GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The concern over what’s in our food has inspired a new movement in Josephine County and it’s delivering GMO-free options right to your table at some of the area’s most popular restaurants.
Rossos Trattoria in Grants Pass is celebrating 13 years with a new adventure: it’s one of ten restaurants participating in the brand new Food Integrity Project.
“We thought it was an amazing idea, and giving back in a way, and showing them that we do pay attention to what we are feeding them and what we put on the table,” explained the owner of Rosso’s Trattoria, Amy King.
Amy King is putting GMO-free dishes on the menu as part of the Food Integrity Project.
“It’s real recent, we are real young,” said Karen Daggett Austin of The Food Integrity Project.
Just a few months ago the project was a simple idea.
“There is a concern about sustainability, and to provide healthful options for eating, and it kind of just went like wildfire,” explained Karen.
Now, ten restaurants have reworked menu items to earn the coveted green leaves, designating GMO-free options.
“Some of the restaurant owners are really astute at doing that on their own and others may just need a little bit of help doing that,” said Karen, “and we utilize our resources from the Institute Of Responsible Technology, as well as the Non-GMO Project, and we consult with the restaurant owners and we help them look at their menus.”
“We have to look at the dairy cows and what they eat, and if that’s GMO free or not,” said Amy. “And so I really think it goes a lot further than what we realize at first and it’s been eye opening. It’s been an education and I think it will be eye opening for a lot of people once they start looking into for themselves.”
Hunting down GMO-free options can be a challenge.
“We will literally call the suppliers we just straight up ask them, ‘Do you use Genetically Modified Ingredients in the creation of your product?’ And thankfully they’ve all been honest, so far,” said Karen.
It’s also a bit pricier, but Amy says they are divvying up the costs, increasing the GMO-free options by only a dollar or two and eating the rest of the difference.
“At the end of the day I think we are happy to put the extra money into it,” said Amy.
“We want Grants Pass and Cave Junction as a place where people can come and enjoy some food options that they may not have somewhere else,” said Karen.
The other 9 restaurants are still a secret, but not for long. Thursday’s big reveal will include lots of GMO-free goodies as well as live music and food demos and it’s all for free.
There is also an event one week later, on October 24, for people to eat out at all the new Food Integrity Project restaurants. The “Rally at the Restaurants” feature special deals and opportunities to meet the owners and chefs at the restaurants.