CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Sunday, May 26, 2013


The word that is floating around the foodie world now is "organic" and it is a powerful word, as the protesters of genetically modified foods are taking to the streets, television, radio and the internet to object the sale of foods not labeled "GMO" and it is confusing the masses. Being a personal chef and video chef, I understand that providing foods for my clients or on the air needs to be healthy with the idea that we all have some common sense and not overeat any one kind of food. However the GMO labeling idea is shaping the thoughts of food retailers, making them worry of cost and profits.

"Will labeling my menu scare customers away? I mean...if I am forced to label my foods "non organic, or GMO vegetables" will I lose money?" asked one restaurant owner. "Shit I remember when the first thing people thought about was just growing enough food, and now with companies like Monsanto providing food for the world, how bad can this be? How bad is GMO? I think I been eating some and serving it for some time, I don't really think it's caused a big health issue..."

Another food server who has a small income stated, "I understand these greenies, they want to save the world from poisons, but if some foods are less expensive because of modifications, and safe, I'll buy that even if it is labeled, I have to feed my kid, and if a pound of organic corn is going to be $10.00, and the modified one is $5.00 I'll buy the $5.00 one until the FDA says I shouldn't."

"I wouldn't say I'm a supporter full on of these GMO companies, from what I understand some of these companies did some unbelievably bad things, but as far as food is concerned, unless the government says, 'do not eat GMO' I'll still buy it because there's no way I can afford organic food, not with the reality of my income. My wife will go to Whole Foods sometimes and we'll get some free range meats, and some organic fruits...but who's to say it wasn't cross contaminated, I think this world is just messed up, but we got to eat and just pray for the best," says another local from Maui.

One woman was adamant, out with Monsanto (large GMO company), "Get them out of here! They are an evil company!" I asked her why? and she just said the same things most liberals claim, that the whole cloning thing is bad, and Round Up ready seeds are bad but with little facts to substantiate what she's saying, she sounds repetitive like others that just eat vegetables grown on an organic farm.

Most people who shop at regular grocery stores, such as Foodland, Times, and Safeway on Maui aren't too concerned about the GMO thing. Here's what some have said.

No last names to protect each person.

Justin, Kihei, Maui- "I read about Monsanto, but they're an agriculture company, that's what they do, they research, create food to feed big deal to me, if they can grow corn where the farmer doesn't need lots of water, what's the big deal? As far as patents, and all that legal stuff, doesn't concern me too much, I gotta feed my family, to me, thank God there's a Monsanto, no company is an angel man."

Sara, Kihei, Maui- "I understand the organics position, and my friend made me read about Monsanto, and it was interesting, but you know the bottom line is I can't afford organic produce period or free range poultry all of the time, unless these organics foots my grocery bills, I'll still purchase foods even if it was labeled GMO, unless the government says not to."

Ricky, Haiku, Maui- "I worked on the mainland on organic farms, no chemicals, but what I saw some of the owners do will be worth talking about, because in organic farming without chemicals used to enhance the crops, lots of times, the plants will wilt, and I've seen some farmers of organics cheat and use fertilizer, or even spray is organics truly organics? Just a thought. I will look for organic labeled foods first, but I have no problem eating non organics if that's all I can find, some of these organic people are just too much, but I do understand their reasonings."

Kaipo, Makawao, Maui- "I read about Monsanto, but I understand they are a business in providing foods for millions around the world. Would I use chemicals in my back yard? Only if I really needed to. Would I eat GM foods? I have no problem with that, really no worries until my doctor or the food experts completely ban it from markets, I'm a local man, not too much income, so the bottom line is just the numbers, and the numbers favor non organics in my home."

Reno, Maui- "I moved here about three years ago, I have health issues, and one guy told me to buy organic foods, I spent hundreds of dollars and I did not see any difference, so I started buying non organic fruits and veggies, and it tastes alright, my health issues are deeper than food I think...but I think the media is overblowing the organic and non organic thing."

Aunty Carol, Paia, Maui- "I have family that grow taro, and I would not want to see any foods patented. But as far as myself providing foods for my own family, when I cook, I buy the non organic stuff, the brands since I was a kid, the Hunts, the Best Foods, but we watch our portions when we eat, we need better understanding about foods now days, but if it is sold in the stores and will be labeled GMOs, I would still buy it. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't. A perfect life would be a clean and organic one, but it is not, reality..I have only so much money each month to buy food for my family, guess what? I'll buy what I can afford."

Food servers claims that these products are used in their restaurants, and waiters do lie to their customers about ingredients.

David, CA "We used Heinz and transfered the ketchup into other squeeze bottles with a nice 'Organic' label, customers are faked out into thinking they're eating organic ketchup, they can't taste the difference."

According to David, no one can see the back of the restaurant, so to up the sales and profits, they use non organic for less cost, and jack up the menu prices claiming organics are used. His point, "people are into fads."

Lisa, CA "At a diner I worked at, the pastas were claimed homemade sauces and all natural, well it was actually Ragu, the shit you buy in your supermarket, diners aren't that smart, that just proves the point that a lot of ads and media will make people paranoid, I have not heard of my ex-customers dying lately because of this product that's not organic at all."

Kevin, WA "I was a waiter in Seattle in a high end restaurant, because of staffing, we had to get rid of our sauce guy, the guy that made all the dressings..well the chef always used organic stuff, oils, onions, veggies. Well we had to find a way to get our sauces tweaked, and some of it was made with Best Foods and it's a non organic mayonnaise. We did not have to claim organic or not, but our return customers when finding out we used some readymade products that was non organic, it did not scare them away, though some stopped coming in, the fact is if you know how to prepare foods, you can utilize these ingredients as well."

Martin is a local guy from Oahu, he's studied nutrition and eats some organic, and some non organics, he claims that fruits and vegetables if cooked past 104 degrees F will lose their nutritional value anyhow. "If you are cooking vegetables and it's over 104 degrees, you are really wasting money buying organics, I don't see too much difference in non organic and organics. If I do eat salads, I'll possibly look for organics but it's not too much of big deal for me, I think the organic crowd just wants to be heard."  

* The biggest thing in the news these days is the ouster of Monsanto in the food production business, however for those who think they'll win will have a very difficult time, the bottom line is that the average person cannot afford organics and even if laws will make food establishment label their goods with a GMOs label, people will still buy it because reality is the bottom line.

NOTE: I do not support any one organization or business, but try to bring to light what people are thinking on both sides of the tracks, where one side is adamant about organic only, and the other side claiming, non organics is alright and affordable.