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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Where the elite meet to eat whole wheat

A hundred years ago, I sat in the sublime outdoor patio of my favorite college coffee shop watching as people entered a new wholesome cafe.

Okay, it wasn’t a hundred years ago, but there were a lot of people going into this new kind of eatery where the wheat was whole, the beans were soy, the rice was brown, the veggies were fresh and everything was as natural and organic as it could be.

It was a time before In and Out, but God knows we all ate plenty of burgers, hot dogs and other processed and unregulated foods. There was something in the air, not to mention the water, about what we were eating.

“You are what you eat” was a saying that was just getting some credence. Physical fitness was not just something you did on the high school playground but was in the nascent stages of becoming big business and part of our national culture.

The ideas were ideal.  Eat right and work-out and you will live longer.garden

When it came to food, it looked as if the nouveau collegiate eatery I viewed would take the place of Joe’s Diner and the like.

All of these years since, there is little question we are examining what we eat more thoroughly. There is now a bill on the California ballot to notify consumers of the Genetically Processed Organisms (GMOs) in the food they are buying. I see vegan restaurants popping up in strip malls (not that being vegan is necessarily healthier but that is a topic for another blog).  Still, we all know now that eating too much meat, especially the non-organic, antibiotically-saturated kind, is just plain bad for you.

Was there ever a question that Coca-Cola was demonic?  I mean, how could something that tastes so good and is so addictive, be good for you?  OK, so apples fit that bill as well.

I am happy to see the natural foods world grow and the rise of so many different types of “healthy” restaurants and products emerge.  We are at least trying.

We may even get the price of organic food down and actually regulate it so that we are all sure the food we are eating is not tainted.  That may be another hundred years down the road, but least we are on the road.

Rich Leivenberg, The Food Connector


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