Why We Choose These Standards For Our Restaurant Guide

If you’re familiar with The Templeton List, then you have probably come across the seven criteria we use to determine the restaurants that meet our high standards of ingredients and preparation. Have you ever wondered why they are so important and why we chose them as our standard for restaurants across the country? We’ll explain!

Is your food locally sourced?

When you choose locally sourced food, you are eating seasonally as our ancestors did. When crops are harvested to be shipped and distributed to groceries across the world, they are harvested early, and chemical preservatives are often used to lengthen shelf life. Sometimes irradiation is also used -- research shows that irradiation can form volatile toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene, two very suspect cancer-causing chemicals.

In contrast, locally grown food that many of our hand-selected restaurants feature, are foods picked at the peak of ripeness. The shorter time between harvest and table means that not only is the flavor exceptional, but the nutrient content is significantly higher, and the food supply is likely to be safer. Why? The more steps between you and your food’s source, the higher the risk of contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution. Many of the restaurants we feature proudly list their local affiliations with farmers and producers on their websites.

Is your food organic, pesticide and chemical-free?

Never has there been a time in history when the produce sold commercially is at risk of contamination due to pesticide and chemicals – all used in the name of preserving food and lengthening shelf life. Choosing certified organically grown food can help mitigate the risk of exposure of these dangerous contaminants.

Do you use healthy non-hydrogenated oils?

Hydrogenated oils are mainly used to preserve the shelf life of food and enhance taste and texture of foods cooked with it. Foods that commonly contain high levels of hydrogenated oils include baked goods, snack foods, margarine sticks, canned frostings, and coffee creamers. Foods containing these oils are not the healthiest options and should be avoided. We look for restaurants that use healthy oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, sesame or walnut oil.

Is your water filtered?

A study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published in 2019 found that carcinogens are present in the drinking water that millions of Americans consume. Researchers further concluded that the contamination is likely responsible for 100,000+ cases of cancer annually here in the U.S. Cleaning up your water is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy. That’s why we look for restaurants that not only serve filtered water, but use in the cooking process, too.

Do you use real butter and absolutely no margarine?

In 2018, the Consumer Council found two potentially carcinogenic compounds, glycidol and 3-MCPD, in margarine spreads. In contrast, butter is a rich source of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2.

Are you GMO-free?

Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, damage to the body’s organs, and sick and sometimes sterile livestock. GMO foods are banned in Europe and many other countries in the world, but not in the U.S. or Canada. In those two countries GMOs are present in a majority of processed foods. Watch out for these five main GMO foods – canola, corn, cotton, canola, soy, and sugar beets – and their derivatives.

Are you MSG-free?

A dangerous excitotoxin, monosodium glutamate is often added as a flavor-enhancer for commercially prepared food. Excitotoxins overstimulate cells in the tongue and the brain, killing neurons and with continued consumption, can not only oppress the body’s natural immunity, but can also result in brain damage of varying degrees. Dr. Russell Blaylock, board certified neurosurgeon and author of The Taste That Kills, states: “MSG is the #1 source of excitotoxins is in your food.” You can listen to his shocking explanation of the dangers of MSG at this video link: https://youtu.be/G1bYNsSCxjQ

MSG has been approved by the FDA since 1958 and is used even in some baby foods and formula, but The Templeton Wellness Foundation does not recommend its use, particularly for those individuals who are compromised with cancer.

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