Although the organic lifestyle is on the rise, it is still difficult to ensure you’re enjoying a completely organic experience while eating out. When following a specific diet or healthy lifestyle, dining out can easily seem like the ultimate obstacle in your life. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make dining out organically a reality for you.
Doing just a little bit of research picking out the restaurants that you can visit goes a long way when it comes to finding organic dining experiences. A huge wave of locally sourced and organic ingredients used by restaurants has spread across the United States. Many restaurants have information available on their website about their ingredient sourcing, and more and more establishments have started incorporating organic foods as staples in their menus. Take a moment to consider the information listed on restaurant websites about their food sourcing, and then go a step further to check out the companies being sourced from to see about their farming and livestock practices.
Even if you find plenty of information about a restaurant’s food sourcing, I recommend calling ahead anyway. It not only gives the restaurant an opportunity to prepare for your visit and answer any possible questions about their organic options, but it also lets them know there is in fact a demand in their community for organically sourced menu options. The easiest thing you can do as a repeat customer at your favorite restaurant is to simply express your interest in seeing more organically sourced ingredients incorporated into the menu. Many local, family owned businesses depend on and cherish their return customers and are always looking for suggestions on how to ensure your satisfaction and repeat business. Never hesitate to drop a comment in their box if they have one, or simply call ahead or ask to speak with a manager during your next visit.
It is important to understand that just as the transition to an organic lifestyle brought up an uptick in your grocery expenses, dining out organically tends to get pricey as well. Pricier restaurants typically have more accommodations for organic lifestyles, but sometimes these aren’t the most realistic options for families with children. Your best family options are going to be local and family owned establishments in your neighborhood. Many of these smaller, family owned businesses already think more about the quality of their ingredients because they want the same for your family as they do for their own. You will often find ingredients sourced from other small, local businesses and farmers. If you remember, small batch farming is a huge component in organic farming, so oftentimes smaller farms tend towards organic practices. Just because it is local and small batch farming, does not mean it is organically sourced, so be sure to ask these important questions and research the companies and farms mentioned by your favorite local restaurants.
Dining out organically can be still be challenging, so make sure you frequent your favorite local establishment and encourage them to continue and expand their organic offerings.