Chipotle Becomes First U.S. Restaurant Chain to Try and Rid Menu of GMO Foods

photoDavid Knowles writes at the New York Daily News:

For the American restaurant chain Chipotle, “food with integrity” now means using fewer GMO products.

In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. jumped into the debate over genetically engineered foods, becoming the first U.S. company to post labels on its website to let customers know which of its menu items contained GMO ingredients.

“We decided last fall that this was something that really mattered to us,” Chris Arnold, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Director of Communications, told the Daily News. “We don’t have a timeline to become GMO-free, but it is something that is very much in our crosshairs.”

As for now, Chipotle has identified several of its menu items—from tortilla chips to chicken cooked in soybean oil—as containing genetically modified organisms. Given the company’s preference for using organic, and locally produced ingredients, some customers were caught off-guard by the disclosure.

“We’ve heard from customers who are surprised to see that there are any GMOs in our food,” Arnold said, “but the truth is they are enormously difficult to avoid in this country.”

In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, 93 percent of the soybeans grown in America, and 85 percent of the corn comes from genetically modified seed.

While the USDA approved a voluntary labeling system for some GMO foods, the industry remains staunchly opposed to labels.

Read more here.

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  • Haystack

    If consumers have an irrational fear, or a popular dieting fad, restaurants are happy to cater to it.

    • atlanticus

      Do you think that consumers wishing to be informed about which foods have had their DNA manipulated is an “irrational fear” or “popular dieting fad”?

  • rhetorics_killer

    It looks like Americans have ‘enjoyed’ a debate-free invasion of gmo’s in their food. I do not know how, but media attention seems to have been very low at the time gmo’s were first implemented. We have been much more circonspect in Europe, the precautionary principle being enacted over here. As a result so people are in a state of awareness, and we try to impeach in every possible way a gmo invasion. But even with this a fight against multinational corporations, high-rate interests and so on is very problematic. José Bové, a famous peasant, has taken the lead for this fight in France for years, being several times jail-sentenced for intempestive uprooting of modified wheat or modified sunflower fields. As a result, the invasion has been slightly stalled, but there would be no surprise we learn one day gmo clandestinely implanted in our plates. A nice side-effect of this is the uprising of biological culture, which has been multiplied by ten for the last fifteen years. Of course these groceries are more expensive for city-living people, and to this day only those who can afford it are safe. But at least for these ones the choice is. Another choice consists to live in the countryside, where biological engineered food is everywhere available for decent prices.

  • Heath

    Now all they have to do is make mexican food.