the foods that you consider medicine. It sounds like they deserve the benefit of the doubt, and I’m sorry but the label of this post is very misleading because no one lied to you, you just chose not to research your food. Maybe it’s because I’m from America, but I’m rooting for this little underdog of a restaurant, and hoping they can ride the wave of negativity that you have sent their way. Maybe they aren’t completely organic, but they are doing a heck of a lot to change the conventional thoughts towards food and apologizing for something that YOU chose not to be responsible for.

Hi Heather, I agree with what you’re saying and I regret the way that I handled this post and the message I was trying to convet. I don’t always get it right, and I’ll admit that this is one of those cases. Thank you for being part of my tribe so far. x

Andrea says:

Jess there is NO need to apologise – really!!

Who would choose not to go to this restaurant again? Those who wanted to eat without preservatives, pesticides and herbicides. Okay so that is their right to choose. You did well to tell them …
No harm done there….

So….. as a result of those who defined your expression of how you felt as ‘unprofessional’ ‘emotional’ or whatever passing judgment on you – on your own blog …. how many have decided to leave your blog looking for something different?

No harm done there either…

Good outcomes all round…

Nichola says:

Good work Jess, I hate being lied to, especially about food and health. As a vegetarian I can’t stand when some places suggest their food is vegetarian yet they will use a chicken stock with animal fat in it! I share your frustration, organic should be 100% organic if advertised! Also, I think to people who are giving you a bit of hell for this, they should realise that this can actually make people sick. Someone with celiac for example can’t just eat a bit of gluten and be ok!!

Katie says:

Oh Jess… is it really that bad? I have been to that restaurant and the menu does not say 100% organic… so you always have to take your chances, or ask. I am gluten free and always “ask” the chef, or ask the wait staff to double check with the chef… Byron Bay food, is better than some of the commercial Brisbane food, so you should be glad, and have done your best… truly .. settle petal, it will be ok

Becka says:

Honestly, that really didn’t seem like much of a rant….if one at all. I’ve seen a few things posted by you in response to this blog post, so I was expecting something full-tilt….I think you spoke the truth, and that’s it. I also sense that although the anger may have seemed towards the cafe that you were really more upset with yourself about being so trusting……maybe because of the excitement of getting to eat out!! (I know that feeling too! :) ) I just shake my head at all this nonsense…..it should be mandatory that conventional food should be labelled with stickers that say “Herbicides” “Toxic” “Pesticide” and “GMO”, and that would apply to cafes and restaurants as well. If companies don’t like being 100% honest and transparent, why would or should consumers trust them or even look to them when they won’t see the whole picture. I’m not saying that Cafe is evil, but us people in this health and wellness industry really need to take ourselves seriously if we want anyone else to take us seriously too – ‘we have to be the change’
love&light Jess ~ you are the change!

I came across your blog from News.com.au.

Words like “organic”, “sustainable”, “green” and “environmentally-friendly” are nothing more than buzzwords most of the time. It’s a pity, as they do all have a degree of truth to them. There are organic things–there is an agreement. Other things are sustainable–this is more scientific. Some things are, indeed, “friendly” to the environment–again, scientific. And so on.

Unfortunately there is no overarching body–The Definition Police?–ensuring certain words are used in a way that does’t purposely mislead. But there are degrees of such governance. Australian Certified Organic (ACO) provide certification that certain products meet a certain standard–to the next person ACO’s certification may not be organic enough, but at least it is an agreed definition and people can make decisions based on that. As for the rest, well, they’re largely unregulated / certified.

Anonymous says:

Thanks for the warning! I am sure I’d have made the same mistake you did! I agree, they should not advertise that they’re organic unless they’re 100% organic! That is outrageous. They should say – mostly organic, or something so that one knows to find out what is and isn’t organic. Thanks for your posts and your blog. I have just subscribed and just made my first green smoothie – ever! Thanks for the inspiration. I am just on the beginning of learning more about what I feed my family and will try to switch to as much organic in future as we can and would love to begin to grow some of our own food. I am finding your blog truly inspirational. Thanks. :)

this is not new. that is why it should be that many vegetable and fruit growers do natural pest control sunshine coast methods. The use of good bugs and insects helps a lot compared with chemicals.

