Chipotle: A promise to go GMO-free

Bowl full of dreams
Bowl full of dreams

A long-time friend to vegans, Chipotle has just announced it will go GMO-free. While beverages that use GMO-corn-based sweetener will still be offered, it will kick out any meat that doesn’t reach standards. Beyond the beef, they will be switching up oils and flour. This is HUGE people! Chipotle’s success could drive competitors to increase demand of organic produce. While it does not definitively harken a revolution, Chipotle is taking strides to change the way fast (medium-fast?) food is made. Their biggest issue is beef: non-GMO and uncontaminated. In the past, they’ve shown that they are willing to forego certain items (carnitas) if they do not reach standards of production. However, Chipotle is poised for success with 20 fewer ingredients that other burrito-bundling brands.

Just a marketing move?

If it is a marketing motivated initiative, who the heck cares? This still means that the food will be more wholesome and indeed does increase sustainability appeal. Marketing or not, you can’t argue with a commitment to be GMO-free.

Obstacles:

  1. Oil. Cooking oil is a delicate beast. It’s smoking temperature is temperamental and there is an abundance of cheap GMO corn and soy oil. However, Chipotle is sticking it out and using sunflower oil to fry chips and tortillas and rice bran oil for rice and fajita vegetables. This has meant urging their non-GMO suppliers to up production.
  2. The flour tortillas . “The shortening had an oil in it that was derived from soybeans,” said Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s spokesman. “We won’t use lard for tortillas because of our vegan and vegetarian customers, and we can’t use palm oil because of the environmental impact.”- Now the tortillas are made with non-GMO canola oil which could raise burrito prices slightly. But it’s pretty worth it, also the burrito bowls are like pots of gold AND 100 calories lighter sans tortilla.

All hail Chipotle…?…!

10/10 grad students agree that God is a Chipotle Burrito.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/business/chipotle-to-stop-serving-genetically-altered-food.html?_r=0

http://chipotle.com/food-with-integrity

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