Chipotle Is Paving the Way in GMO Labeling

Published On June 24, 2013 | By Christa Schueler | Eating Healthy, Food, Health, Restaurants

The food chain that makes “food with integrity” is now paving the way in GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labeling.  Recently, Chipotle added an Ingredients Statement to their website which provides consumers with more information about what exactly they are eating and they admit, not all of it is natural.

The Ingredients Statement

So what exactly is Chipotle’s Ingredients Statement?  It’s a list of the foods Chipotle serves and what ingredients are in each item.  Next to each listed food is a label which indicates where the ingredients came from.  For example, an “L” signifies that all or some of the ingredients came from a local farm.  An “O” declares the food to be organic; an “R” specifies the responsible raised meats while the “D” indicates that the food has pasture-raised dairy.  These labels shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who is familiar with Chipotle.  They didn’t come up with the tagline “food with integrity” without backing up the claim.  Environmentally and food conscious, Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle, wanted to serve delicious food without the animal cruelty and processed chemicals.  So it may come as a shock to some that Chipotle does serve food with preservatives “P”, hydrogenated oils “H”and even those dreaded GMO’s “G”.


Chipotle Ingredient Statement Snippet

Chipotle Ingredient Statement – Fajita Vegetables

According to the Ingredients Statement, the GMO’s in Chipotle’s food comes from the soybean oil and corn.  The preservatives and hydrogenated oils are primarily found in Chipotle’s tortillas and corn chips.  Although it will be a challenge, Chipotle has stated that they are determined to find natural alternatives to replace the ingredients containing GMO’s, preservatives and hydrogenated oils.  They have already replaced soybean oil with sunflower oil (which does not contain GMO’s) at some of their locations.

Great Idea or Bad for Business?

Some may think that admitting they are serving food that doesn’t necessarily have integrity (since GMO’s are very unnatural and have no business being in our food, in my opinion) may be bad for business.  Who’s going to order that Barbacoa Burrito now?  However, I think that this is a great step Chipotle is making.  Since Congress has failed to pass required GMO labeling in our country, most people who are food conscious have to rely on grocery stores and restaurants who are also food conscious.  But that will only get us so far.  Without labeling, consumers really have no idea if what they are eating has GMO’s and while some companies are slowly beginning to meet this demand, it’s still not enough.  I really think that Chipotle made an honorable decision to put their own integrity on the line and admit what’s in their food.  If other restaurants don’t follow suit, well, all I can say is, “what do you have to hide?”

What do you think of Chipotle’s stance on GMO labeling?  Do you hope others will do the same?  Tell us your thoughts.

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About The Author

UNLV graduate, wife, mother of three, blogger and aspiring novelist, Christa Schueler brings her writing, editing and research skills to Recess. As an advocate for education and health reform and a 25 year Las Vegas resident, Christa understands the need for providing a platform and a "voice" for women in Southern Nevada. Despite Las Vegas being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Christa has seen continual lack of community connection and strives to change that. Now, she's joined the sandbox revolution!

One Response to Chipotle Is Paving the Way in GMO Labeling

  1. Katherine says:

    Is it bad for business? Maybe, but only if you care about eating/not eating GMOs. Personally I think it is a marketing gimmic, just like Starbucks’ promotion of “fair trade certified” coffee. If it makes you feel better about what you are eating, then it is good for business. But some people just want their Babacoa Burrito or Fritos chips and don’t care where the corn came from, and those people would never look at the origin label. I think it will have about the same effect as labeling something “gluten free” – it only increases sales among people avoiding gluten.

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