Quantcast
Business

Chipotle Becomes First Fast Food Chain to Go GMO-Free

This is probably just as awesome as getting burritos delivered straight to your door. Chipotle has removed genetically modified ingredients from its menu, making it the first major restaurant chain to take this momentous step.

Chipotle has rejected GMOs from their menu, becoming the first fast food chain to do so.
Photo Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

"Chipotle is on a never-ending journey to source the highest quality ingredients we can find. Over the years, as we have learned more about GMOs, we’ve decided that using them in our food doesn’t align with that vision," the fast-casual eatery announced. "Chipotle was the first national restaurant company to disclose the GMO ingredients in our food, and now we are the first to cook only with non-GMO ingredients."

Starting today, Chipotle's 1,831 restaurants are now using non-GMO corn and has made a switch from soybean oil to GMO-free sunflower oil and rice bran oil for their cooking.

In a statement, Chipotle noted that "93 percent of corn grown in the U.S. in 2014 was genetically modified. This includes 76 percent of corn that is both herbicide resistant and pesticide producing, with the remainder engineered for only one of those traits. Ninety-four percent of the soy grown in the U.S. in 2014 was engineered for glyphosate resistance."

"Given the concerns surrounding these types of GMOs and the chemicals associated with them, we felt it was particularly important to seek out non-GMO ingredients when possible," Chipotle added.

The health concerns about genetically modified food have been a contentious issue: many supporters say it's safe, but many others have cried foul. The World Health Organization recently designated glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." Environmental advocates are also concerned about the environmental destruction of farming genetically modified crops.

It's important to note that while Chipotle's meat and dairy products come from animals that are not genetically modified, they are still being given GMO-feed. Their beverages also contain genetically modified ingredients, including those containing corn syrup made from GMO corn. However, Chipotle said, "We are working hard on this challenge, and have made substantial progress: for example, the 100 percent grass-fed beef served in many Chipotle restaurants was not fed GMO grain—or any grain, for that matter."

The health-concious company has been working for several years to remove GMOs from its offerings. In 2013, they disclosed all the ingredients on their menu that contained GMOs, the first restaurant chain to do so.

“This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” the company’s co-CEO Steve Ells told the New York Times. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”

The restaurant has been taking many steps to feed its customers more consciously. Last December, Chipotle pulled pork from its menu in hundreds of its restaurants after an audit of its supply chain showed pigs raised in confined quarters.

Chipotle is not just concerned about providing better quality and ethically raised food to consumers, they are also aiming to protect the environment. In March, Chipotle warned customers and investors alike that climate change might eventually affect the availability of some ingredients that go into burrito toppings, like its signature guacamole.

“Industrial ranching and factory farming produce tons of waste while depleting the soil of nutrients,” the company’s Food With Integrity statement said. “These seem like bad things to us. So we work hard to source our ingredients in ways that protect this little planet of ours."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advocacy Group Demands Monsanto Retract Ridiculous Comments on WHO Glyphosate Report

EPA Approves GMO Weed Killer Enlist Duo in Nine More States

GMOs Will Not Feed the World, New Report Concludes

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, seen here speaking to the press about the Flint water crisis in 2016, will be the highest ranking official to stand trial over the public health disaster. Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

Judge Orders Michigan Health Director to Face Trial Over Flint Water Crisis Deaths

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon will be the highest ranking official to go to trial so far as a result of an investigation into the Flint water crisis, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Judge David Goggins ruled Monday there was probable cause for Lyon to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Robert Skidmore and John Snyder that prosecutors say were due to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that Lyon was aware of a year before he alerted Michigan's governor, Michigan Live reported. Lyons is also charged with misconduct in office.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Coal-fired power plant near Becker, Minnesota. Tony Webster / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Trump's 'Dirty Power Plan' Could Cost More Than 1,000 Lives a Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled on Tuesday its long-anticipated replacement of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The new coal pollution rules will increase planet-warming carbon pollution and could cost more than a thousand American lives each year, according to the EPA's own estimates.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" today under President Trump's directive. The new plan encourages efficiency improvements at existing coal plants to ensure they operate longer and allows states to weaken, or even eliminate, coal emissions standards. That's a clear difference from former President Obama's plan, which was aimed at phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner power sources to avoid dangerous climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Two workers in protective gear scrape asbestos tile and mastic from a facility at Naval Base Point Loma in California. NAVFAC / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Why Asbestos Is Still a Major Public Health Threat in the U.S.

Reports surfaced this month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos in June, requiring anyone who wanted to start or resume importing or manufacturing the carcinogenic mineral to first receive EPA approval.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Rklfoto / Getty Images

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Wants to End EPA’s Cruel Animal Testing

By Justin Goodman and Nathan Herschler

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress recently pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its "questionable" and "dubious" animal tests. The lawmakers' demand for information on "horrific and inhumane" animal testing at the EPA comes on the heels of a recent Johns Hopkins University study that found that high-tech computer models are more effective than animal tests.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
Wikimedia Commons

Strongest, Oldest Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up for First Time on Record

The Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and now the region's thickest and oldest sea ice—also known as "the last ice area"—is breaking up for the first time on record, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

The breakage has opened up waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen-solid even in the peak of summer.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Climate Justice Edmonton

These Giant Portraits Will Stand in the Path of Trans Mountain Pipeline

By Andrea Germanos

To put forth a "hopeful vision for the future" that includes bold climate action, a new installation project is to be erected along the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route to harnesses art's ability to be a force for social change and highlight the fossil fuel project's increased threats to indigenous rights and a safe climate.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
A worker inspects recycled plastic in a plastics factory. Getty Images

The Plastic Waste Crisis Is an Opportunity to Get Serious About Recycling

By Kate O'Neill

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called "National Sword" policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Aaron Teasdale

The One Thing Better Than Summer Skiing

By Aaron Teasdale

"There's snow up here, I promise," I assure my son Jonah, as we grunt up a south-facing mountainside in Glacier National Park in July. A mountain goat cocks its head as if to say, "What kind of crazy people hike up bare mountains in ski boots?" He's not the only one to wonder what in the name of Bode Miller we're doing up here with ski gear.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!