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In April, Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first restaurant chain to remove all direct sources of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from the ingredients it uses for cooking. According to the company, the tortillas, corn, rice, beans, vegetables, chips, salsa, and marinades used to cook its meats are all non-GMO.
The Denver-based chain, which has more than 1,500 restaurants in the United States as well as locations in Canada, Paris, and London, also now uses GMO-free sunflower oil and rice bran oil in place of the soybean oil it used to use.
“When it comes to our food, genetically modified ingredients don’t make the cut,” reads an official announcement on the Chipotle website. “The food we serve should be made with ingredients raised with care for animals, farmers, and the environment. We’re doubtful that the GMO ingredients that used to be in our food meet these criteria.”
However, the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed. The company says it is working to source meat and dairy exclusively from animals never fed GMOs. But right now, customers should order vegan choices for truly GMO-free meals. In addition, many of the beverages sold at the chain contain genetically modified ingredients, including those containing corn syrup, which is usually made from GMO corn.
Ridding the supply chain of genetically altered components is difficult for most restaurants. One of the reasons Chipotle was able to do this is because they have just 68 ingredients total on their menu-this includes salt and pepper. The majority of its ingredients are whole, unprocessed foods that don’t come in a GMO variety. To learn more, visit chipotle.com/gmo.
-Melissa Diane Smith
Chipotle Calorie counter
Chipotle Menu Items
The following add-ons are included for each dish below: black beans, brown rice, fajita vegetable mix, and fresh tomato salsa. Tabulate the nutritional info for your Chipotle favorites at chipotle.com (click on the Nutrition tab at the top of the homepage).