Bonny says:

Lets simplify things-
If an individual (café owner/business owner etc) truly were passionate about ORGANIC they would not want the non-organic components to contaminate everything else.

There is a HUGE trend towards places using language such as “local” “spray-free” “organic” … Its up to the INDIVIDUAL to ask questions & become aware.

Spray free? Well then the pesticides have been put in the soil for the plant to “suck up”.. So instead of the plant being sprayed with chemicals the chemicals now reside inside the plant!

Local? The majority of farmers in the Byron Bay region are convention farmers utilising all the pesticides/fungicides on the market. But it’s “local” right?

For those of you who said this was “harsh” and that these places are doing their best? Well when your slogan is “Manna Havan- Raw -Vegan – Organic” do not think this is deceptive? Especially coming from the Church its funded by.

Just a few things to think about.

Organic and conventional contaminated foods are very different things.

If you buy a juice that has 90% organic fruit/veges but then they use conventional celery – you have a chemical cocktail (as celery is the most heavily sprayed and is expensive to buy organic). Celery alone contains over 70 pesticides.. even a local “organic” juice bar in Byron uses conventional celery….

Become Informed

Bonnie says:

Keep this in mind before judging any establishment. There are no restrictions in Australia on using the word ‘organic’ on food or any product. If something is CERTIFIED organic then that will be clearly stated with the relevant authority trademark on packaging/advertising. Anything else, you have no guarantee that it is completely organic.
For more info, see:
http://foodwise.com.au/organic-labelling/

Veronica says:

Hi there:
As an organic café owner I would like to respond. On my website and in person I tout my café as “organic as we can be” Our produce is 90% organic, which is a feat in an area with four seasons. Our primary ingredients for baking and more are organic. I believe it would be virtually impossible to be 100% organic, particularly if you have a vegetarian or vegan café. Not only would it not be cost effective and to try to do so would put you out of business and would rob your audience of having a healthier 90% organic meal, but it is not feasible. We bake all of our baked goods from scratch but in many instances can not find, even with the large food distributors things like organic extract or organic powdered egg replacer for vegan products. While I appreciate and value your perspective, unless your on the other side of the counter, trying to offer the public a healthier option, I don’t think you fully understand what we are up against. While I applaud your efforts, please take those o us who are opening these type of places, really going out on a limb into consideration. Most cafes’ even the upscale ones, offer Sysco frozen then baked products, or pre-fab ingredients which are not even natural, let alone anything close to whole or organic.

jess dorman says:

I feel ya, hopefully more of us go all organic…also many people do not actually know what organic means, even in health food stores. I signed up for a co-op/food share thing one time, and kept getting non-organic/non-vegan stuff, after 3rd trip to exchange one thing for another, I decided it was not worth it, and while buyer beware great point, it is annoying when you feel tricked about something you make such an effort to do a certain way.

Travis says:

I have had a similar experience. An “organic” cafe opened near me recently and I was excited to finally be able to eat out.

I went there and asked what food they have that is fully organic and they list some items, for example a BLT. I asked “Is the bread organic?”, they hesitate then say “uh.. no but it is gluten free” like this is the same thing?! This is blatant lying! These people should feel comfortable telling me the full ingredients list to their food but they act very standoffish if I do. Even McDonalds shows their full ingredients list.

How can I trust this? They even use tap water. How sad. I need to open my own organic restaurant with some common sense.

joe says:

This is very common in the food industry. A lot of places will use the term Organic very loosely because of the value of the brand while ignoring the need to buy organic ingredients because it is very expensive. No one will buy $18 kilo of cucumber or capsicums. Also check with your organic grocer if they sell Chemical free vegetables and not organic vegetables or both. Often they will adulterate organic vegetables and fruits with chem free or normal vegetables/fruits and you will not able to tell them a part. There is a lot of exploitation going on. Notice hydroponic lettuce sold and that can also be grown organically? Dont eat hydroponic produce, even organic ones. There is very little nutritional value in any of them. One way to tell if the produce is organic is by the way they look. Organic produce often look poor but taste great and will go off within a few days. That is what so great about them.

I once saw this Syd chemical free fruit and vegetable stall at the market sell adulterated stuff in their stall but still pass it off as chemical free.

