Restaurants often cheat on “Organic” label
It turns out that menu items touted as “local” and “organic” at restaurants aren’t always either. They may actually come from a huge national vendor like Sysco rather than a small or family-owned farm.
Since there are no actual “truth-in-menu” laws, this practice isn’t even illegal (though it IS pretty rotten, slimy and greedy).
Once again, the word organic can be used pretty loosely. Remember, there’s a vast difference between the term “organic,” which may mean food raised without pesticides or antibiotics, and the more intensive “certified organic,” which is legally regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The phrase “all-natural,” only means “minimally processed” at best, with no artificial ingredients or colors. But there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s natural that you still wouldn’t want in your food!
A restaurant can call its ingredients organic whether they’re factory-farmed Chilean products grabbed from the shelves of Wal-Mart or hand delivered by a small farm after being picked that morning.
Ultimately, diners need to be aware, self-educate, and ask questions. Diners also should pay attention to their taste buds. Organic generally tastes better — produce is more earthy and pungent, and tomatoes have higher sugar and acidity.