HIGHTOWER: America's First "Certified Organic" Restaurant

A restaurant in Austria attempted an English translation of its house specialty: "As for the tripe served here," boasted a notice, "you will be singing its praises to your grandchildren on your deathbed."Uh . . . I'll pass on the tripe.We've all eaten at places where we wondered if we'd survive the experience, but now there's one restaurant in America where you can at least know you won't get any pesticide poisoning. It's Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C., where the owner/chef, Nora Pouillon, has just achieved a remarkable milestone. Her namesake place, deservedly famous for great food, has also become the first to be "certified organic."Many food products and entire farms have been certified organic, but Nora's is the first restaurant. To get this designation, she had to demonstrate to a certifying authority that more than 95 percent of all ingredients in her pantry come from farmers and processors who themselves have been certified organic. It was not too difficult for her to obtain organic vegetables, fruits, meat, breads, cheese, and eggs, but she had to go to Madagascar to find certified organic peppercorns, and to Brittany to get organic sea salt. Other ingredients and condiments took some serious searching, tooÑlike organic olive oil, butter, mushrooms, flour, sugar and spicesÑas did a good stock of organic wines and organic coffee. But, two years after she began, she got the coveted certificate she sought.Do her customers care? Not all of them, but the important thing is that Nora cares. For her, it's about respect for food itself, for the people who eat in her restaurant, for the small farmers and artisans who produce this pure bounty, and for the earth. She's a pioneer, contributing to a healthier world. Thanks to Nora's extraordinary efforts, other restauranteurs will be able to follow the path she has blazed, using some of the same supply sources she has developed; increasing the market for organic production.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . Thank you Nora Pouillon.

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