Sunday, July 5, 2015

Organic Pioneer Amy’s To Unveil ‘Clean’ Fast Food Concept In California

(Jonathan Benson)  A modern, health-conscious take on fast food is coming soon to northern California — and no, it’s not McDonald’s introducing “breakfast kale” at select restaurants in a lame attempt to stay relevant. Organic pioneer Amy’s Kitchen is set to open its first drive-through restaurant in Rohnert Park, where they will feature common fast food items like burgers, fries, and shakes made with only clean, organic ingredients.
With an end-of-June launch date, the Amy’s restaurant, which features large wall-to-wall windows and trendy outdoor seating, will begin serving sustainably-grown French fries cooked in sunflower oil, a healthy alternative to typical fast food fries cooked in soybean or canola oils. The restaurant will also serve other fast food favorites such as burritos, pizza, and salads without all the usual fast food offenders like genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and chemical preservatives.
This is all part of the company’s mission to change the way people eat by serving up what Americans already love using only healthy, chemical- and GMO-free ingredients. An impressive 95 percent of the menu items to be served at the Amy’s restaurant will be certified organic, and the rest will be the cleanest and most local ingredients that the company can find.
“Most businesses would go to a company and buy a bunch of frozen potatoes,” says John Paneno, Director of Sourcing at Amy’s Kitchen, about the unique Amy’s approach. According to Civil Eats, Amy’s searched long and hard for the best variety of potatoes to serve to customers, and they teamed up with a local farmer to grow them without chemical pesticides and herbicides.
“Amy’s started from scratch. We hired experts who could find the best varieties that met our sensory requirements. We had to figure out where they grew best and who is the best farmer to process them. We’re not taking any shortcuts.”

The foods we all love can be made healthier, and Amy’s is taking the lead

Rather than try to reinvent the wheel like many other fast food chains are now attempting to retain customers, Amy’s is sticking with the basics. Burgers and shakes often get a bad rap as junk food, for example, but these and other food products can be made healthier by using grass-fed beef or by sourcing local cheeses and breads made without GMOs.
It’s the future of fast food in a world that is rapidly waking up to the truth about chemical agriculture and the mass destruction it causes to human health. Amy’s is setting a new standard without resorting to clever marketing and bait-and-switch tactics. Instead, they are simply sourcing high-quality ingredients from foods grown the way our ancestors grew them.
“We haven’t changed,” says Amy’s co-founder and co-CEO Amy Berliner. “Organic, vegetarian and non-GMO is who we are.”
In recent weeks, fast food chain Chipotle added to this positive momentum by announcing that it had officially removed all GMOs from its menu items. The only items that might still contain GMO content are Chipotle’s meats, save for the beef (which is grass-fed), which the company says may or may not have been given feed containing GMOs.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s is reportedly shuttering at least 700 restaurants globally as the world’s most prominent fast food chain faces changing consumer tastes and preferences.
“The culture is shifting and (Amy’s) is going to be a big player in a different way in which the planet is going to eat,” stated David Trachtenberg, the architect behind the Amy’s restaurant concept, to The Press Democrat.
“There’s no denying that people go through drive-throughs. That’s how people eat. Let’s give them at least one choice that’s healthy for them and healthy for the planet.”

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