Though California residents voted down Proposition 37, a proposal that would require food makers to list all the genetically engineered foods used in their products, the food industry has vowed to continue their fight against GMOs.

"The issue of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), is a very volatile topic that will make headlines in the coming year," says John Turenne, founder and president of Sustainable Food Systems. "From a sustainability issue, it all comes down to the make up of the food we produce and eat and the potential impact on environment, health and corporate control. I think this will be a huge issue going forward."

Currently, it's a challenge for operators to disseminate which foods contain GMOs, Turenne says. As a result, many will avoid buying processed or even pre-prepped foods and stick to whole fruits, vegetables and even larger, more primal cuts of meat, many sourced from local farms and producers.

This impacts equipment selection and design in that kitchens will need the right combination of items to process their own food efficiently, according to Turenne. "It's as simple as more worktables for chopping vegetables and preparing other food by hand, far less dry storage and freezer space and a little more refrigeration," he says.

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