A HIGHER STANDARD: In opting to purchase mostly non-GMO and organic products for his restaurant — including only non-GMO corn chips and fryer oil — Mamacita’s owner John Atwater says he is trying to use his purchasing power to send a message. “The more interest we place on holding products up to a higher standard, I think that educates everyone, from the employees that work with us to the vendors that sell the products,” says Atwater.

GMOs: Yes or no? Local restaurant­s seek to meet demand for non-GMO foods

Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first national restaurant chain to ban genetically modified ingredients from its menu. But while the company has made headlines across the U.S. for its bold stance against the industry’s claim that all food is created equal, many Asheville restaurants have been waging a much quieter war of their own for years.

ADDING IT UP: According to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, Buncombe County is home to 449 nonprofit organizations. To fund their work, each organization must come up with creative solutions that helps them stand out from the crowd.

Nonprofits seek creative funding in Buncombe County

On April 14, representatives from 43 nonprofits requested funding from Buncombe County, as part of the county’s community development grant program. But these organizations make up only 9.6 percent of the total nonprofits in the county. Others rely on privately funded grants and donations, as well as individual donations — both small and large. Each organization must constantly work to grab and hold the public’s attention. And in a city like Asheville, it seems there’s never a shortage of worthy causes.