In France, Restaurants Must Tell Diners If Their Meals Are Homemade Or Not

In France, Restaurants Must Tell Diners If Their Meals Are Homemade Or Not Hero Image

A controversial new law in France will require restaurants to state whether or not they make their food from scratch, a move that many feel will increase diners' awareness of when and where they can eat food made from fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The law, which takes effect at the beginning of next year, would give qualifying restaurants a logo to display, signifying that their food is "homemade." The beef, however, is what a restaurant must do to qualify. Frozen vegetables, for example, are permitted — except for potatoes, ruling out the possibility of eating previously frozen french fries at a restaurant bearing the logo.

NPR has more details on the controversy:

The linchpin of the new rule is that homemade fare must be made only from "raw ingredients," meaning the food product has undergone no significant modification, including being heated, marinated, assembled or a combination of those procedures. But the definition does allow for "smoked, salted, refrigerated, frozen or deep-frozen" produce as well as vacuum-packed food as ingredients for other dishes.

In Le Monde newspaper, one restaurant critic called it a "dud decree" that panders to frozen food lobbies because "any frozen raw product from spinach stalks to shrimp can figure in a dish dubbed 'home-made.' "

While the law may have some problematic features, we at MindBodyGreen are in favor of any measure designed to encourage the cooking and consumption of fresh, real food. So go get 'em, France!

What do you think of France's efforts? Can you imagine a similar law making it onto a ballot anywhere in the United States? Let us know!

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