organics at mendoberri

mendoberri is a gourmet cafe and wine bar without pretense.  Everything on our lunch and dinner menus is also available for takeout.  We are proud to serve the Mendota Heights and surrounding Twin Cities communities by serving fresh, delicious, and innovative cuisine that is organic and locally-sourced whenever possible.

How is organic defined and why is it such a big deal these days?  While labeling food items as organic is restricted to certified organic producers, mendoberri is proud to serve organic products because organic producers are required to use the standards mandated by Federal legislation and upheld by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which defines 3 levels of organic food:

(1) “100% Organic”: products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled "100 percent (%) organic" (by the grower),
(2) “Organic”: products with at least 95 percent (%) organic ingredients can use the word "organic". Both of these categories may also display the USDA organic seal, and
(3) “Made with Organic Ingredients”: products containing a minimum of 70 percent (%) organic ingredients can be labeled "made with organic ingredients".

Not only is the demand for organic food on a clear upward trend, but there are numerous benefits of eating organic. For example:

1. Organic food is much richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber—and retains the levels of nutrients for much longer—than non-organic food

2. Eating organic foods enables the body to be more resistant to disease as it will have higher levels of the essential nutrients it needs to fight off infection

3. Eating organic food can increase energy levels; foods with higher levels of toxins and chemicals slow the body down

4. Organic farms respect our water resources and do not leach nitrogen and other pollutants from their soil

5. Organic food producers must meet stringent standards

6. Animals and produce that are not exposed to, or fed, growth hormones and antibiotics are not passed on to you, the consumer

In general, the organic industry continues to grow dramatically worldwide, and in Minnesota it is no different. According to the 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census Report, there were 718 Minnesota farms producing organic crops—a 66 percent gain from the best previous estimate.  In addition, according to USDA data from 2005, Minnesota ranks fifth in the nation in terms of the highest number of certified organic farms, outranked only by California, Wisconsin, Washington and Iowa.

Included in our philosophy of buying local organic food whenever possible, we also support the use of earth-friendly products—everything from takeout order packaging, cleaning supplies, paper supplies and storage (both front and back of the house).  As just one example, we do not use Styrofoam, as it displaces more than four-times the amount of storage and disposal than its paper counterpart.  As another example, we made a conscious decision to reduce glass waste and recycling efforts by exclusively serving tap beers instead of bottled beer.  We are also launching efforts to work with our local waste management company to create efficiencies and reduce our waste.

These are just a few of the many examples of the standards we’ve implemented in support of slowing negative impact on the planet.  As demand for organic grows, so will our ability to provide more of these great options.  Thanks for your support!