You really better off growing your own, it’s much cheaper and fresher too.

Aluin says:

Thanks for this blog Jess! Everyones comments have been great.
There is one thing though which has been lingering in my mind for a while. I am hoping someone could clarify this or at least give me a little bit to work on.
Recently a friend asked me why I bother going to all the trouble of buying only organic produce even to the extent of going without food even water until I can find an organic option or in the case of the water spring water. He went on to say he works with the daughter of an organic farmer who claims her father is still allowed to use chemicals?? Firstly I know that he doesn’t have proof that the farmer is infact a certified organic farmer and could be trying to deter the increase in organic support. He might be losing business. Anyway this isn’t the first time I have heard this question.
My answer is not the typical one though. Although organic produce is amazing, tastes so much better doesn’t it eg. an organic avocado vs a conventional avocado!
I feel for the planet. The animals affected by the chemicals even down the food chain, but for the farm workers exposed to these chemicals. In some countries their health and safety is not important. People are dying from exposure to chemicals on coffee plantations, it is really serious.
I could go on as there are so many more reasons but the question is can we trust certified organic producers? Apart from the little guy at the Saturday markets who wouldn’t hurt a locust when it lands in his greens!

Travis says:

These liar cafes piss me off! This happened to me recently.

I can’t stand this honestly. I trust McDonalds more than I trust these cafes, at least with McDonalds I know where they stand.

Every time I went to my local “organic” cafe they would get uncomfortable when I asked questions. How is that meant to make me feel as a customer?

Here is an example of what goes on:

“Hi is the BLT organic?”
“Yes it is”
“Is the bread used on the BLT organic?”
“No…. but it’s gluten free”

So it’s not organic! Fucking liars!!

Sorry for swearing so much but seriously this is FRAUD!

Doug Breslin says:

From seed to Sprout, Avon-by-the sea, N.J. Claimed to have a gluten free 100% organic bread alternative for their grilled avocado sandwich. My girlfriend and I ate at this cafe for more than 2 years. My girlfriend suffers from a severe gluten allergy. Last week I ask one of the counter girls if I could purchase several loaves to take home, and when I returned later in the week, I purchased the bread and went home. To our horror, we read on the label that this bread contained trace amounts of gluten, wheat and yeast. And not only that, there wa only one ingredient in the bread that was listed as organic. There was no USDA certified organic label nor was there the universal gluten free label either. Yet the owners of this cafe posted this bread on their menu as not only 100% organic, but gluten free as well. I have a facebook page called Out the sprout, please check it out and share if you would. Thank you. Sincerely, Doug Breslin

Doug Breslin says:

Please Visit my Facebook page Out the Sprout. It chronicles the experience my girlfriend and I have had with a local “100% organic” cafe and their claim to have a gluten free, 100% organic bread alternative. My girlfriend suffers from asevere gluten allergy and her father passed prematurely from colon cancer, a battle she potentially has a 50% chance of facing herself. Please like and share, or just share for the awarenesss. Thank you. Sincerely, Doug Breslin

5

Monica Budd says:

Good on you Jess, the should have been honest about it in the first place. I agree with you 100%. False advertising otherwise.

Barb says:

Thankyou! We as a family eat 100% organic. If we can’t find it organic we don’t eat it. I have been feeling so alone in this decision I made for my family a few years ago. Having to explain my reasons, as if we are from another planet. We want the best, the most natural foods we can get, closest to nature, why is that so weird and wrong! Thankyou!

Corinne says:

I do agree that it pisses me off that cafés claim to be organic and then when you ask they will say they are organic where possible. This is a cop out. There are a few cafés around that are 100% organic such as the Organic Circle in Armadale WA and also Solomon’s in Mt Lawley WA. In SA the Organik Store & Cafe in Glenelg is 100% organic. Whereas the Green Room in Wilunga doesn’t even use organic milk in their coffee when Paris Creek biodynamic dairy is less than 50km away.

My way is to question them on the menu item I’m interested. IE I won’t eat inorganic berries as they are very toxic. So I question where each bit is organic or not. They might get the point. We can’t eat organic tomatoes all year round and we need to change our menus accordingly. I love the fact that if organic mushrooms aren’t available then the risotto is off the menu at Solomon’s. So you know it’s real.

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