Is the high-fructose corn syrup grown locally?

05Dec12

I’ve noticed an odd contradiction in at least one local restaurant. The situation goes like this: the restaurant promotes itself as using organic, locally-grown, all natural, or otherwise healthy ingredients. And for the most part, there’s no reason to believe they aren’t abiding by this guideline when preparing your food. However, the condiments on the table tell a different story.

In one example, the restaurant provides butter and jelly in little single-serve containers with breakfast. The butter is generic, but the jelly is a well-known brand. The first ingredient in that jelly? High fructose corn syrup. Yep, it’s more sugar than fruit. And I doubt the corn came from a local farm, either.

Granted, this is a small detail in the context of the overall dining experience. However, it’s more likely to be noticed when you’re positioning the restaurant as the type of place that would never serve mass-produced stuff. Returning to my example, I’m guessing there’s a way to buy little containers of organic fruit spreads or jam with no sugar added. And if those aren’t available from typical restaurant supply houses, I bet the farms that provide the other fresh ingredients would be happy to add natural jelly to their offerings.

Will switching the condiment selection to health-oriented versions help you sell more food? Maybe, maybe not. But if you’re already investing the time and money to make customers associate your restaurant with organic and local ingredients, it makes sense to go the extra mile and be consistent about it.



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